Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Workplace bullying

A coworker of mine, who is also a good friend, just called me. She wanted to ask my opinion on how I would handle a situation she found herself in at work today.


Now, I am about 13 years older than she is - she recently turned 40 - and have gone through a lot of the perimenopausal crap women go through. Any woman knows that at times, when you have your period, you run the risk of having a 'gusher' and ending up having an accident that is highly visible.


That's what happened to my friend today. She knew her period was heavy, and had doubled and tripled up on the 'protective' gear before coming to work. Unfortunately, it was not enough to absorb the flood that ensued when she sat down at the nursing station. As a result, there were a couple of small (about the size of our two dollar coin) spots on the chair. But blood shows up. And the chairs are grey.


Now, embarrassing as that is, what her dilemma turned out to be is the reaction of a couple of our female coworkers. They openly made fun of her, calling over several of our male cohorts to look at the chair, talking and laughing loudly enough that many of the patients could hear exactly what was being said.


My friend was mortified by what she did to the chair, but completely humiliated by the reaction of our colleagues. I cannot blame her. Her question was, should she confront them tomorrow morning (before the patients get in the unit) and should she tell our unit manager of the situation?


I said absolutely yes! Those two were so completely inappropriate and cruel, it blows my mind! And one is a good 'Christian' woman who goes to church faithfully every Sunday, to be absolved of her sins.... obviously so she can be as evil as she wants during the week without having a conscience to deal with. She must feel that she can do and say whatever she wants and God will forgive her if she shows up on Sundays at church. How hypocritical is that!


The other woman is just plain mean-spirited. They both try to laugh everything off and say it's all in good fun, but they are so terribly guilty of bullying and cruelty, it is ridiculous!


I wish I had been in the unit when this happened. My friend was forced to go to the restroom and cry as she got herself straightened out. I would have called those two up on the carpet then and there, and made them apologize and recognize their juvenile behaviour for what it was! But I had been relegated to the ICU for the entire shift and missed the whole thing.


I also wish I could be there tomorrow morning to witness my friend's scathing retort to those two but I don't start until mid morning and will have to rely on my friend for her report of the situation. She's mad now, I can tell you!! She was humiliated today but by tomorrow, she'll be out for blood!


All I can say is, "YOU GO GIRL!!!" I am sooooo on your side!!!

18 comments:

  1. it never ends for some people, does it? the good thing now is that those mean girls aren't going to get away with it! i hope she not only confronts them, but makes a formal complaint. xoxoxxo

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  2. ok, you know my first response was "what fucking bitches! :~D xoxoxo

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  3. Filing a complaint with HR would be a good idea.

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  4. Savannah and XL: Yes, she will be making a formal complaint as well.

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  5. What Savannah said ... the second time. One thing I do not miss about the workplace is the nasty, bitchy way in which women often treat each other. The cool thing about bullies, though, is that they're so astonishingly insecure that any confrontation will be way more more devastating to them than the public humiliation was for your friend. I hope she gives it to 'em good, preferably with an audience of co-workers!

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  6. Milady: Her plan is to give it to 'em in front of everyone, just like they did to her. I hope they learn a lesson from this. It's just too pathetically junior high-ish to go unpunished!

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  7. I hope she follows though with givin' it to them in front of everyone AND following u[ though HR! That is do incredibly inexcusable!

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  8. Anon: I am sure she will.

    And who do I have the pleasure of welcoming to my blog?

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  9. Crazy. apart from the horrific behaviour, that's also really unprofessional if the two mean girls did that in front of patients. I can't imagine if I were in hospital or visiting a loved one and had to witness juvenile nasty behaviour. Also, the other colleagues who were called over must have felt awkward (at least I hope they did. I would yell at my colleagues myself if they tried to be that nasty to someone else)

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  10. A church is just a building with a cross on front, it's whats inside the heart and head that makes us "Spiritual"
    Fake christians are a curse on the world.
    Blood for blood.

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  11. Snooze: Completely unprofessional! I am quite livid about this. I SOOOO wish I had been there. They would have been eating crow immediately! Grrrr!

    Sasuage: Fake Christians is right! You don't have to be a so called 'Christian' to be a good person. I am completely non-religious and I would never even think of doing something like this!!!

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  12. The really unforgivable part is to involve someone of the male species.
    Sisterhood? I don't think so.

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  13. With any kind of knowledge that these two might do such a thing I would've been ready with the sharpest edge of my tongue. The thing is, one never expects cold cruelty so when it happens you are always taken by surprise and rendered speechless in amazement. At least I am. So I feel for her. I've always said that the truest measure of a person's character is how they treat those more vulnerable than them. People who kick dogs and tease children come to mind. This is just another form of that. Pathetic.

    Just before reading your blog I read this on another blog: "More and more I see religions as comparable to nuclear weapons, that is, too powerful to let fall into the hands of the willfully ignorant, toxically bitter, or dangerously arrogant. And yet those seem to be the personality types most drawn to conversion and/or extremism."

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  14. Religion may be important in this situation or not - I think not. The underlying situation, the group that is worling here and the relations in here are more important in my opinion. So a pretty strong how-do-ya-call-it may be usefull - and it simply must happen! - but does it solve the problem. I'd describe the problem as: Bullying a collegue in front of customers. And that#s tough shit on some levels. So I guess a little more thought must be put in on how to react and - most importantly - how to carry on.

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  15. Sorry for typos and lousy grammar, tired tired tired.

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  16. Holy cow. I made it all the way from puberty through menopause without ONCE, ONCE mind you, failing to soil my underwear during my periods. That might be a special kind of stupid, but I never dealt with anything like these bullies. I do think the hormones give you license to murder with impunity though, if that helps. The women on the jury wouldn't convict you, and the men shouldn't dare.

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  17. This is a sad illustration of what happens when one simply refuses to grow up. Nurses without compassion have no right to be on the floor. Send them back to (finishing) school.

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  18. Some people are just plain mean and never do grow up, sadly enough.

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