the new nurse manager. Notice the quotes- I worked and she got in my way. I looked for specific things to identify, behaviors she exhibited- not my mere feelings or opinions. She exhibited these reportable behaviors immediately.
She arrived in the office with her purse and proceeded to push said purse into my chest as she ordered, "Lock this up." I didn't stop documenting in the chart in front of me, even though the ink from my pen had been jaggedly pushed across the page.
"You don't have a car?" I queried.
She looked confused and annoyed. "Of course I have a car." Shook her head. As if that was the dumbest thing she ever heard.
"So lock you purse in your trunk," I answered, and kept writing. We are told over and over to not bring purses into work because they will get stolen and there are items dangerous to patients inside every purse.
"No," she continued, "I want you to lock it up in here." Now she was really annoyed.
"I can't lock up anything. You never gave me keys." I had stopped writing and was looking at her.
"This is unbelievable!" she roared and flounced off with her purse.
She returned in a short while without the purse. She marched with determination back into the office. "Give me that pen!" she ordered.
I glanced at the desk. There were no pens lying about. There never are. If you put your own pen down, it's gone in a flash. We aren't allowed to leave pens, pencils, scissors, and other common office supplies within the reach of patients. I looked at her. Her outstretched arm was reaching towards my chest, towards the pen in my chest pocket. "There are no pens," I answered.
"Yes, there is one pen, right there!" she exclaimed, lunging at my chest.
I quickly jumped away from her lurch. She wasn't seriously treating my pen, firmly clasped to my bosom, as a common pen for her to grab, if only I was not in her way? Was she? Yes, she was.
"Give me that pen!" she ordered again, giving only half a move towards my chest this time.
"Do you need to borrow my pen?" I slowly, firmly asked.
"Whatever. Just give it to me so I can write!" she angrily spit out.
I handed her the pen. She didn't say thank you. She didn't say anything. This was a test. I knew that much. A test of how far she could push me. I felt like I was failing. How do you tell your boss that her manners are despicable?
Her next order was for the phone number of a particular floor. There are lists of phone numbers conveniently placed on the wall in front of us, next to the telephones, in this particular office. "I don't know that floor's phone number off the top of my head," I answered, flatly I hoped.
"You don't have all the numbers memorized?" she retorted, sneeringly, but seriously, not sarcastically, as if this was a necessary skill.
"No, I do not need to memorize phone numbers. They are all listed on these papers on the wall." I kept on writing.
She stood there silently, staring at me, until she couldn't be quiet any longer. "So what is the phone number?" she angrily blurted.
"Whatever number is listed on the wall," I answered, trying not to sound nasty, while thinking to myself that maybe if I were nasty, she would leave me alone. Or write me up for insubordination. It's a fine line to walk.
"So you expect me to look on the wall when I want a number?" She was again staring at me while I continued writing.
"That is where the numbers are kept," I answered as I got up and left the room. I couldn't take her anymore. I quickly realized that I could flee to a patient care area. I theorized that she would not go near patients. I was right. I didn't see her the rest of the day.
Now how am I to handle her in the future?
And how do I get my good pen back?