Medical Professional Lets Underhanded Nurse Walk Straight Into A Trap. – ‘She also felt my outfit was too provocative.’
by Trisha Leigh
Life would be a lot easier if everyone could just get along – especially if people would at least learn to play nice at work.
OP works in a medical setting but on the research side, rather than patient care. Since she often needs help from the nurses, however, she has gone out of her way to ingratiate them, too.
I work at a hospital that doubles as a research institution. Since I’m on the research side, I have to involve lots of other departments, and most people with whom I work with are very chill and understand that I have to beseech them for things to do my job.
I’m one of those “she can go a hundred hectares on a single tank of kerosene” type of people, and I’m very on top of things, for which my coworkers value me. However, the one place where that camaraderie breaks down is with [some of] the nurses who work in my specific clinic (focusing on one particular disease).
Honestly, I’ve done a good job making most of the nurses like me. I bring them homemade treats sometimes, and I’m always extra friendly and approbative with them. Some of them have their days regardless, and I put up with them.
There’s always one, though, who can’t be bought with sweets – and the day eventually came with OP needed help from her nemesis.
Right after I first started working in that specific clinic, unfortunately, one nurse in particular (let’s call her Karen) had decided that I was on her blacklist. Karen hates doing work. She’s like a kid playing Xbox when their parent asks them for help with groceries. She’ll moan and groan, and if she helps at all, it’s with an angsty indignation.
I needed a series of blood tubes drawn in clinic for a patient one morning (instead of down in phlebotomy — protocol rules — more complicated and stupid than it’s worth getting into here), and Karen was the only nurse available.
She was extremely put off at my asking her to draw this protocol kit (despite my giving advance notice to clinic that this needed to be done). She clearly did not want to leave her computer (which was not open to anything work-related), but she begrudgingly went and drew the tubes.
She was unnecessarily profusely thanked by me… just for doing her damn job.
OP tried her best to stay out of the woman’s way, but because of schedules, etc, it wasn’t always possible.
I came back down later to get a prescription signed for another patient, and a different nurse asked me what I’d done to upset Karen because she’d apparently been going off about me to anyone who would listen.
I explained what had happened. The other nurse informed me that Karen was livid with me, and also felt my outfit — a white medical coat, a modest blouse, work pants, and high heel boots — was too provocative.
What? I just decided to let it go and try to avoid Karen as much as possible.
This did not work. I kept running into situations where the other nurses were busy seeing patients. I was forced to walk back into the nurse triage room — which is off-limits to patients — and ask Karen to draw two more of these blood kits in the next month.
She was never happy to see me, and she was always wasting time on her work computer when I entered the room.
The nurse was so put out over having to help OP that she eventually filed not one but two complaints about her “conduct” and “dress.”
Maybe 2 or 3 days after that last kit draw, my supervisor called me in her office to discuss my “presentation”. She very nicely, and with pity in her voice, told me she’d received a report about my dress habits in patient-facing spaces.
She said she personally hadn’t noticed anything, but was obligated to discuss this with me anyhow. I assured her I had no idea what she was talking about.
I thought about confronting Karen, but decided not to because, ya know. Loose cannon and whatnot. After a brief reminder of the dress code, I figured that at least it was over.
It was not over. Two weeks later — and I hadn’t even asked anyone to draw any kits in the interim — a formal report was filed against me for my conduct in clinic.
This went to the hospital and then my supervisor who, even after reading the report, seemed totally clueless about what it could mean. I explained what had been happening with Karen.
One of her punishments was that she had to have a supervisor with her all the time – and OP knew that was going to be bad news for Karen, who liked to goof off on her computer.
But then my supervisor told me a second person had reported this as well, on the same day as who was obviously Karen. This time, it was a patient.
The patient had reported that I was dressing improperly for a patient-facing environment. Woah woah woah woah.
I asserted that I wasn’t, but I was nonetheless put on probation, which meant that my supervisor, against her will, now had to come with me when I saw patients in clinic for the foreseeable future, and a nurse manager would have to accompany both of us when she was free since I was “dressing provocatively” in patient-facing spaces and that was her domain.
But as you can likely guess from her browsing habits, Karen was not the sort of person who needed MORE supervisors in her area.
Cue malicious compliance.
Fine, you want to punish me and force me to work in the eyesight of the supervisors? All right, let’s get some supervisors down here as quickly as possible.
Things went pretty much according to plan.
My next in-clinic patient came in two days, and it was one of those stupid timed-in-clinic protocol kit visits, which meant I was forced to ask one of the nurses to draw the patient’s blood.
I informed my supervisor and we set off down for clinic. The nurse manager was in that day, so she accompanied the two of us.
We all went back into the triage room so that I could ask for help with the blood draw.
Karen and one other nurse were there. What we saw upon entering was the other nurse entering vital signs for a patient into our health database, and Karen… sitting at her desk with an online clothing retailer open on one monitor, and Facebook on the other.
I asked for Karen’s help drawing the kit, and she sighed heavily and spun around… to see two higher-ups looking on with disdain at her work computer.
In embarrassment, she swiveled back and closed those two tabs, which revealed — you can’t make this stuff up — a website for MARITAL AIDS that had been open in another tab, about which Karen had clearly forgotten until now.
I just smiled and handed her the bag like nothing had happened.
And it got even better when the supervisors got together and started checking the evil nurse’s browsing history.
In the hall, my supervisor and the nurse manager were talking about Karen’s display just now.
Apparently, she had been previously been warned about goofing off at work. The nurse manager told the supervisor that she was going to check all of Karen’s work computer activity, which I actually didn’t know any supervisor could readily access.
What followed was so incredibly beautiful that I hope it made the ending of this long, long post worth waiting for.
According to the nurse who’d initially asked me what I had done to upset Karen, her activity was searched.
She was revealed to have been spending hours upon hours every day browsing the web, shopping, and using social media.
Since she had been previously warned about this behavior, she was given a formal write-up.
It only got better for OP (and worse for the other nurse) from there.
But this was just the beginning. The day after the three of us went down to clinic, my supervisor called me in her office again. She told me that Karen had FABRICATED the patient complaint about me and posted it from her work computer.
(How did they learn this? Oh, that’d be because she saved a draft of the message that reported me to the hospital, and she’d accessed the patient complaint/comment webpage the same day.)
My supervisor sincerely apologized for the hassle and told me I was no longer on probation.
As for Karen: apparently fearing the worst, she put her two weeks’ notice in the same day after getting wind that she was in some far more serious trouble.
For reasons I will never understand as long as I live, the hospital chose to let her quit after 2 weeks instead of firing her on the spot. Maybe they knew what a nightmare she was and were comfortable letting her quit on her own accord.
It’s not as though she was due to glean any glowing references from this experience. Maybe they just wanted some extra work — our clinic was VERY short-staffed for nurses at the time. In any case, they chose not to fire her and let her quit on her own.
On Karen’s last day, I ventured down to the triage room to retrieve some outside records from their printer. When I entered, Karen was alone and browsing Glassdoor.
I unbuttoned my white coat and told her, “Hey, good luck with your next job. I hope the employees are less provocative.” She slowly spun around with a scowl on her face.
Then I lifted my dress up to my neck, flashed her my bare t**s, and walked out, and I never saw Karen again.
This was a long one; does Reddit think the read was worth it?
Some people don’t have a whole lot of sense.
Who doesn’t love an “easy” button?
I think we’ve established she’s not very smart.
Though some people argue her transgressions were bigger than most.
This woman was content to give her coworker the rope…
And it worked out just how she’d hoped – if not better.