Friday, June 5, 2009

Results of the meeting I mentioned a few posts back...

So apparently Manager T got an email a little before I went on vacation, complaining about some of my behaviours and my negative attitude. She decided we needed to have a "heart to heart" in order to clear things up. We had a Union Rep present as a witness, but she didn't technically have to be there as the meeting wasn't related to disciplinary action.

The first thing T mentioned was about the phone. Going back a couple weeks, one of the higher ups (resource? charge? I forget) said "You should put the cover back on the phone. Those things are really expensive, like $1000 if they break."

I hate the covers. Everyone hates the covers. They are bulky, the material feels weird, and you can't quite help but feel like they never get *quite* clean the way the hard plastic of the phone does.

So I said, "If I break one of the phones when it's out of its case, then I'd be happy to pay for it. I've got the money."

I smiled and laughed. Everyone else laughed.

Well, I thought it was everyone else. Apparently someone didn't think it was amusing, and decided that T should know about it.

The Union Rep asked, "Um, is this *really* all the meeting is about? Because that doesn't seem like grounds for a meeting."

T said "No, there's more"

"The perception of you is that you are very negative, and it is bringing morale down."

"Huh? I try to be friendly and professional"

"I'm not saying it's true or not true. It's a *perception* and this perception is making people unhappy."

"Can you tell me who, specifically, said this? Because I've asked around to see if I've been doing anything to make people mad and no one can figure it out."

"J has more details, and I'll ask him when he gets back."

At this point I'm thinking "Bullshit". Maybe it's T's perceptions that she's passing off as someone else's.

She then continued on to say that she knows that Telemetry wasn't my goal unit. And that none of us were hired by her, that she prefers to interview her own staff, and we were thrust upon her as much as she was on us.

Also, apparently, one of the Resource nurses came to her in tears because of how unhappy the new grads are.

At which point the Union Rep asked "Are all the new grads unhappy?"

"No, not all. Just most. I've had 4 people from the evening shift and one from the day shift say that they are happy here."

The Union Rep asked, "And what actions are you taking to make the rest of them happy? How are you trying to fix moraled on the unit?"

T more or less brushed that one off, saying that because we're switching to computerize charting soon, the higher-ups aren't listening to anything she says. I wonder if she realizes that's how we feel a lot of the time.

There was a lot more blah blah blah about how I am very vocal about not being happy on the unit and then the Union Rep asked if T had anything *good* to say about me. Which I appreciated.

To which T said "You're very smart, and you have good ideas. Like at the last staff meeting where you brought in pictures of things on the other unit"

Now, I don't want to sound cocky, but it's going to come off that way and I'm sorry: I *know* I'm smart. I've been smart my whole life. To tell me I'm smart is akin to telling me my hair is brown. Ok, that's nice. But it's how I am, not something I had to work for. I wanted to hear something like, "Her patients are happy with her care," or, "She's willing to help her colleagues when they need her." Something that I have control over.

Then she says something way outta left field that I didn't expect, "We could use more strong nurses like you on Day Shift. Some of the new grads aren't quite strong enough nurses and need more Med/Surg experience, and some of the transfers from other units are too stuck in their ways and unwilling to adapt."

"Would that be something you'd be interested in?"

Uh, bwah? So I'm negative, and I talk back, and I bring morale down, but you think I'm strong enough to bring a shift up?

I politely decline, stating that I am not a morning person, and would be useless till 1100. Meanwhile in my head I'm thinking, "You want me to wake up at 0500, work a shift that is *crazy* busier than PMs, *AND* take a $5/hr pay cut? Hell no. You must be on drugs."

Then she switched gears and told me that, more than anything else, this is like a conversation she'd have with her son. When she knows that he isn't living up to his potential, and she needs to spur him on a little bit. "Not that you're like my child or anything, it's just that kind of conversation." (She also mentioned wishing that other people would come to her when they are unhappy, rather than letting it get worse until the unhappy nurse's performance starts declining)

She said that I have a lot of influence on the unit because I am so smart, and that I have the capability of helping turn the unit around. She mentioned the suggestion box, and that no one had put anything in it.

Which isn't true, because the *day* I noticed that it was up I put in a suggestion to lower the box, which is high enough that I can't see the slot on top without standing tiptoe. I wonder if she even looked in it. I told her to check again.

She said that she wants me to be in a position like M and MH, training to be Resource/Break Nurse. I told her that they tried once, over a month ago, and pulled me after 45 minutes to take admits.

She told me that I need to be careful, because bad perceptions of people have a tendency to float around the hospital, and that all the units talk to each other. And if I want to have a chance at L&D, I have to make people like me and think positively of me, otherwise L&D won't want me.

And of course I'm thinking "The only reason I'm negative and miserable is because I'm *here* not *there*. AAARRRGH"

I tell her that I'm trying my best and that some days are better than others. As I wrote earlier, I actually had a good day recently. But I think one of these meetings with her takes away the equivalent of at least 3-4 good days, if that makes any sense.

So yeah. That's pretty much what I remember of it. I need to get better at keeping my mouth shut when I'm unhappy. And just keep swimming.


  1. wow! ur a supernurse!!! way to go!!! T knows that ur a strong nurse!! She needs more strong nurses on the floor!!

  2. Goodness gracious this sounds just like several convos I've had with my clinical instructor. "You're smart, you pick things up quickly, you are the best student I've ever seen with theory..........but you need to shut up. Keep opinions to yourself, don't talk to the nurses, blah blah" I sat there wondering what exactly I did wrong. Never really got an answer and I've learned not to ask too many questions about anything.

    You have my complete and total empathy.