Wednesday, February 09, 2011

When you yell, you're wrong.

That's what I've learned recently. When I yell, I'm automatically wrong.

Or, since I don't yell (at least at work; I yell plenty outside of the hospital), "when you're snippy, you're wrong."

I was snippy to a coworker the other day. What I was snippy about isn't important (it was patient placement in rooms, which turns into the three geese and the fox and the rowboat and the deaf boatman if you let it), and it wasn't an emergency (except that we had four patients to put into three beds and one of them was male and one was female and the third I don't remember except that it was a sex that made everything much more difficult) and, well, I was snippy.

Which ought to have been my clue: When Jo Is Snippy, Jo Is Wrong.

Except for last week. When the weird guy showed up on the unit, without an ID, and leading a crowd of residents.

He asked me a reasonable question, which I answered in a reasonable fashion. And then The Weird Guy said this:

"That's just the sort of response I would expect....from a nurse."

And I, God help me, said, "Oh! That's the sort of comment I would expect....from an ASSHOLE."

The Weird Guy? With no ID?

Was the new chairman of the neurology department.


Never mind that he was a thundering, galloping dick who deserved what he got; I mouthed off to the new chairman of the department.

However, he's been quite nice to me since then, even asking my opinion of a particularly difficult case.

The Other Nurse Who Works With The Chairman is of the opinion that he's an Asperger's Bully--you know, the sort that uses their lack of human connection as an excuse to be a jerk. I'm of the opinion that he's just an ass. Der Alter Jo supports me in this, and I've found that, as Aspergery as she and I can both be at times, she's a better judge of people than I am.

So, the lesson stands as this: If I'm snippy, then I'm wrong. In other words, if something has pushed me so far over the edge that I'm a careful, cutting bitch, I'm certainly not making the right choice in my response.

However: if I fail to cut you, and instead roll over you like an enormous, pissed-off, subtlety-lacking steamroller, the fault is yours.


First Lee said...

Of course, most people with Asperger Syndrome don't use their disability as an excuse to be a jerk. Of course, many will advocate for accommodations, etc. in a way that makes it sound like they are.

Anonymous said...


Was he a surgeon in another life? We have one who was a neurobiologist who became a surgeon. He's a case.

BTW I loved the last surgeon we had. He'd spar with me and I'd give it back. His assistant was a riot. I worked with him for three years.

I miss those two...just not the same.

Celeste said...

Very sorry for the bad day, Jo. I hope that the new boss stays more respectful to the nursing staff, and more importantly I hope he won't always work there. I don't make allowances for Aspberger assery. An ass is an ass is an ass.

In any case, it's been a hard thing for me to learn as well to just, shut up and let somebody be wrong. Not everybody wants to be better, and I need to respect their right to wallow right where they are.

Crazed Nitwit said...

In my humble opinion denigrating a nurse infront of residents IS an asshole. Totally jerky comments. Just saying....

'Drea said...

Hee-hee re: fault.

New doctor was behaving like an asshole; you would think, being new and all, he would be nice for a few minutes.

messymimi said...

Asperger Brother-in-Law isn't known as The Mouth just for the huge amount he eats. My sympathy.

Elyse said...

OK if ever there was a clearer signal that I'm not normal - I laughed. Out loud, and I silently rail against whatever HIPAA Hippo hippie professional or non-telepathic thingy that made it so I cannot view for myself that exquisite moment, that split second of time, just as the word *ASSHOLE* hung there in the air in all it's oh-no-she-didn't glory. Made my day.

Cr0w$C@lling said...

So a fox, geese, and a deaf boatman?

-sithi (so, so, close)

Heidi said...

You are awesome. That is all.

Laina said...

I laughed out loud, too. I totally understand, and frankly wish i was as quick witted as you.

EDNurseasauras said...

Yo, new guy: lose the ass-shatitude and step away from the nurse before you get hurt.

terri c said...

I laughed too, out loud! Some things just have to be answered in the moment I think. You're the best.

Rachedy said...

OMG, I'm so going to use this line the next time some douche holier than thou doctor says something like that. Thank you!!

Rosanna said...

*Good* for you, Jo!!

Sometimes, I honestly think----(in the earlier, ancient days of nursing, haha!)----if collectively-more of us HAD RESPONDED, as you did last week, to all of those, "That's just the sort of response that I would expect....from a nurse" COMMENTS, well, we wouldn't be GRAPPLING (as much) with the ol' Doctor-To-Nurse BULLYING that still goes on now. 'Hindsight, though, you know!!

In the future, it would be neat if a small computer-generated boxing ring, (with boxing ring bell included!!), could theoretically "just rise right up" THROUGH the floor of your unit, automatically-positioning your "unsuspecting opponent" in HIS corner; then you (very Nurse Jo-assuredly!) could simply.... saunter.... to YOUR corner; and sloooowly turn around for your laser-directed/verbal............ coup de grace, (haha)!!

woolywoman said...

I had a neurosurgeon who was a mean dick (but smart, he could cut my head if that's what I needed), who after I told him to stop fu**ing with me turned into the sweetest thing. Sometimes they just need the push back. Besides, you gave those residents something to reflect on happily when the doc is tormenting them. Think of it as a charitable act.

Also, I have always wondered why sex of pt matters if they are both non responsive?

Jill said...

That was the perfect response! New chairman was clearly testing the boundaries of his newly acquired authority (in front of other people no less) and you let him know that he had overstepped said boundaries. Issue resolved.

He made a rude, unprofessional comment that was totally unnecessary. He was just trying to show off a little in front of his new underlings and ended up getting smacked down. In the end, I bet he will respect you for it.

And I'd bet 20 bucks that most of the residents who witnessed it were secretly high-fiving you and/or snickering. No doubt he had been an equally obnoxious dickhead to them.

Hooray for Nurse Jo!

Linda said...

completely agree with this blog : )

UnsinkableMB said...

Good for you. I wouldn't be sorry. And I'm not sorry for laughing.

Cheers! :)

Cartoon Characters said...

now, if he would have been wearing his nametag, he might have circumvented the situation, however, I am glad he didn't now. :)

On another note, my mother was in a mixed ward and it wasn't all that bad....really. When you're sick, who cares?

inkgrrl said...

Sorry it was a bad day but total high five!

Anonymous said...

Completely agree with Jill, but not sure I would have said that. I might have alluded to his rude, boorish self with a different term.

Silbs said...

When you're right, you're right.