My Boss is an Idiot


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.

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13 thoughts on “My Boss is an Idiot”

  1. Congratulations on gaining your weekends back! I’m continuously amazed and saddened by how badly some managers can be at judging how to motivate their workforce. People work for money, yes because they need it. But it seldom is the BEST way to motivate people to go above and beyond.

  2. It always amazes me especially in the Nursing field how sometimes when we go into Management we sometimes seem to forget some things. When I was working I would have to from time to time just to keep my perspective where it should be work prn back in patinet care so I did not lose site. It always came in handy with my staff because I understood and bonded better with them but I also understood and negotiated better with my upper management when the time came. For the life I can not understand some people.

  3. Wow, sounds like just the crap that the high ups in my company would do to save a few bucks. All she was thinking about was her budget.

  4. My aunt has all kinds of stories similar to yours. Right now she’s a flight nurse but going back to be a anesthetic nurse. I’m glad you got things worked out though. You don’t have a job that should ever require a pay cut.

  5. How much does she have to pay the “Weekend nurse” ? does she only work at the weekend? does she work for $10/hour?

  6. On call for me is $2 to sit by the phone/cellphone (mind you I can be anywhere with a cell phone) and if called in, double time, somewhere in the $60/hr range, sweet.

  7. Mog – that is sweet. /sigh

    RedFred – uhh, no – the new ‘weekend call nurse’ gets paid the usual and expected hourly fee.

  8. Lisa smooth move.She really hurt your feelings!

    I just got a terrible evaluation from my big boss because I can’t seem to get all my work done in 10 hours. She has lost 4 nurses in less than 2 years in this small clinic and constantly under staffs us according to our patient care hours we should be getting another patient care staff person for 8 hrs. I got a bad rating for taking longer than 10 hours to do the work. Never mind that the other nurses who have left also stayed more than ten hours. I think the thing that insults me the most is that she is so stupid.
    She just called off the Christmas party after sending all the invitations. She said we are too short on $. It is a large multinational company with US earnings increasing in the 3rd quarter of over 7%. How stupid does she think we are?

    She just let a very important patient care person go because she didn’t think his job was that important, but now she is hiring a new assistant. I wonder if she thinks we are as stupid as she is. I hope I never get there.

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