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    Don’t Breathe A Word About This

    | MA, USA | Employees, Health & Body

    (I am visiting my mother in a nursing home. She has a roommate, but keeps the curtain between the two beds closed.)

    Roommate: *unintelligible*

    Mom: “Go see what she wants.”

    (I get up and go around the curtain.)

    Roommate: “Ask your mother to ring the nurse. My call button isn’t working.”

    Me: “The light over your bed is on.”

    Roommate: “I rang for the nurse 40 minutes ago and nobody has come.”

    Me: “The light over the door is on, as well.”

    Roommate: “My oxygen tube has fallen out and I’m getting dizzy.”

    Me: *sprints down hall to nurse’s station*

    Not My Problem Coworkers

    | MI, USA | Bad Behavior, Bosses & Owners, Coworkers, Health & Body, Ignoring/Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful

    (The morning after a major snowstorm, most of our first shift staff have difficulty getting in to work. I’m an hour late, and only the second one in. Knowing this might happen, our manager made sure to issue instructions to the staff that all workers are expected to work late if their replacement is delayed by the snow. When I arrive, the third shift staff, who are notorious for shirking anything they see as extra work, are seated at the nurses’ station, waiting to hand off the keys to the med carts. I can see that more than a dozen call lights are going off, meaning that residents are likely lying in pools of their own waste and waiting to be changed.)

    Third Shifter #1: “About d*** time you got here. We’ve been waiting to give you the keys so we can clock out.”

    Me: “You’re still on the clock? Have you been answering call lights?”

    Third Shifter #2: “H***, no. After 6 am, they’re not our problem.”

    Me: “So you’ve just left them lying there for the last hour?”

    Third Shifter #1: “Yes. Ain’t my problem. You just count the narcotics and sign the book so we can clock out.”

    Me: “Can you stay on the clock for a while longer and help me until more of the first shift staff arrives?”

    Third Shifter #2: “Ain’t gonna happen. We stayed late enough already, and we’re going home.”

    (I count the narcotics, sign the logbook, and accept the keys to the med carts. Knowing that I’m in for a rough day, I start answering call lights. Thankfully, I get a call from our manager, saying that she’s using her truck to pick up stranded coworkers, so help is on the way. As I exit a resident’s room carrying a bag of soiled linens and over-soaked adult diapers, I see the third shift staff sitting in the dining room, drinking coffee and laughing.)

    Me: “Hey, guys, did you decide to stay and help? Room 34 has been waiting the longest, and room—”

    Third Shifter #1: “I told you no. We’re off the clock now. But the buses ain’t runnin’ because of the snow, so we’re stuck here until they plow.”

    Me: “So you’re going to sit there and listen to the bed alarms going off?”

    Third Shifter #2: “F*** you.”

    (A grueling half-hour later, the manager arrives with three other caregivers. The manager, usually a well-dressed professional, is wearing scrubs and sneakers, and proceeds to claim responsibility for changing and dressing an entire hall of residents.)

    Manager: “[My Name], why are [Third Shifters #1 and #2] sitting there drinking coffee?”

    (I explain the situation with as much patience as I can muster, but the frustration in my voice when I relay the ‘ain’t my problem’ moment is palpable.)

    Manager: “[Third Shifter #1 and #2]! if you’re not working, you’re not allowed to hang out here. Clock in or walk out the door.”

    Third Shifter #1: “But the buses ain’t runnin’, and there’s two feet of snow. Where are we supposed to go?”

    Manager: “Ain’t my problem.”

    Third Time Is The Charm

    | Fryslân, The Netherlands | Coworkers, Health & Body, Overtime

    (Our nursing home has two floors. In the evenings one nurse is working on the first floor and one on the second floor. The third person is helping out on both floors. This happens after a very hectic morning.)

    Elderly Lady: *buzzing her phone* “Nurse, can you come help me? I need to go to the bathroom.”

    Me: *answering the call* “I’ll be right with you. One second, please.”

    (I call a coworker to help the lady, as I’m very busy.)

    Me: “Hey, can you help Mrs. [Elderly Lady]? She needs to go to the bathroom and I’m very busy.”

    Coworker: “I’m busy too; can’t you call [Coworker #2]? I’m up to my elbows in feces.”

    Me: “No, she’s getting someone ready for bed. What phone number does the third person have? She might be able to do it.”

    Coworker: “… Sweety, I know it’s been a hectic day, but this is ridiculous. You ARE the third person!”

    Me: “Oh, yeah…”

    Enough To Nurse A Grudge

    | TX, USA | Bad Behavior, Coworkers, Health & Body

    (I work at a kitchen of a nursing home. I am walking to another side of the building to pass out snacks when I see a resident trying to stand up from her wheelchair. Three nurses are standing next to her gossiping and not paying attention. The resident almost falls forward when I run fast as I can and catch her and put her back to her chair.)

    Me: “Where do you want to go, [Resident]?”

    Resident: “I want to go and watch the movie, but they parked my wheelchair and I don’t know how to move it now.”

    Me: “I’ll go take you to the movie room.”

    (I go and take her to the movie room, and I go back to the nurses.)

    Nurse #1: “—did you see that fat girl run?!”

    Nurse #2: *laughing* “Yeah, I know!”

    Me: *now angry* “You guys should have paid attention to her! She almost fell!”

    Nurse #1: “Oh, she falls all the time!”

    (Two of the three nurses got fired because the head nurse overheard. The head nurse also told me to come to her when I am done with nursing school and I can have a nursing job.)

    Not Very Productive Thinking

    | Corvallis, OR, USA | Bosses & Owners, Coworkers, Lazy/Unhelpful

    (I have just received my first annual performance review. I am widely known as being one of, if not THE, most productive and efficient aides in the entire facility. I have received stellar marks almost across the board, but am shocked to see that I am given a three out of five in productivity. I immediately bring it up to my supervisor.)

    Me: “How could I possibly get a three out of five in productivity? Most everybody agrees I deserve a five, but I would even accept a four as everyone always has room for improvement. But a three is solid mediocrity, and I know for a fact that [multiple far less productive coworkers] have received fours. Can you explain?”

    Supervisor: “Well, you simply set the bar too high for yourself. When we see you come in here and always strive to give 110% of yourself, we come to expect that from you all the time. Thus if you’re feeling tired or under the weather and are only able to give 100% or 90%, it makes it look like you’re being lazy in comparison.”

    Me: “O… okay. But you gave a higher mark to [specific coworker who is exceptionally lazy], for example, and everybody knows that she spends the majority of her shift at the desk playing with her phone when she should be in the patients’ rooms helping them!”

    Supervisor: “Well, see, with her, we know that she usually only gives about 50%, but occasionally she’s having a good day and gives us more like 60%. Those good days in comparison to her usual make her look more productive than you on your bad days as compared to YOUR usual.”

    Me: “Okay, just so we’re on the same page here: you really believe that someone who gives 90% on their WORST day deserves a lower score in productivity than someone who gives 60% on their BEST day?”

    Supervisor: “Yes. I’m glad you understand. Did you have any more questions?”

    Me: “… No, I think I pretty much got it. Thanks.”

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