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female bullies--PLEASE HELP!


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#1 namaste

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 04:07 PM

Don't know where else to turn with this one...

Having a horrible time at work, it's making me sick to my stomach and my back and neck are in knots...

I am a peaceful happy person. Have been in the work force since I was 13 and now I'm 53 and have never encountered someone who I didn't get along with.

Now, I'm a nurse after 20 years of teaching in a cool little private hippie school. ANd there's a bully there, I thought everyone loved her, they hang on her very word like she's fuckin god or something. Turns out everyone's just scared of her.

So, she has decided to make me her new whipping boy/(girl) for some reason and she spends time waiting for me to fuck up and then reports it. Every little thing is a cause for her wrath. She started an e-mail campaign against me and I told her to back off and just leave me be.

So now she just bad mouths me all over. Another nurse told me to watch my back and maybe I should leave the unit! Wow, this is just so foreign to me! I'm not an innocent pollyana, but maybe in this realm I am.

What to do? The next higher rung in the ladder (the unit manager) is friends with the bully and the way higher ups say I have to go to her first. What do my boardie friends say? I hate this sort of thing! I just am no good at controversy but I'm not a wimp. and I can't be sick over this anymore.

HELP Please!:carla: :undecided:

#2 kramer

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 06:00 PM

i would sit down with the bully and be honest about your feelings, without accusing her of anything.

let her know that you sense there is some tension and you want to succeed in this job. ask her what you can do differently? be assertive and let her know how these campaigns and write-ups are affecting you...

don't point fingers or make it sound like she's the bad guy - just put it out there and let her know you want to work it out.

confrontation is never easy... but you have to address it head-on or the problem will never go away.

best of luck!! <3

#3 HappieKamper

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 07:01 PM

Maybe HR could help? Or perhaps you could ask her straight out if you did something to offend her. I'm sorry you have to deal with this.

#4 kramer

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 08:22 PM

i'd say, try to have a conversation with the person directly.

as HR, too many times when someone comes to me first, often the other person is mad that they went "over their head" instead of trying to discuss it first.

if that doesn't work, then i'd definitely say go to HR.

#5 kramer

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 09:14 PM

I read this book called The Joy of Conflict Resolution and I found it to be really helpful when dealing with work-related situations... here's a particularly enlightening excerpt:

http://www.joyofconf...VillainHero.pdf

#6 namaste

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 04:17 PM

wow, Thanks so much Kramer, and Happie...I am really nervous about a sit down, but it may help. It's funny, I used to teach conflict resolution to kids in my former life, but never think of these things as they apply to me. I'm 53 years old and in a new job with some really toughened people, so your suggestions may work, or they may think me a huge wimp. LOL, anyway, I will try. I can't change my basic personality, but I can learn new ways of dealing. Thanks I will check out the article you sent. Peace!:heart:

#7 kramer

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 05:16 PM

i used to teach conflict resolution to my clients when i worked with adults with disabilities... but then when i transitioned to HR it's like i forgot everything i ever knew :)

people are people. we all have needs and expectations and feelings and intellect. sometimes amidst all the drama, we forget :)

#8 Mr. Natural

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 12:15 AM

Namaste....not that it really pretains but do you work in acute or log term care?

#9 roo

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 08:47 AM

Slap the devil outta her! Seriously just walk right up to her in the cafeteria in frot of everybody and open handed WHAM!! Her knees buckle ,instantly begins sobbing AND she apologizes to you for being such a bitch!! ok ok i'm seriously just kidding. :lmao:

#10 sarah b.

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 04:13 PM

I bet she'll make fun of you if you tell her how it's affecting you. nurses can be real hard asses -- you have to be tough to be a nurse! Other thoughts: I might do a google blog search for bully nurse. as far as books go, there's a really good one called how to say it at work.

#11 sarah b.

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 04:36 PM

if you do talk to her, rather than saying, "look, you toxic POS, fuck off," or "you make me cry," I'd probably use phrases that focus on her behavior, not your feelings. instead of upset, say concerned. instead of asshole, say inappropriate. Like:

I'm aware that my performance has been mentioned of a series of emails from you (have printouts in your bag or handy). I'm always interested in how I can be doing my job better. I feel direct, constructive feedback (via email, if you prefer*) would help increase my own effectiveness & that of this unit. Thanks for your concern.

*good, let her leave a paper trail

if she's a fuckface to your face, words like inappropriate methods come to mind.

How old is she? Often, in medicine, especially among women my mom's age (58) or older, they went through hell in grad school, mostly from guys, but the few available female mentors were even harder on them, because they knew they had to be almost perfect to keep up in a man's world. So she may actually like you, but just want you to do well, in a twisted, toxic (but normal in medicine) way.

next time she advises you, try reacting to it as a loving gesture. :cheesy: (really, sort of) say something like, "Thanks for looking out/ pointing that out. I am committed to excellence, and I appreciate your constructive feedback." then smile. when she doesn't get the negative attention you describe her as seeming to live on from others from you, she should have no use for you and back off.

she can smell your fear and tension. you are bigger and stronger than this. turn every sweat into a smile and when she bothers you, focus harder on being totally f'ing awesome. keep your head down, stay off the radar, never give her a reason to reprimand you.

you don't have to be good at controversy. just conflict resolution. :)

(you don't know me. hi, i'm sarah. I coach kids' judo. Judo means the flexible (often translated as gentle) way. we teach kids to use use opponents' aggressive energy to their advantage while building honor, humility, etc.

#12 sarah b.

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 04:56 PM

judo is also a way to live.
there are a few very important things i've learned:
1. seven falls, eight rises. life has no shortage of people who want to knock you down. if you get knocked down, always, always, keep getting up again.
2. keep breathing. that should be #1.
3. if you feel yourself falling, keep moving so you don't land on your back (if you land on your back, it's a full point, your opponent wins).
4. Stay off your back! if your game is on the ground (grappling-like), and you wind up on your back, turn your body over, keep moving, slide out, do what it takes to get yourself out of the hold-down. (if you're held on your back for 20 seconds, opponent wins)
4. breathe. trouble breathing? put your hands behind your head. it makes the lungs open. if you have asthma, cut down/out the dairy (especially soft dairy). dairy makes phlegm, messes w/your breathing. but you know that, you're a nurse. :jam:
5. winning is getting out on the mat and doing your best every day, and not giving up (unless you can't breathe, in which case, tap out. or maybe switch units, in your case).

however you choose to proceed, you can do this. you're stronger than all of her bullshit. pretending that it's some twisted way of her believing in you might make it easier for you to cope with it. if she's just a human toxin, take care of yourself and transfer. life's too short for this. there's bs and assholes in every workplace, but "one body, one mind," (then we all do push-ups together) especially in health care.

People need to work together constructively and help each other improve, not seek to cut each other down, if they want to help others heal. if the body attacks itself, it's not going to be a healthy body. you are all body parts on that unit. I don't know how to fix it, but I know parts attacking parts doesn't maintain health.

:jam: :heart: :jam:

also, if there's a free tai chi class available work, go! &/or yoga. they're both great. tai chi (or any martial art, pick one) for your outside, yoga for your inside. :)

#13 namaste

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 05:46 AM

Sara, thank you so much for all of your feedback and all the time you took to think about my problem and share with me. Very nice of you! You're so right about nurses, they can be real hard asses and I'm not, not in that way anyway. But I will try your ideas, I like them. Turns out someone on this board works at the same place I do, so I should probably say no more. :) But again..thanks to all who helped me out. Feel a lot better about it all.
Namaste

#14 sarah b.

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 11:46 PM

Any time. I was half-awake and rambling. :lol: :blush: Glad you're feeling better.

#15 forestdancer

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 05:10 PM

I was going to leave some words but so many have left some good advice.:heart: how is it all going?

#16 nique

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 01:24 PM

It's really sad to hear about an adult bullying anyone :sad: Life is to short to hate in any way.
I really hope you two were able to resolve the matter so your day to day isn't so stressful:heart: