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Help me out guys , brooding about an incident earlier this week. Was iBU ?

(86 Posts)
2beesornot2beesthatisthehoney Thu 27-Apr-17 08:57:46

So a colleague of mine is quite ill in hospital, and now unable to communicate but otherwise up and about. He has hardly any family and none nearby so has few visitors. This is very relevant.
Not being able to communicate can make a stay in hospital very boring, frustrating and long. Believe me.
So I decided to give him a present of a spare disabled iPhone I had which still has music and audio books on to help pass the time.He is not technology minded and I knew he didn't have one. Other colleagues were really not keen on me doing this although what the fuck it has to do with them anyhow I have no idea and tried to persuade me not to. He wouldn't want it ; he wouldn't want to be responsible for it ( it was a gift!) As we weren't sure if he reallly wanted visitors and they were visiting him that day , originally they said they would do this for me . I wasn't that keen to be honest as I didn't think they would even offer it to him ( given their previous comments) and so I decided the best thing to do was drop if off at the ward reception with a letter. When I arrived later that day I actually met him but he seemed pleased to see me ( we have known each other quite a long time which is probably relevant) I gave him the iPhone explained what was on it. No idea if he will use it but seemed interested and was obviously touched by the thought. I came away thinking I had done the right thing . and that my colleagues were over-protectionist misguded wankers I also found out he wasn't able to read as he didn't have his glasses, and reported this the next day, as I thought there might be a pair of his at the office. He had told them that afternoon before he didn't want any office visitors . I did not know this before going. Strange as he was very happy to see me and even then I checked several times if he didn't just want me to go there and then having handed him the present. I stayed about 1/4 of an hour then left.
Colleagues are furious with me and don't appear to be talking to me! They don't seem keen to see if we can help with glasses so he will be another week or so before that could be sorted if it even is. So I am just carrying on, ignoring the fact that they appear to be ignoring me and talking regardless. WWYD? DH says if I feel like going in again , although not sure I will , I should just go and not say anything to them . Was I right to deliver the present anyway. Are they BU ignoring me?
Thanks for reading.

2beesornot2beesthatisthehoney Thu 27-Apr-17 09:00:46

He is unable to talk or write so when asked about visitors I have no idea how he communicated he didn't want to see anyone or just her and I wouldn't blame him for that anyway probably relevant here .

devuskums Thu 27-Apr-17 09:02:15

Could you post his glasses to him recorded delivery or drop them off with a little note saying it was lovely to see him and if he wants you to go again to get in touch?

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Thu 27-Apr-17 09:04:42

I'm surprised that anyone would visit a colleague in hospital unless the patient asked specifically.

Perhaps by telling them about the phone they thought you were virtue signalling,or that it put pressure of them to give him a similar value gift? It seemed odd that they are all being arsey just for no reason though.

Anyway it's done now so try not to worry. It was a nice gesture and I'm sure he's grateful

2beesornot2beesthatisthehoney Thu 27-Apr-17 09:06:21

Can't get hold of the glasses unless I involve colleagues but yes could send a card , he now has my contact details as well if he can get a nurse to get in touch.

Kokusai Thu 27-Apr-17 09:10:26

I'm surprised that anyone would visit a colleague in hospital unless the patient asked specifically.

I've worked with cone colleagues for 10 years. I talk with some of them more than I speak to my friends/partner! I don't think it is odd to visit a work college in hospital if you know them! Especially if you know they haven't got many other people in their lives, it's being kind and community focused.

gamerwidow Thu 27-Apr-17 09:14:22

For a lot of people their work colleagues are the only people they see. Not everyone has a network of friends and family sadly. There are some colleagues I would visit in hospital because they would have no one otherwise.

MimiSunshine Thu 27-Apr-17 09:14:27

Just ignore them, but dont visit again as he has said he doesn't want visitors.

If anyone outright ignores you call them out on it and ask what their problem is, if they mention you going to the hospital then don't justify your actions just ask them what it has to do with them?

Gazelda Thu 27-Apr-17 09:15:02

I'd take guidance from your colleague's line manager TBH. He/she would know the most about the situation, and should be the one taking the lead. Speak to them in confidence and let them know you've visited, left the iPhone and wondered whether you should try to track down his glasses. Ignore your arsey colleagues, there's obviously a competition to be 'chief concerned person' and you've inadvertently put their noses out of joint! You know in your heart that you did a caring thing, don't get involved in their colleague politics.

Pinktails Thu 27-Apr-17 09:15:19

I think it was very thoughtful of you to give him the phone.
Ignore those who think they have rights to speak for him -
it looks like office politics are on speed for first dibs for
compassion supervisor.
And def drop the spectacles off or post them like pp suggests.
Carry on OP, from an outsiders view I can't see anything
wrong with what you've done/doing.

Crumbs1 Thu 27-Apr-17 09:15:34

I'd be furious if work people turned up unannounced when I was in hospital. I only ever allow my husband and children to visit.
Your intent was kind and I'm sure forgiven but what was he meant to do? Shout go away - even if he can't speak? It was intrusive and his closer friends might well be cross but it will blow over.

Kokusai Thu 27-Apr-17 09:18:21

I'd take guidance from your colleague's line manager TBH. He/she would know the most about the situation, and should be the one taking the lead

Line manager isn't always going to know what's best.

I wiuks communicate with my line manager re sick leave.

I would text my colleagues in friendly with with info like "nah I'm dealing terrible, not up to visitors" or "yup really bored stuck in here, would love a visit"

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Thu 27-Apr-17 09:18:26

Kokusai Oh so do I but I wouldn't visit them unless asked in case they thought I was being nosy or intrusive. (I know people who do things like that purely because they are nosy confused)

If he doesn't want visitors then perhaps leave his glasses for now.

Also am I missing something? You say he can't talk or write, how did he communicate to you that he was happy for you to stay for a little while? Could he have been trying to be polite?

Corneliusmurphy Thu 27-Apr-17 09:24:41

I think there's always people in these situations who like to 'own' the person who's off sick or just had a baby or whatever and set themselves up as the 'official spokesperson' or representatives.

You've circumnavigated them, and being a group there's no doubt plenty of outrage to go round. It may be nothing to do with your unwell colleague's actual wishes and he may prefer them not to visit.

We had an office person like this was amazing how much work she could avoid doing in the name of someone else's tragedy. She absolutely relished it and in most cases had no interest in the person until there was a drama. Her I would not want to see someone kind bearing my glasses on the other hand...

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Thu 27-Apr-17 09:26:58

Tbf they may think OP is going for 'chief concerned person' - an iPhone is an expensive gift to announce you are taking to a colleague

Not saying they are right but this is a good reason not to get involved with things like hospital visiting unless requested - you risk looking like you are virtue signalling, even when you stents

Applebite Thu 27-Apr-17 09:27:34

Crumbs - well, good for you, but also lucky you, with your husband and kids.

Not everyone has that sort of family, you know! Some people are v isolated, sadly.

2beesornot2beesthatisthehoney Thu 27-Apr-17 09:27:41

Line manager is one being arsey!
I knew he wanted me to stay because of his gestures, not just being polite. He was laughing and smiling and communicating that way. I think I would have quickly known if he didn't want me to be there.

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Thu 27-Apr-17 09:27:44


BillSykesDog Thu 27-Apr-17 09:29:34

I think you've really overstepped the mark here. Your colleagues that seem to know him better tried to gently let you know that your attention wasn't welcome. It clearly wasn't if he had let the hospital know. He may well have cards to communicate. He seems to have communicated a lot to you so I can't see why he wouldn't have been able to communicate with the nurses. He may well have friends or hospital volunteers helping him. Him being pleased to see you was probably politeness. Are you going to put him in a position where he has to actively be rude to get rid of you? Was 'no glasses' a gentle way of trying to turn down the gift?

He is in a very vulnerable position in hospital and probably doesn't want colleagues seeing him like that. If he had told the hospital no visitors then your colleagues were right, I'm not surprised they are angry with you for putting a sick colleague in an awkward position despite being advised it wasn't a good idea.

I appreciate you were trying to be kind, but it's clearly not welcome. Leave well alone from now on. If I was in his position and you had been advised by colleagues not to go and then told by the hospital you weren't welcome and you turned up again I would be furious. At best you would be thrown out of the hospital. At worst (and this is what I would do) a formal complaint could be put in against you at work.

IfNotDuffers Thu 27-Apr-17 09:31:22

Sometimes "I don't have my glasses" is code for "I have trouble reading". Are you sure this isn't the case? I've come across this on occasion, and people are very embarrassed and go to great lengths not to let anyone find out they struggle with literacy. Could your colleagues be protecting him?

DancingLedge Thu 27-Apr-17 09:32:05

Regardless of anything else, please do something about his glasses.

Without my glasses , certain activities are cut off to me. I would be devastated and frustrated to be in hospital without them.
Getting them to him could be really helpful. You don't have to necessarily see him to do that.

Chavelita Thu 27-Apr-17 09:32:58

Honestly, OP, it's hard to know, from what you say. Is there a possibility, as they were visiting him him (presumably by invitation?) that they know him far better than you do, and there's something else going on you're not aware of? Or it may, as others have said, be a fight about who 'owns' the ill person. It seems like a straightforwardly kind thought to have given him the iPhone, and you obviously didn't intend to visit him when you were dropping it off, but perhaps he felt a bit ambushed, especially if he couldn't speak?

Chavelita Thu 27-Apr-17 09:34:12

Sometimes "I don't have my glasses" is code for "I have trouble reading".

That occurred to me too -- I grew up with parents were struggled with reading and writing, and it was a frequent 'public' excuse. But the OP says her iPhone has audio books...?

BillSykesDog Thu 27-Apr-17 09:34:49

I can't believe some posters are encouraging the OP to carry on going despite being asked by the hospital not to on his request.

Chavelita Thu 27-Apr-17 09:34:52

Sorry -- parents WHO struggled.

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