Quit for Good Cause- Verbal Harrassment

by V.
(NJ)

I live in New Jersey and working in a hospital working for the FInance Dept. I was there for 2.5 yrs and worked my self up to the senior lead of my department. The hospital then decided to eliminate my entire department and gave us 60 days to find work within the hospital or we would be laid off.


I fervently looked for work within the hospital and was hired as a Medical Secretary for this particular outpatient department.

I worked with little supervision because my boss worked in a different building and would stop by from time to time. His clinical background does not allow him the knowledge to grasp the in's and out's of the particular specialty I was working in. And he admits to it all the time and states that this department was given to him to lead without a choice from hospital administration.

Point being is he is unaware of the time and work needed to efficiently run this office. So I run an office of 4 clinical practitioners whom treat patient's and I am the only one answering the numerous call's that come in from patient's, doctor's office's, state department's, and unit's within the hospital.

I coordinate all schedules and work with department;s within the hospital if certain procedures need to be collaboratively done with a physician and so forth. I handle the faxing, charting and filing of all report's, as well as the registration process. I am a 1 woman office.

All the while my boss has made comment's to coworker's of mine that he did not feel that I did enough and did not see the need for 2 secretaries (the other one is his secretary.) At 1 point he held a meeting with a practitioner and that practitioner pulled me and the other secretary whom has since then left and stated in a discrete manner that "the boss" is questioning the amount of work we have and that she believes it's a good idea if we start jotting things down.

I communicated with the other secretary and we decided to do a productivity for a week detailing our responsibilities and at the end of that week we sent it to him. He then questioned it and told me, "This means nothing to me and the time spent doing this, could have been spent on something else." He then denied ever telling the other practitioner his concerns.

At one point during my employment he came into my office to speak about the amount of work I have and that he does not believe it to be enough and then told me that he will "see how this goes and then my job would be reevaluated." I immediately called my HR recruiter and told her of the situation and she stated, "well you can look at the job posting but it's tough I suggest you sit tight."

We had a press agecy survey done on the hospital and our department received very low satisfaction scores. The direction of the survey concentrated on the clinical treatment rather the clerical content, however he began a campaign telling my department as well as other departments that don't pertain to us of the situation and how if there is no improvement that individual-me, would be removed. Yet to that point he had not received any patient or coworker complaint's about me.

We held biweekly staff meetings that consisted of an attack against me for minor things such as..- since the other secretary left I had to do his scheduling which I am not used to. I put something on his schedule that had nothing going on before it, but then after that was on the schedule he put something on there before it that would then conflict with I had put on there. He then made it a huge deal, as to how I could put something on the schedule if you see that there is something on there...etc Coworker's would say to me that they were really coming at you in that meeting. It was embarrassing and condescending at how I was verbally attacked in every meeting.

I work with a social worker whom would be in my office many time's discussing scheduling for her patients. My boss would walk by and often see her in my office...he then pulled her aside one day and stated to her, "What could a social worker have so much to talk to a secretary about?"

The secretary that I mentioned previously that has since left because of the chaos- we would frequently talk and she would help me with various things. We worked in sync to efficiently run his department's. He would walk in and see her on the phone with me many times and then stated to her that he did not want her
talking to me anymore. From then whenever he would walk into a room and she was on the phone with me she would hang up.

He made the working relationship with my coworkers and my presence at that job uncomfortable and they felt uncomfortable talking to me.

I have made complaint's to him about how I felt about his treatment and what he did one day in front of this secretary and a clinical practitioner was condescendingly say, "You know there's people in Italy that hire people that would cry at funeral's and that I would be perfect for that."

One day I had terrible gastritis and I made attempts to locate him in his office and called his cell phone and could not get a hold of him and did not want to leave the building without speaking to him for fear that he would then lash out at me for leaving without verbally speaking with someone. I then called my supervisor and advised her of the situation and she advised me she would speak to my boss, and I then left. He then claimed in a documentation of counseling to Human Resources that I left the building without speaking to anyone.

In that documentation of counseling he is also claiming that during my move to the building he is now in that I threw out a scheduling book that is vital to one of the department's I am no longer responsible for and that it was found in the trash. I communicated with the guys that were moving everything and advised them of what needed to be moved, everything else made it except that and I was wrongly accused of it. It's defamation.

He is also in that documentation of counseling stated that a patient had made a complaint about me and that she was outraged by my rudeness. I am sure that this may have been a patient that I was more than likely short with on the phone- meaning rushing them through- however I was never outright rude to any patient and he has fabricated this to seem larger. And if I was short it is due to the enormous pressure felt and the constant feeling of being under a microscope because he is scrutinizing every move I make. I have been at this department since December 2009 and if I were a cause of constant rudeness and misbehavior the hospital would have receive those complaints directed at me when they call these patient's regarding their satisfaction with their treatment during their visit. On the contrary, my boss received an email from a patient stating that I have always gone out of my way to help and that I really stand out to him, because he is aware that he is a difficult patient.

This documentation then goes on in emotional terms stating that I am "rude" and "ignore staff presence in a room"....etc Yet, I did not have these problems when I worked in the prior building or in any other job such as the finance department where I worked my way up.

During the move which he instructed me the day of that we were moving and did not give me notice or tell me to what office I was going or what I needed to bring. He just told me to pack and put the older chart's in boxed because they were going to the attic at that building and the rest were to be filed for easy access at the new building. I then commenced to put the old charts in boxes in the same manner they were up on the shelves. They were in alpha order just not perfect alpha order. My rationale was that these were going to go to storage and if so they needed to be cataloged and then sticker's needed to be put on them so that they could then be sent for storage and be able to be retrieved at a later time. Since that had not be done I put them in the boxes in not perfect order. My boss then came and begun screaming at "how could a secretary put these charts in boxes like that." He was literally yelling and being demeaning, condescending. All the offices along that hallway heard him and he did not give me a chance to say a word.

I did not counter his documentation of counseling at the point because I had a job prospect that I was waiting to her back from within the hospital that I was sure I was going to get. At the suggestion of HR, she told me to hold tight until a decision was made. Well, since he did his documentation of counseling I am not allowed to transfer for 6 mos and lost that job.




Cont'd with a comment

Comments for Quit for Good Cause- Verbal Harrassment

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Mar 10, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Ooops, my story is under DS v. Goliath
by: DS

Dear Chris,

Thanks for calling my story inspiring (I love that word!) The story of hope helps me though as I am still looking for a job since June 2010. I keep believing though. The story of companies not hiring unemployed people is scary. Thanks for the info. Talk to you later.

DS



Mar 10, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Hopefully this will be some encouragement!
by: April

Chris is absolutely right, you have escalated the matter and done the right thing, since you have been doing the best job to your ability, you need to go back to work until you can be transferred and hold your head up high with confidence and realize that there are abusive people out there and that there is nothing that you can do to keep someone from not liking you. Keep documenting and building your case, you will weather this storm much better in the end if you document, document, document! Obviously you have not been terminated yet, so some of your credibility is standing up to what this person is doing to you. I have had similar issues be brought to me by my friends recently and it comes down to the simple fact that there are mean people in this world, give them a little power and they abuse it! You sound like an intelligent woman, don't let someone get the best of you because of their position! Take back the power from them and not allow them to control your destiny! Trust me you don't want to be unemployed in this economy if you don't have to! It Sucks!

Mar 10, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
I got unemployment after quitting
by: DS

Dear V.

First of all I am so sorry for what you are going through. I know all to well the extreme pain and anguish of being in a hellish abusive job. To me, it sounds like you have all the facts worked out and you are just trying to convince yourself that quitting is the right thing to do. Nobody can make that decision but you. I do however suggest that you make a plan. In my case I knew that I had to quit my job. Before I did though, I made a plan. I knew what day I was going to quit, how much money I had in the bank, where I was going to move to and thought about alternate resources if I did not recieve unemployment. I knew that I had many sacrifices ahead of me for doing what I knew was the best interest of my own health and well being. Before you make any decisions please ask yourself some questions. You stated in your email that you have a hope of being transferred. Can you last till then? Also, are you prepared to tell the unemployment investigator how you quitting was your bosses fault? Unfortunatley your boss being a jerk is simply not enough. You have to prove that any reasonable person in your position would have quit too. In my case, my boss was a jerk but, he also witheld from me all the resources that every other employee had. In addition they disregarded my safety. I have proof of all these things but still I was denied unemployment on my initial claim. I had to get an employment lawyer from legal aid and fight for my benefits and it took 4 months! If you want to read my story you can look up "I won my unemployment appeal after quitting" on this website. It will give you a good idea of what is involved in receiving unemployment if you quit. I am not saying its impossible, I am just saying it takes alot of work and documentation like Chris says. If there is anyway you can stay there until you transfer or if you get fired its better. Again though I know what it feels like to be so overwhelmed with abuse that you feel like there is no where else to go and nothing you can do. Use your days off to make a plan. May God bless you as I have been blessed.

DS


Read DS's very inspiring Story of Hope

Mar 09, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
You're asking me for permission to quit your job!!
by: Chris - Unemployment-tips

You're asking me for permission to quit your job!!

I cannot give that to you. When you filed the grievance .. you did what I would do .. escalate the matter.

Go back to work, do your job to the best of your ability and document until the cows come home .. Or, if you have some vacation time .. try to arrange for some time off.

While you are on approved time offv .. find yourself an employment attorney.

To help you maneuver your way through this mouse maze.

And for goodness sake .. quit breaking down. Instead, choose to stand up for yourself with an air of confidence .. that you are right in this situation.

Mar 09, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Continued story
by: V.

At this point I had reached my breaking point because it was evident no matter what I did he was going to find fault in it and even though he knew the truth he was going to continue to fabricate stories and make big deals out of minor situations. I went to my doctor and he put me out for 2 weeks. I submitted a grievance counter documenting everything he was stating in the documentation of counseling and I also asked for help in transferring out of that department. I am in fear of having to go back to that dept...I did nothing but cry for days, because of the unfairness and unjustified bullying and everyday it was depressing to have to go back there. The only response that I have received from Human Resources is that they will allow me to transfer but that I am expected to fulfill the expectations of my current job until I secure a position elsewhere. As to whether the documentation has been removed, HR has stated that it is still with the department head and once she hears back from them she will mail me the decision.

I am in fear of going back and having another breakdown. I do everything at this job and his issues with me are not work related so he is looking for alternative reasons to fire me. Everyone tells me that they don't understand how I am putting up with this abuse. I want to quit but fear how I will be able to collect unemployment.

Mar 09, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
I want to quit to avoid verbal harassment
by: V

Days after this there is the front desk that is to call me when a patient arrives so that I can get the chart ready for the practioner. Well I realized at 10:40 that they had not called me about the 10 AM patient...and saw in the system once I refreshed it that they had checked in the patient. I spoke to the practioner and she advised me to remind them to call us when they receive a patient. I went up to the girls and said, "Hi...I didn't get a call about the 10 AM...can you please just give me a call when my patient comes....thanks." I said it gently and without an accusation.My boss then call's me into his office with the new secretary hired for him and begins to tell me about the situation and they supposedly stated that I had come to them with attitude and that there is a thread of this happening and that he believed we had spoke about this. I am sure that this is blown out of proportion and he is setting the stage for me. This other secretary had no business being there, it did not pertain to her,but he put her there for "HR reasons" according to him. I then said I would speak to him in private and she left and I told him that I did not appreciate having a coworker of mine sitting in in a conversation where you are telling me your issues with me, It makes it a very uncomfortable work environment. He then stated "imagine how that person feels having to sit there...etc" This I believe was irrevelant and he is just trying to make me a point to everyone of the power he has. He then sent an email asking me to introduce myself to these ladies in the coming days, because he felt that that would then help the situation. I did just that. On friday and Mon I intro'd myslelf to the only secretary that was there and she stated that the other's come when the line gets long. I gave her a cheat sheet of where to call me and what I need and put some on the other secretary's desk, after she said it was ok to do. Tuesday morning no one was there so I took my patient's to the back and registered them. I then discovered that that particular secretary was out on leave. At 9 AM I intro'd myself to the other's and then again at 1PM and did so the following day.
He then had my supervisor pull me aside and ask me why I had not spoken to the secretary's and that he had made it more than clear what I wanted. I told her that I had spoken to more than 6 secretaries. She then asked one of the supervisor's for the secretaries and I ended up walking into that conversation while their supervisor was saying "I guess, they didn't ask everybody."

He then called me into a meeting where he's bullying me and stating why I thought that out of 12 secretaries that were asked none of them would say that they were spoken to by you. And condescenidingly continued to ask the same question, even though I gave him the facts.

Con't on next comment


Click here to add your own comments

Return to Unemployment Benefits Questions.

} }