Sunday, February 5, 2017
Dodging Accusations but not Damage
I have not posted much in the last few months because something bad happened at work. I feel so stupid writing this months later because I am still employed at this place and cannot find another job.
My immediate supervisor, Linda, orchestrated an accusation against me. It did not involve patients, thank goodness. I will not divulge details here, lest someone read this, so I hope this is clear enough.
I had a day off and arrived back to the office area, now filled with stacks and bags of papers everywhere. Everyone ignored me. Linda was flurried and nervous, repeatedly telling me that there was a mandatory staff meeting at 10 o'clock.
I quietly hid out and overheard some conversations about other employees being witnesses against me. Forewarned, I reviewed the hospital's policies on the topics.
At the meeting were my supervisor, her supervisor, and another managerial nurse to "discuss the charges against Enid."
I did my best to act surprised and confused. I really was, but I had two hours to prepare.
I could have stopped the process and demanded union representation. I did not do this because I planned on using the lack of union representation as a defense if they decided in this meeting that I was guilty. The event was called a "staff meeting," after all, not a trial.
Doing my best to appear bewildered and not accusatory towards my supervisor, I explained that the wrong-doings I was accused of were:
-Things that my supervisor told me to do
-Knew that I was doing because she watches me all day
-Were projects worked on for the past eight weeks and were not a secret, one-time event
The idea that this was not a slam-dunk against me was starting to form in the other nurses' minds. My supervisor sat there with an angry pout.
I needed to damage her more.
I explained that these projects, now turned into charges against me, were undertaken because we can't find anything because Linda makes multiple copies of everything; she does not secure patient medical files; and she sends out protected health information without a signed release. The theme was that she is a hoarder with no regard for privacy regulations. I cited hospital policies for all of this.
The other two nurses were shocked with every accusation I threw out. My idiot supervisor admitted to each one with, "Yes, but it is just easier this way." She grew increasingly flustered and angry. I remained calm. Inside, I was nervous and angry.
After the meeting, I went to lunch and then hid out in a storage room until the end of the shift.
The next day, she was still angry. "You made me look stupid," she complained to me.
"That was a very stupid thing you did," I answered back. "I have done nothing to you that was so horrible that you had to lodge false accusations against me."
"Well, I had a question, and the lady I usually go to for my questions was not here that day, so I had to go to the director of the hospital instead," she explained.
"On my day off? You were confused about an issue that was not important and instead of waiting for me to discuss, you went to the director of the hospital and filed a formal complaint against me? That is your explanation? You accidentally prosecuted me?"
She stood there, staring at me. She didn't get it.
"When I came into work, I could have been fired, reported to the board of nursing, or even arrested because of your false claims," I continued.
"No, you are making this into a big deal," she tried.
"No, this is a big deal. I understand that you don't like me, but your scheme was out of proportion to anything I have done. What you did to me is what you would do to someone who had an affair with your husband or purposely burned down your house. I can't work with someone who plotted against me for months for no reason. You can't name a single thing I did to you, can you?" I stood there, waiting for her response.
"You don't get it," I continued. "You need to apologize to me, which you will never do because you don't see that you did anything wrong. You are upset that I successfully defended myself against your false charges. If you want me out of your department, all you have to do is say so. You didn't need to do this."
Going to the Director
A week went by. I needed proof that the charges were cleared, but no supervisor would provide anything in writing. I went to the director of the hospital to make sure that he understood the situation from my angle.
He was confused. We enlightened each other. When my supervisor initially went to him with her accusations, he investigated, found the allegations ridiculous, and told her to get rid of the piles of "evidence" against me because they were a fire hazard.
Wow. This made my supervisor look even more evil. "This was not shared with me at the two hour inquisition," I explained.
He said he did not know that they pursued the charges. I listed the attendees and his face reddened. "They are jealous of you, that is why they did this," he said.
"I need out of that department," I explained. "I can't work with someone who went to such lengths to get me in serious trouble and continued in spite of your order to stop."
He agreed. "Until I can figure something out, just stay in your office and work on your computer and ignore the rest of them."
"But I don't have a desk or office or computer," I said. "Everything was rearranged so that everyone but me has a work station."
"I will find somewhere for you!" he exclaimed. Will not happen.
Going back to my supervisor
I confronted my supervisor. "The director of this hospital told me that after you filed charges against me, he investigated and told you the charges were unfounded. Is this true?"
She was surprised, but said nothing.
I said, "This new information makes you look more evil than I originally thought. You staged this bad situation, were ordered to stop, and continued anyway." She said nothing. "I am done. I will help the doctors with the patients, but that's it until I get transferred out."
My home base is still this office area. No words have been exchanged between any of the other staff and me, except necessary talking with my supervisor.
The events were reported to the union by me for documentation and to ruffle the involved nurses. Nothing will happen to them for this attempt to set me up.
Like other employees, I do the bare minimum, which is a struggle for me because that is not my work ethic. When my supervisor tells me to do paperwork or filing, I tell her "I am not falling for that trick again" or "put it in writing so I have protection when you change your mind."
I still do not have my own work space. I try to stay in hiding places throughout the hospital.
She still does not understand the irreparable harm done to our working relationship. "But that thing was dropped!" she says often. I was vindicated. She was not. She does not understand that I cannot trust her. She and her buddies are probably actively plotting their next attack.