work woes

I’m sure y’all have heard about the Jet Blue flight attendant who went buck-nutty after having an altercation with a passenger who couldn’t follow the rules.

Long story short: I think this is hilarious. And he is my personal hero.

The back story goes that he has been caring for his dying mother. It’s amazing what it takes to throw someone over the edge. But to quit like that? Priceless.

To do your job every day and truly love what you do for years and years is one thing. But then you just get down to it and realize that some people are really just ass holes and don’t deserve your smile and kindness. To Steven Slater, I applaud you.

I’ve only been a nurse for 5 years now. In that time I’ve had some whoppers. I’m the kind of person who will be kind and courteous to those who deserve it, but when I’m listening to the previous nurse’s report and they say the key words of, “needy,” “demanding,” “particular,” I cringe. I have a really, really hard time dealing with people like that.

I’ll give an example:

I had a patient who was clearly used to being taken care of. After she asked me to rearrange her bedside table, one that she was clearly completely able to do herself, for the tenth (I’m not exaggerating) time, I had it. Previous to this, I spent 10 minutes rubbing her feet, washing her hair, and fluffing her pillows. All this without a single please or thank you and full of demanding requests. I had other patients who really needed something and this was getting ridiculous. I took off my name badge and handed it to her.

I said, “What does this say?”

“Um, Licensed Practical Nurse.”

“OK, so where on it does it say slave?”

She looked at me and blinked. That was the end of that. She treated me with a bit more respect after that. I can only imagine what she told my boss.

So I decided that when my time comes to go completely nuts over someone, I plan on grabbing the nearest enema and running away. Just you wait.

(And why an enema you ask? Imagine if I took a controlled substance. I’d have the damn SWAT team knocking down my door, too. I mean, c’mon, the guy grabbed two beers and had helicopters and all of NYC police force banging down his door.)

So in short, this guy is my personal hero. Why is it that just because we do something for a living, we, too, can’t be human? Why do we have to sit and take it and take it, just because we’re in uniform? The second we take it off, we can do as we please and be a complete jagoff, but don’t. Why do people believe that they are better than others? That they can treat another human being with such disrespect and rudeness?

I’m sure Carly could totally weigh in on this subject, as she worked for Staples for 6 years and had to deal with some real winners.

With me, being in a nursing uniform, people just assume that I’m a tank and can take it when they yell and scream and complain. I’ve been punched, kicked, spit on, peed on, yelled at, swore at, told “I’ll f****** kill you if you come in here again,” had items thrown at me, and for what?!? Because the majority of the people I take care of are fantastic people who just need to feel better. I put up with those losers to get to the good ones. But one of these days…

Local headline: “Local nurse flips out on patient, demands an apology and storms off with an enema in each hand.”

Just you wait.

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About Cassie

Two sisters from two misters. What could be more fun?

Posted on August 11, 2010, in Cassie and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. I’ve been following this story too, and just love it. How many of us have imagined our “grand exit”? This dude just became a legend!

    Regarding your nursing trials, I think people just have a need to shit on someone else. But bossing or belittling someone else, they have a chance to feel superior for a short time, to make up for all the times THEY were getting bossed around.

    Now I’m certainly not taking their side… having worked retail for entirely too many years, I have many similar stories. But in your case, perhaps people are confusing their hospital stay with a hotel stay. Or maybe they’re just self-important pricks.

    All I can say is I learned long ago, never to piss off someone that brings you food, or by logical extension, is in charge of your health or physical comfort.

    I know when I went in for my first catheter ablation, I was so nice to the nurses they practically carved a statue in my honor.

    I remember that when the main nurse that was taking care of me came in to tell me her shift was over and had to leave for the night, I thanked her profusely for taking such good care of me and making the whole trying experience so much better.

    She was so moved, she bent down and gave me a huge hug, thanking ME for saying that. I gathered that she didn’t get that very often.

    Anyway… I’ve told you before… you do God’s work. It’s people that take care of others that will be rewarded in any prospective afterlife, not the people that show upin church on Sunday and spend the other 6 days screwing people.

    • Thank you for that. Personally, I feel that people need to feel some sort of control and that’s why they tend to treat nurses, or anyone for that matter, poorly.
      I was a waitress for three years and let me tell you, I think people are really ass holes. I mean, to be able to treat someone like garbage for an hour of their lives. So not cool.

      I told a patient once, “I’m a floor nurse. Kissing ass isn’t my specialty.”

      • The emergency room nurse at Shadyside thanked me for being the most patient, kind patient she’d ever had. I felt so sad for her. I mean, she got me to the bathroom when I asked, brought me the drugs I needed, she was so kind to me. How could I EVER have mistreated her? It wasn’t her fault I was there. She only wanted to help me. People fucking amaze me how stupid they are. I love this flight attendant, too, and he has my full support.

      • I love it when you swear. Gets the blood boiling, eh?

  2. Way to go standing up to that crazy lady! It’s amazing how people will take advantage of you if you let them. Even when you’re just trying to be nice. I really am amazed by people who do public service jobs, like nurses and teachers who put up with a lot of BS to do the jobs that need to be done, and love them despite the crazy people. I applaud you!

  3. I always say, never piss off the nurse with the needle. But yeah, while there are MANY meaningful moments with really great patients, those assholes can nearly ruin a day. It’s hard to not take it personally since I’m not one to lash out at whoever is nearest.
    The worst, I think, is when our coworkers (not just other nurses but anyone who works in the building) are the ones lashing out. I can excuse a patient’s behavior to an extent because (a) most are not there by choice and (b) I don’t want to be there either and I’m getting paid. And the worst of the worst are those patients that are so demanding, mean, etc. and then you find out they were a nurse. Ugh.
    That said, I will be one of those 90 year old women that’s dropping the F bomb left and right. At 90, I think everyone has earned that right. But I solemnly vow that I will not be mean to those taking care of me.
    And yes, I too have had visions of my Quit March. I haven’t decided what to take with me, but it probably won’t be an enema. 😮

  4. This isn’t really related to this post, but I read your blog and a while back read about the Janet Evanovich that you were reading and loved. I picked up the first two before vacation 2 weeks ago and am on the 3rd now. I love it! I am afriad I’ll read the series too fast and get to the end of the series and not have anymore to read! Thanks for the recommendation.

    • Anytime! However, I will warn you, her books start getting pretty terrible around number 13. 8 is my favorite by far. She just came out with 16 and it was the worst by far 😦 I hope her next one isn’t bad!

  5. Apparently a lot of people feel the way you do, I heard that he added 13,000 fans on FaceBook in a matter of hours.

    It makes me sad to hear about the treatment of nurses. When my son was in the hospital, they were the ones who got us through. It’s pretty inconsiderate when people take up the time of the nurses uselessly when there aren’t enough of them to go around.

    Flight attendants are in the unusual situation where they can report people and have them hauled away in handcuffs. It’s too bad that this guy lost it, because it would have been a bigger lesson for them to have been hauled by security, but I can certainly understand that he was pushed to the edge and not thinking clearly.

    • I mean, he did everything I’m sure anyone who hates their job would want to do. I mean, swearing at people over an intercom, making a dramatic exit, stealing?!? Amazing. Simply amazing.

      As my friend Kelly wrote above, most patients are amazing and that’s what makes us remember why we became a nurse in the first place. But it does only take one ass to ruin my whole day.

      Last week, I had an amazingly wonderful patient and her family…they were so wonderful. I just try to remember her and not the jerk down the hall.

  6. I make it a policy to use my nicest manners the lady or gentleman holding the needle. Regardless of whether or not I truly enjoy his or her company, I have a healthy sense of self-preservation.

    All kidding aside, I, for one, appreciate your service both as a member of our military and as a nurse. You guys are the best!

  7. LOL, I’m in the unique position of always holding a needle pointed towards the patient. (love my job, btw) But they still get nasty. And I’m a believer in patient advocacy and was raised on “the customer is always right” which just rolled over to include patients. BUT yeah, it’s crazy how some think they’re in the Hilton and EVERYONE thinks they’re the only ones there.
    Oh and I love when Lynn swears too – dropped the f bomb even!!

  8. The bottom line (no, not the enema) is that manners in this country have practically disappeared. R-E-S-P-E-C-T has vanished. Too many are self-centered ego-maniacs. I so commend you for the painstaking job you do. You worked hard for an education and now you work hard fulfilling your duties. That should not entail taking abuse. The guy in the story just went off the deep-end for probably countless reasons. Maybe if folks had manners and acted with civility, these things wouldn’t happen.

  9. I’m always appalled when customers treat waiters, cashiers, and anyone else on the clock like dirt. They think since they’re paying them they can do or say anything. Screw that.

    What happened to simple human decency?

    The enema you mention scares me!

  10. Problem is, the rest of us don’t have inflatible emergency slides to make our dramatic exits. I think that was the best part. Buh-bye!

    I guess you could go rolling out the emergency room doors surfing on a rolling gurney yelling, “Sweet Jesus!” That could work.

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