Since I stepped down from my management position and went back to working in the field, there have been many changes in the office. Some for the good – – some not so good. Not a big deal to me, actually, I do my best to stay away from the office as much as I possibly can. This totally suits me and I’m actually very amazed at how very easy it was for me to walk away from the office and let it all go.
Yesterday, my new boss got a taste of what the dynamic is of the group of nurses she is working with. She made a decision and put out a memo that brought her a reaction that I’m sure she wasn’t expecting. If she had expected it, she would not have done it.
We are a home hospice agency. Currently, we have 90 patients – and 6 case managers who have about 14-16 patients on their caseloads. Those patients span about 4 counties in southeastern Wisconsin. The case managers rotate on call responsibility. On the weekends – we’re on call for 24 hours on Saturday or on Sunday.
Because we’re all salaried (not hourly) – none of us get paid overtime. So they’ve always paid us a $300 bonus for taking call for a 24 hour period. We get that bonus whether we get called out, or not. It’s a very rare thing that we don’t get called out. On average, we work about 10-12 hours within that 24 hour period – – that is, after we’ve already put in a 40+ hour week. No big deal – – while there is the usual grumbling about being on call, but for the most part – because of the bonus, we deal with it.
Yesterday, for various reasons I will not go into because they are ridiculous and many – my new boss decided that we get paid too much for being on call. She decreased the bonus amount to $100. I talked to her about it and told her that I felt it was unreasonable to expect an RN to work a full 40+ hour week, then ask them to be on call for an additional 24 hour period for 100 bucks. I explained that we typically work about 10 hours (sometimes much more) on that weekend day – – which translates into $10/hr. I said, “No self-respecting Registered Nurse is going to work for you for 10 bucks and hour.” Her reply? “All you nurses do is take, take, take – it’s sickening.”
Keep in mind that she is a nurse. She knows what we deal with out there with all of these dying patients and their families. And yet, all we do is take.
Well – I gave her my verbal resignation. It was more of a principle thing, than it was a money thing. I told her I thought it was a slap in the face to pay me $10 per hour – – sometimes less, depending on how many hours I work that day — when I could work a Saturday shift at McDonald’s and make more money than that. I told her it was about professional respect, not about money. She disagreed and agreed to accept my written resignation by the end of the day.
I got to the office at the end of the day with my written resignation in hand. I walked into the office and discovered that 4 out of 6 of the case managers had done exactly the same thing. So, there she sat with 90 patients — and her nurses were dropping like flies.
She had to make an executive decision.
She decided that she would remove the opportunity for any of us to make any extra $$ at all by taking away weekend call from us, completely. She hired an RN who was willingto be on call every weekend. So there – now you guys aren’t on call at all for the weekends…that means no extra bonus money in your pocket.
She apparently thought this was going to upset us. We all took our resignations back…happy with the fact that we would no longer have to give up our weekends to be on call. None of us care about the bonus money – – whether it’s $100 or $300. We work 40-55 hours per week on a regular basis for a decent salary – – by the time the weekend comes around, we want to leave it behind and relax for a few days before going back in again.
She has much to learn, this new boss of mine.