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Nurse colleague manipulative narcissistic behaviour at work.(10 Posts)
Hi I would appreciate some advice. This will be long so forgive me. I work with a more senior nurse to me (im a band 6 she is a 7)who is incredibly manipulative . She is an expert, shrewd smart and incredibly underhand. Over the years she has moved from person to person with her behaviour. Basically anyone who doesnt agree with her she starts to focus her special attention on them. Management know about her behaviour but have done nothing. She realised there was some focus on her but her go to protection was that she was the victim.
I have had issues with her also to the point I took time off last year we were to have mediation. I was told I HAD to do it, even though I realised nothing will change her. She got out of it ...i assume she was told she HAD to do it also but think she claimed to be a victim of overwork and at the last minute didn't have to go through mediation.
She likes to be seen as the hardest worker and started to hate me as my numbers were matching or overtaking hers. I used to offer to do patients for her as I thought she was stressed. As she had management responsibilities also.....but she NEVER took up my offer of help. This was the beginning of my insight into how she behaves.
As I said she moves from person to person. Currently it is a colleague (lets call her Fifi) who is the same band as her . Fifi has taken over the management responsibilities from her which has obviously made Fifi a target. Fifi and I know alot of her games and it is only through good communication between us that we can protect ourselves from some of her games. Recently there is more issues. Our senior manager keeps saying 'The next time we will do something' but of course nothing is actively done. I think they are scared of her as she has manipulated the situation to make it look like she didn't get any support and is stressed.
She has gone to our manager and last week said she was going about Fifi and I as we were bullying her. Without boring you with the details this is not the case. Again it is victim mode without any self reflection on her part regarding her own behaviour. Basically I need to know have we got the right to find out the accusations she has made about us and has anyone any tips on how to manage this , as it appears that anything we say or do she immediately accuses us of bullying and harassment. We have continually reported her behaviour and it has also affected others in our office. I think our manager is coming up to retirement and can't be bothered anymore. I can understand their hesitation as she is devious and is on another level when it comes to twisting things. Hence why it will only take a collective action with support from management to do something. Any tips for managing her or the situation would be appreciated. Ta.
No, you don't have a right to be told the details of a confidential meeting between an employee and their manager.
And it's going to be really hard for anyone to give you advice since, despite the length of the post, you haven't said anything! You called her a lot of names - devious, manipulative, shrewd, underhand - but you didn't mention a thing about what she does that is, in your opinion, wrong. What, exactly, have you continually reported?
I had written a detailed reply but my phone died and I lost it all. Thanks for replying Lucy just wanted to know if I could ask what her accusations about me were. Even though I didn't do anything. She exclaimed last week that 'I'm going to our manager about you 2. ' I asked her what for, but didn't get an answer.
Basically she lies. Tells me one thing my colleague another . She has misrepresented what has been said between colleages and in meetings to suit her own agenda. She plays divide and conquer games between colleagues. She doesn't want them to get on so that they don't side against her so she reports things about the other even though they are lies. This has been witnessed by other colleagues who corroborate the lies that she has told.
E.g. I worked late one evening over an hour. The agreement was that if this happened we had to tell our manager as soon as possible so that we didn't just do it Willy nilly to get time back. She was our manager at the time and she was off duty when I had to stay after hours for one hour to sort this patient out, so I told her at the next available opportunity a few days later. I explained the circumstances who the patient was etc. and it was all easily proven. I said I'd stayed over an hour after my official time the previous Thursday. So the following Tuesday first thing I told her . (I was off the Friday and monday) This was the agreed protocol. As i don't trust her at all. I sent her an email with the same info on it. Another colleague came in latrr that morning when I was busy elsewhere. I didn't see my colleague until we all went to a meeting that afternoon. My colleague asked me in the meeting what time owing I wanted . I thought this was odd as she wasn't my manager and it sort of came out of nowhere. I told her what had happened the previous week with my patient and it was only an hour and that I hadn't even thought about when I would take it back but id look at it later to see when i could fit in.
My colleague came to me after the meeting and said that she had been informed that I had come back to work that morning and demanded I get this hour back and in an aggressive tone. Fortunately my colleague knee what this person is like and knew something was up. I then was able to show her the email I had sent and just what I had said and how I had said it.
One day she would complain you were in the office too much and, without exaggeration, the next day say you were leaving all the work to her by not being in the office enough.
She told us once that we would have to work 1 weekend in 2 and no matter how many weekends we worked it would be a basic salary. We knew this was rubbish and proved it to her but she then berated us for having the audacity to go to our rcn rep. This was typical behaviour , inciting anxiety and irritation in her staff.
She bullied myself and colleagues. Sighing rolling eyes or just ignoring you when she was spoken to. I no longer speak to herunless there is someone else in the room. I will if I have to about work but generally wait until someone else is there. I never never never mention anything to do with my personal life in her presence . I was advised by my run rep that I can do this and honestly it has been a bit if a lifesaver as her mind games and manipulations and lies about things she claimed I had said were affecting my mental health.
Hen a colleagues diary was lost unfortunately it was reported found to her . But she didn't tell the owner if the diary. She didn't like the owner of the diary and didn't want to ease her worry, so said nothing. But she was found out. She again lied her way out of this. She claimed someone rang her about a purse, not a diary, she made a name up of a nurse who had phoned her ....this nurse didn't exist. But the nurse who did tell hwr wrote a rwport how she had met her in the lift and told her where it was. We all had to go to a meeting about it . It was fascinating just watching her talk and talk and talk and talk ,seemingly bamboozling our manager into not doing anything!!! As the diary was found in a safe trust building it didn't become a major incident.
We know she cooks the books to make it look like she works the hardest but in fact a lot of her work is phonecalls not home visits. If we make this claim and prove it she will say this is part of us harassing her.
We have a new member of staff, a guy who she mentors, she doesn't tell our manager what he is doing, e.g. he would go to college alternate Wednesdays but he should be at work in the intervening week. But she told him to just stay at home and study not passing this info on . It all came out in the woodwork when another person reported back to the team that he wasn't in college but at home. They then came back and said he was actually going on placements. When he was asked for reports of where his placements, she claimed he was being bullied. This is her go to theme in all instances. He is has to share the blame in this, but this is definitely her manipulating him and the situation. She will literally do anything to cause friction within the team.
It seems we can't win. If we actively try to disprove her ...we are bullying her.
I have gotten to the point that everything she says now I think...this is what you are saying now...what is the agenda for you here. I'm usually right in my deductions.
The list is long and varied of her activities. I could honestly write a book on the games she has played between staff.
I know of 8 people in our team who have gone to our various managers over the years complaining about her bullying behaviour. She has had stand up rows with at least 4 of these.
I want to challenge her lies but worry that she will say I am bullying and harassing her. Management won't do it and she gets away with it all. We end up feeling like fools as we cant apparently say or do anything. We have reported all of these these lies and more (often corroborated by colleagues in and out of the team) her manipulation of data , her divide and conquer games, telling colleagues she is now a band 6 and to redirect everything to my colleague...she is still a band 7.
This is literally only the surface of what it is like on a daily basis in our office.
She sounds like a bloody nightmare. No good advice except stand your ground. Truth and kindness will conquer xx
I think the problem you have here is that this is pretty much "he said, she said". What you call a lie is someone else's misunderstanding. What you call avoiding speaking to her is someone else's bullying. In order to take any action of the type that you clearly want, the employer needs unequivocal evidence that she has done something wrong, and they clearly don't have that. Regardless of what you think, the fact is that a while load of you saying the same things isn't evidence that you aren't bullying her, or that she's doing something wrong - it could just as easily be evidence that are are all bullying her.
The employer must keep a weather eye to the law and internal policies - if they impose a sanction on her that they cannot evidencecv then they can end up in trouble. So I'm not surprised that the manager would rather not deal with this. To be honest, I know exactly what managers in many similar situations would do - sanction all of you! The easiest way to cut to the chase is to redeploy everyone involved. Split you all up. That way they are being seen to be treating all complaints on an equal basis, and managing the situation. Then, if further complaints come in, they can see who is the focus of the trouble again.
I'll be honest - if you want an end to this, the best advice would be to get another job. Ask to be redeployed. And say why. Don't make demands on the employer to deal with her if they aren't going to. That will just lead to even more frustration for you. It may not be "right" or "fair", but life often isn't, and I don't honestly see there being an easy solve to this. And if she's as good as you say, it might just be you that ends up on the receiving end of a disciplinary.
Start emailing her to clarify conversations, confirm when you left the ward, confirm meetings etc.
Keep all your emails as proof.
Keep a detailed log of what's happened - dates, times and witnesses.
I also work in the NHS alongside someone exactly the same as this, only we are both band 7s. It is a complete nightmare. She knows better than to try it with me - I call her out regularly but politely & she knows I am well regarded by our senior nurse.
If junior staff complain to me, I encourage them to write a statement- it is the only thing that HR will take seriously. More often than not they never actually commit to writing the incident down, which is utterly frustrating.
So I understand. Document everything you possibly can.
Thanks to everyone for your replies .
This situation has been going on since about 2005/6. I worked else where for about 4 years from 2010, and while I was aware of issues before I left I wasn't a specific target, and any time she was funny with me I usually nicely said is there a problem with me either something I'm doing or not doing because I would prefer to know. I was learning the job at the time and I suppose I just felt it was me not being effective in some way and she wasnt going to be open about it in case i saw it as being confrontational or something like that. At the time it was mainly just the 2 of us as nurses. But 2 of her targets were people from other disciplines which made it difficult to elicit their stories at the time. Alot of what happened i have only heard fully over the last few years.
When I returned she was effusive about me which made me feel very uncomfortable, she had never been like this, even on a good day ! I started to realise that this was her tactics undertaking a divide and conquer game as she set upon my colleague and I at different times. She didnt want us siding against her so she was very vocal about my colleagues 'behaviour' and vice versa, manipulating and misrepresenting events to create division. She also had issues with the person who was in my job while I was away and i had a daily diatribe about his 'appaling behaviour' on my return. She eventually turned on me as I did not agree with her on everything.
3 people reported her before I went away and myself and 2 other people have reported her since my return with issues in the intervening years. A clerical person has also opted not to work for our team due to her behaviour toward her.
I have personally provided a lengthy report on her behaviour toward me. A nurse dietician and podiatrist have had meetings with our original manager about her 'bullying and harassing behaviour. '
Lucy001 I appreciate your honesty in how this is seen from a manager's perspective. It has been very frustrating from our perspective that nothing has ever been done to take her in hand. In saying this I realised that it would take alot more than one person to do so. She is entirely ruthless and I honestly believe she would say anything no matter how untrue to camouflage her behaviour. Positions in our speciality where we live are fairly limited so even redeployment would be difficult.
Plus3 would you mind giving me some general tips on how you politely and firmly call out your problem person. I appreciate specifics and names may not be appropriate but for my own sanity i need to be able to handle this as appropriately as i can without making matters worse for myself. I do document things at times but in truth it is almost a daily event and when busy it is easy just to not write it down as you know nothing will change. 😣 It is exhausting trying to second guess someone every day. So any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks for listening 😊
This person has now formalised her complaint. Seemingly 4 pages of complaints from may +June and identifying one particular incident from 2 weeks ago. We have been told from management it is going to investigation. Is there any benefit in us collectively or individually registering a counter claim about her behaviour even though it is going to investigation? I really feel that management, who all have privately stated to myself and my colleague that she has issues (some who have worked with her historically) . One manager in particular was on the brink of formalising a complaint about her behaviour but unfortunately she was promoted and it never came to fruition . It had got to the point she was asking us informally to speak up if she put in a complaint.
Any thoughts/ suggestions would be great.
...MISSED BIT... historically ) haven't supported us sufficiently and haven't demonstrated any duty of care to us despite recurrent reports about her behaviour.