Monday, October 29, 2012

Big, Bigger, Biggest


Remember the nurse who works two full-time jobs?  The one I wrote the recommendation for?  She was horrible to me the other morning.  Let's finally give her a name:  Marie.

It started when I walked through her floor to the nursing office around 7 am.  I have to walk through that particular floor because it is the only access to the office so early in the morning.  [You would think that people should be in the office already with the day shift assignment figured out, but that is not how it works at this place.]  I have to wait in the office for a supervisor to show up, analyze the assignments, and send me to work somewhere.  This is a very confusing task to most of the supervisors, so it takes a while.  Plus, they are late and have to take off their jackets, set down their bags, get coffee first- you get the idea.

As I was walking to the office, Marie started.  "Thank goodness you are here!  Let me give you the report.  Wait!  Where are you going?  I am talking to you.  You are supposed to take report.  Who does she think she is?  An adult is speaking to her, and she just keeps walking, like she is too good to even look at me."

I kept walking to the office without speaking to her.  Why?  I have tried many times in the past to explain to her that I am not showing up to relieve her, but to walk through to the office.  She does not listen to a word I am saying and continues talking about the report, or telling me what tasks she thinks I ought to accomplish during my shift.  Other nurses and staff have intervened on my behalf with no success.  Marie remains hell-bent on giving me report as I walk through the unit.

This particular morning, she recruited an attendant into this false belief that I was supposed to be relieving her and instead I disappeared.  As I continued walking to the office, I heard the attendant shouting, "Now hold on here!  Are you telling me that this little priss thinks she can walk in here, ignore you, and then go hang out in the back like some sort of princess?  I've heard things about her, but now I'm seeing it with my own eyes."

I arrived at the office to find Meemah struggling with the assignment.  She blurted, "I just got here!  I walk in the door, pick up the assignment, and you pounce on me, wanting your assignment, like you are my first priority!"  I had said nothing.

"I'll just be waiting over here," I answered as flatly as possible.  The office was filled with night shift supervisors.  I guess this a sort of victim mentality, but I believe that they will act as "witnesses" to assure administration that I spoke nastily to any day shift supervisor.

Around 7:20 am and after the corridor had filled with more day shift workers looking for an assignment, Meemah emerged with my assignment:  the same ward I passed through to get into the office, where Marie was acting very hurt and angry.

I hoped that some of the regular nurses had come in and relieved her.  Nope.  Marie was sitting there, fuming, with no day nurse on the floor.  "I'm assigned to this floor.  Let's count narcs," I said, trying to sound factual.

"You make me wait twenty minutes for your break?  I have a family.  A FAMILY.  You have nothing.  You come and go and you don't care.  You are a teenager.  At a party.  Like this is a party.  You go here and you laugh and then you go there . . ."

I cut her off.  "Marie, can we count narcotics so I can start the early medications?  The patients are waiting."

I somehow got through the count, in spite of her anger and her inability to count, intermingled with her references to my wild and reckless teenage ways.  [Note to readers:  I am not a teenager.  It's been years since someone has even mistaken me for being in my 20s.]  When she left the medication room to get something, I shut the door so she couldn't get back in.  I started the medication line.  It was useless to try to explain anything to her.

Around 7:40 am two nurses who are regulars on the floor showed up.  Late.  We start at 7:00 am.  Did Marie blast them for being late and holding her up from her FAMILY?  No.  Hugs and kisses, followed by even wilder tales of how I alone was the sole cause of her delay in relief.  Then the long, fake nails tapping on the glass panel of the medication room door.  "Why were you late?" one of them was admonishing me.  I didn't answer.

Now Marie was no longer in a hurry to get home to her family.  She sat outside the medication room door, whining about how I was too "young" and "bratty" to work at a hospital.  Patients heard her.  Staff heard her.  At one point, a male attendant came along and fed into her drama by saying, "Did you know that they are replacing all of the hospital attendants with RNs?  That is not right.  We will not have any money, while these nurses will have even more money!"

That was all that Marie needed to keep her going.  "Did you hear that?  The RNs are getting all of the money, while the attendants, they will starve.  Did you hear that, you teenager?  You have so much money.  You live with your parents.  You have a big, big house.  But that is not good enough for you.  You want more money.  You want a bigger house.  You say, 'Oh, Daddy, give me the money!  I want more money!'  And he give you the money.  [Her accent and grammar were worsening by this time.]  And she say, 'I want all the money.  No money for the other people.  I work all the job and take all the money.'  More money, she want all money.  She no care about other people.  This poor man, he lose his job, and we say to this greedy woman, 'Please, nice lady, please help us.  You give up your job so this man, he can feed his family.'  And you know what she say?  She say, 'No!  I want all the money for me!  None for you!  You starve and I get big, big, big house!  I want mansion!'  She terrible.  She terrible person, firing all the attendants so she gets their job."

This twisted story further morphed into:  I was getting a particular attendant fired.  She told this to anyone she saw.  While sitting outside the medication room while I gave medication to the patients.  The people who had been working on the floor were ignoring her rants, but the people who were passing through paid attention to her and then looked at me in the medication room.  It is not safe to go around telling people that I am causing someone to get fired.  I work with some very bizarre and hateful people who will believe that I got someone fired because I am greedy.  They will not stop and think that this makes no sense.  They will act on it.

Marie finally left at 9 am.  I understand that her behavior is caused by a combination of fatigue, psychosis, and personality disorders, but her antics make my day miserable and she influences other people against me.

What am I to do about her?  Going to a supervisor is never an option.

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