Every-Body Heard You

| Fryslân, The Netherlands | Coworkers

(I’m a nurse in a nursing home. I have done a special course and now I can test my coworkers on their knowledge and use of our protocols in our field, such as bladder catheterization, Intramuscular injections, etc. A coworker and I are moving one of our mannequins, which we use for the tests. The mannequin is in a large and very heavy bag.)

Coworker: “Wow, this thing is bloody heavy; could you give me a hand?”

Me: “Sure, but I thought you said you could do it on your own?!”

Coworker: “Yeah, well. I wanted to impress you, but I guess I can’t.”

(We’re now carrying the bag between us through the main hall.)

Supervisor: “Looks heavy. What’s in the bag?”

Me: “A body.”

Supervisor: “Okay. Make sure no one will ever find it, will you?”

Me: “Sure thing, and if they do, please back me up and tell them [Coworker] did it.”

Supervisor: “I sure will.”

Coworker: “Hey…”

Assisted Living Needs Assistance

| Perth, WA, Australia | Ignoring & Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful, New Hires

(We have a new hire who is in his early 20s, but still can’t grasp the simple tasks which only includes domestic tasks in a home and assisting aged clients. He is working as a support staff for my coworker who has  just returned from leave and has never worked with him before. She is already getting annoyed with the new hire as he keeps forgetting things and she has to keep repeating instructions. He also doesn’t own a car and gets dropped off and picked up by his parents.)

Coworker: “[New Hire], why don’t you get [Client] out to the driveway and help him wash the car? He loves to do that”.

New Hire: “Sure…” *pauses* “Is there a hose somewhere?”

Coworker: “It’s just off the side of the house, near the front.”

New Hire: *comes back 10 minutes later* “The hose won’t reach the car. What do I do?”

Coworker: “Then grab a bucket. I don’t think we have proper car washer or wax so just use dish-washing liquid to soap it up”.

New Hire: *leaves and returns with bottle of disinfectant* “Will this do?”

Coworker: “….That’s not dish-washing liquid. Grab the one in the kitchen, and the bucket is in the laundry.”

(The coworker goes to the driveway, 30 minutes later, to find the new hire standing there looking dumbfounded with the dry sponge in his hand.)

Coworker: “Don’t you know how to wash a car?”

New Hire: “Yeah I do, but not like this… I just spray with a hose.” *just as he says this, his parents pulled up into the driveway* “Oh my ride’s here 10 minutes early… Is it all right if I go?”

Coworker: *rubbing her temples* “…Just, just go…”

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…”

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