Friday, August 21, 2009

Take This Job

Forgive the rant, but if I don't blow off steam somewhere, I'm likely to do so in the correct arena and find myself fired for the effort.

Um... So today, I got my annual evaluation and although mostly good, meeting all expectations and at times exceeding expectations (which is corporate lingo for she doesn't sit on her ass), I got lower scores for teamwork. What?

I've gone all summer, in fact, I've gone a year without a proper vacation. I've begged, cajoled, and worked hard to find enough people to cover me so I can take an occasional 3 or 4 day weekend. In the beginning of July, I asked for September 25th and 28th off. I didn't hear, didn't hear, didn't hear. Weeks went by and my weekly visits to Northworst Airlines showed me only that airfares were climbing and I was losing opportunity and money. Every week I asked my boss and got answers like "everyone wants to use their vacation time." Well DOH! That's what it's there for. In the meantime, mine continues to accrue to levels I've never seen in my time bank, and I can't use it.

This "not a team player" comment burned like someone had thrown acid on me. I've done lengthy visits to cover both my colleague, who has been on leave since May, and the east side of town. I'm the west side nurse--covering the east side adds 50 miles to my day. I've never turned down an assignment. I may not be happy about them, but I never turn them down. If that's not a team player, then the definition is lost on me. I know this is about me questioning the decisions of people who schedule my time, but too bad. It's personal now.

So I met with my supervisor to discuss these issues. For once, I was able to articulate my feelings without using the F word. Though I thought it, I didn't say it. I did say a lot of other things, including the fact that I feel like Cinderella on this night shift; alone and forgotten until there is an issue, like me being a smartass to the the schedulers. I also told her I've reached the point of frustration with these vacation issues and during the middle of our conversation, we were interrupted by a dayshift nurse who is starting her 2 week vacation today and wanted to know if she should turn in her computer. It was a poetic moment. Everyone, except me, has had vacation time off this summer, and I'm not talking a long weekend here, I'm talking weeks.

"Perhaps," I told my boss, "I'm seething with resentment because you won't give me time off, and this is reflecting in my work." I continued to tell her, "you know, this hospice work takes a toll on a nurse's psyche. We should all have a little downtime." I'd have loved a photo of her face in that moment.

We'd been planning to go to Rhinebeck in the the fall, but now we've waited so long to get a hotel, that this will not be possible--every town in a 50 mile radius is booked. Who wouldn't get a bit of an attitude in the face of this? I saved the best for last: the girl who schedules my shift and complains about my smart mouth is on vacation for the next ten days. She just started her J.O.B. Poor girl must have been overworked.


Thanks for listening--at least at work, nobody else does.

28 comments:

Amy said...

Aarghh...and let me guess: there are no other alternative companies to work for.

laurie said...

rudee, that's terrible! what was your supervisor's response when you pointed this out? and how did they justify their criticism? or did they take it back? i am seething on your behalf. SEETHING.

not a team player! she who donated her entire HOUSE to charity! grrrrrrr.

Stephanie V said...

I don't know what to say, except I'm glad I was here to 'listen'. Maybe the old saying is true: a problem shared is a problem halved. I hope it works that way for your frustration level - which is totally understandable. Good for you to keep your cool.

Renie Burghardt said...

Major bummer, Rudee. Can't blame you for feeling as you do!

Devon said...

This is my absolute pet peeve!!! Doing something wrong, e.g., denying someone their earned vacation, then trying to make them look bad for being upset about it!

I'm so sorry, were you just supposed to bend over and take it?

Queenmothermamaw said...

Oh Rudee that makes me mad as -ell. Had a few if those myself. I loved the Pip Video, it was hilarious. Hang in there girl. I hope that jobs pays well. That is the only thing that kept me going, sometimes.
QMM

Gail said...

What did she say??? I would have loved to be there.

How terrible! It was that way at some places I worked, the good people could not take take off and ending up loosing some of their leave.

I shall work some Voo Doo if you need me too.

debra said...

It's the lack of acknowledgment that used to make me crazy and that led to my burn out. Recreation is re-creation. We all need rest to recharge. Surely hospice--with respite care should "get" this.

Rositta said...

Thank god for blogs. If it was me I'd quit first and worry about consequences later. Of course that's probably a bad idea. Maybe you could tell her your husband will divorce you if you don't get some together vacation time, does she have a heart. I feel your pain...ciao

Rudee said...

Amy-easier said than done. Besides, I'd lose seniority (not that this helps me in any way).

Laurie-it is terrible. I don't think my boss expected what she got. The truth is I can be a bit touchy when they're piling it on, but to critique me for failing to be a team player after the summer I've had, sucks. And I'm still seething too. Her comment was petty.

Stephanie and Renie-thank you.

Devon-yes. I'm supposed to take it.

Rudee said...

QMM-I'm hoping for the winning lottery ticket.

Gail-I think the part where I told her I'm hating my job because they won't give me a break finally sunk in. She gave me both dates in September and 10 days in October. Right there on the spot. Keep the voo doo on reserve, OK? Keep it handy though.

Debra-Exactly.

Rositta- you don't know how much I wanted to quit today. Just quit.

Brenda said...

That sounds really really unfair. What you do should really come with lots of down time. It sounds like a very difficult job. I am mad for you. I hope you win the lottery soon.

Miss 376 said...

It always seems that the people that give the most are appreciated the least. I hope you manage to make the most of that 10 days in October

SkippyMom said...

Sorry Rudee - that just stinks. I am glad tho' that they gave you the days off, finally. I hope you have something spectacular planned, but sorry you missed what you wanted to do in Sept. :(

Cynthia said...

I curious about the supervisor's reaction, just as Laurie and some other commenter's reacted...so sorry about the lack of appreciation...you need time to plan and prepare for a vacation...to have something to look forward to...and a thorough rest. I hope that you are given the respect and appreciation you deserve, Rudee <3

Anonymous said...

We had a meeting about three weeks ago, the supervisor wanted vacation request completed for the rest of the year. As a team we were forced to work together on time. No schedules were denied. Although I haven't gotten the signed slip back. It is posted on the schedule. We have all earned the time and they want us to use it.

The real question after she granted the vacations did she change the review? Can you contest the review?

Rose said...

Wow. How incredibly frustrating! From the title, I thought you had quit already. That is so disappointing about your trip to NY. What are the plans now? And do you get vacation time or what?

Rudee said...

Cynthia-the supervisor had given my vacation requests to another supervisor and so was unaware that my requests had not been granted. So she says. She was a bit shocked by my reaction. Since my tone of voice when reacting to being shat upon is their only major complaint, I'm perplexed. How can they write me up for something so subjective. One person's snarky/smartass is another's humor. I'm trying to let go of the hurt feelings, but so far I'm failing.

Rudee said...

Anon-there are 2 of us on my shift. One of us has been off for 11 weeks.

Rudee said...

Rose- I left the meeting with my 2 days in September (for my trip to Virginia and only after I told her I booked my airfare and I was calling in sick those days if I had to) and my 10 day request for October which had originally been 2 weeks off requested. At this stage, I'll take what I can get.

Rudee said...

Brenda-it is too hard to deal with death 5 days a week without some type of down time. She should know better.

Winifred said...

That's absolute dross! Haven't they heard of the work - life balance! That's workspeak for all work and no play makes Rudee a dull girl. Also makes her an unhealthy and unhappy camper.

I hate these people who find fault unjustly and yet have so many themselves. What a crappy woman.

Hope you get fixed up with a good holiday. You deserve it.

Kathleen said...

IMHO, it's just so wrong to drop a bomb during a performance review. No supervisor with a lick of training should ever do such a thing. If she'd had issues, she should have discussed them much sooner and surprise surprise she might have discovered how very much a first-class employee with the compassion and a dedication to excellence of 2 top-notch people deserved the simplest of breaks.

Oh, now I've got my rant on. That just gets my blood boiling. Let me at 'er!!!!

Cheryl said...

Rudee,
That just sucks. I mean how unfair and wrong could it get? I'm so sorry, it makes me mad because I know how hard your work and how much care you give your patients. That must still sting.
I'm so glad you confronted your supervisor, maybe you should follow up with a letter. It is subjective and it is wrong for that to be in your evaluation.

Sending cyber hugs to you.
Also, thinking of Ruby!
XXXXXX

distracted by shiny objects said...

See...? Maturity and doing the right thing. This exactly why I read your blog every chance I get,'cause if it were me I'd be posting some specific phone numbers on every sleazy bar bathroom stall I could find. Like maybe the "EXOTIC DANCERS HERE" places up and down I-75. But then again, I'm a giver and all about the team playing...:>)

CT said...

Rudee, it just sucks. Wait a minute, that word doesn't even describe it. I have a slight idea of the toll your like of work takes on you: my SIL is a nurse and she gets one mandatory MONTH vacation every six months! she's in ER, though, and by the time the month comes by, instead of 25 -you read right- she looks 45! after a month of rest she comes back rosy and ready for action... But the first thing she does when the vacation time comes is sleep for days on a row. She will wake up, have breakfast, go back to sleep, wake up, have lunch, take a shower and then go back to sleep again till next day.

you had a more civil response to that situation that I would have. I'd probably had quit immediately after giving them a piece of my mind.

Catherine said...

Rudee this sounds awful - we don't do appraisals like that here at least not in my service area. I can't imagine how demoralising it is to be told you're not a team player when all you're doing is being helpful. What kind of head wrecking nonsense is that super talking about? And as for not getting accommodated for your annual leave - you have your entitlements and should get your leave when you want it. We have much better hols in Europe than you seem to have in the US. I get 35 days plus 9 public holidays each year. Some of those days were concessions won thru' intervention by the Nurses' Trade Union, to get equality with other nurses who got time off for school holidays, parity is essential in nursing and other professions, and that is why I firmly believe in strong union support and backing for nurses. We were being walked on by everyone till 1999 when we had a 9 day strike. That shook up the country who till then thought we all were angels of mercy with vocations like nuns who didn't care about money and material gain! So we have had a number of industrial actions since with withdrawal of labour for short periods we haven't gone on strike to get compromise concessions. In any case, we have to get 2/3 of our leave taken by Christmas, our leave year runs from april to march.so I have had 3 weeks this summer in a block of 2 weeks, back to work for a week and then another week off - that was my wish. We are always accommodated with our preferences and once we work it out with our cross-cover colleague then management don't intervene. I work in the community like you, and am very much a lone worker within a team, and I like the autonomy but the backup of a supportive group of colleagues and a good line manager is what makes it all work and is rewarding.That you have such hassle getting a few days off and have to justify it is incredible. You are probably too obliging to your managers and colleagues and they take advantage. Good luck with getting your due rights!
Your friend in solidarity -
Catherine

Miss T said...

I cannot begin to tell you how much I loathe the words, "team player." Because they always mean exactly the sort of behavior you're describing.