Inheriting a work disaster

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So my supervisor decided to retire early. She was supposed to hang her hat in January, but spoke with her financial advisor and he said it was ok to do it now...effective July 1st.

We have become friends and talk almost every day after work, to complain about work LOL. It usually starts with a text from one of us to the other "so get this..." Then we go back and forth a few times until one of us gets tired of texting and finally just calls the other.

Now that she is retiring (EARLY), I am transitioning to supervisor. Don't congratulate me yet. As it is getting closer, I am starting to realize what a total disaster this is going to be. My director is thrilled to have the position filled right away to make it "seamless", but that also means we are losing a tech, so that is going to stress out a department that was short staffed to begin with. Also, one of our coworkers is going on FMLA for baby leave...so there's two.

We have one traveler tech, that finally said yes to renewing her contract. We have a traveler coming next week that needs training. So this is going to relieve some of it, but they came with weird set hours that really does not fit with our schedule, without moving our full timers around, which makes them mad.

We have two "borrowed" techs from a sister hospital (its corporate), that are being called back home...effective July 1st. Going to be short now 4 techs. I don't know what to do about scheduling. It is a medium-sized hospital (about 400 beds). Level 1 trauma and comprehensive stroke hospital.

The other day I texted a guy asking if he doesn't mind if I schedule him for some overtime on July 8th. He responded "I already scheduled my vacation that week". WHAT??? Are you kidding me? The way it worked with scheduling time off is that my supervisor had a calendar hung up in her office and people just wrote their names on the calendar or texted her their request. I can't work that way. I have been a supervisor before. So when she announced her retirement, and when I knew that I was going to take her place, I hung up a "time off request form"...that the REST of the radiology department uses, and told everybody that they needed to fill it out to get time off confirmed. It also has a spot the approve or not approve. THAT is the way it is supposed to work.

I had work tonight and I got a security guard to open her office where the calendar is located, and this person put his name for one week off for every month over the summer, two weeks for August. I took the calendar down. I already made it clear that that was not how it was going to work anymore. I already have my own system and I told them that. Using the form is not something I made up...this is our departments official form and my boss never enforced it. Now I have to deal with somebody already putting all kinds of time off on the calendar. UGH.

The thing is, I'm not officially supervisor until July 3rd (the start of the new pay period after she leaves). It was a sneaky thing for him to do...just drew lines all over the place for weeks off at a time. And he's the one who complains that he never gets to take time off, but when you look at this calendar, he is the ONLY one who gets it. You know how many times my name is on this calendar? TWO. And they weren't whole weeks at a time because I know the staffing situation. I would just simply tell her to schedule me a few days to decompress (after working sometimes 13 days straight). He doesn't work crazy hours like that. He is our "grumpy old man"...been there for 30 years, but not quite ready to retire.

Only being 6 months into the year, he has already had two/two week times off. One for his surgery, and one because his wife had knee surgery. When he came back from the wife's surgery, he was back for 3 days and was back out for his already scheduled time off.

I'm gonna ask tomorrow, but I don't know if I am allowed to say no at this point, when that's the way my supervisor did it all the time. This shouldn't be approved vacation time, especially since I already said that we need to use forms. BUT I'm not supervisor yet... Right now I am interim/in training for the last two weeks. But then again, we also always followed the unspoken rule that everybody gets to pick a week during the summer according to seniority, THEN you get to go back and pick for more time after everybody has gotten their week. When I asked my supervisor what I am supposed to do about this, she tells me it's my call because it is after she leaves.

I might need to invoke my director to say that no time off until staffing improves. I hate to do that, especially in the summer. And I don't want to make my mark on my first day. AND we are a pretty stressed out department already. I have stared at the schedule a hundred times trying to figure out how to give it to him and I am drawing a blank. I have tried working in 10-hour shifts, 12-hour shifts (we do 8's). We simply do not have the staff to cover his shift no matter what creative scheduling I come up with.
 
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Ok, I figured out this first week off for him so as to not piss him off right off the bat. it also means that I will be working 6 days straight with 12 hour over night shifts 11p-11a including the holiday that I already signed up for earlier in the year. Then I have a guy working a couple 12's for part of the week opposite of me. He doesn't know it yet, but I think he will be ok with it. After this I am setting rules. The way I worked it at my other hospital was great and ppl knew when they could put in time off slips because I blocked it off with a red marker. Nobody got mad, and I rarely had to deny anybody because if it was blocked off, then they knew not to request time off to begin with, therefore I didn't have to make anybody mad lol. Special occasions excluded, like getting married or something of course.

I also like to have autonomy of my own department, so I really really don't want to get the director involved. So the old man gets this one, then I will have a meeting after it is official to let everybody know how it works now.
 

earlene

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He sounds like a problem employee. As a former supervisor, you probably know this, but by scheduling yourself to work all those extra hours to cover for him, will not only do put you in a position where he assumes he can walk all over you to get what he wants, it may also put you in the same light to your other employees. Not a good place to be.

I do understand the desire for a cohesive department, but it really doesn't look like he cares about a cohesive dept, that all he cares about is what he wants, regardless of how that impacts anyone else in the department. I suspect you will probably be losing him soon anyway, no matter how fair you try to make it seem. He does not sound like a reasonable person. Perhaps he has excuses for this obvious selfishness. Maybe he resents not being offered the position. But whatever made him this way is not your responsibility. Your responsibilities are to run the department as efficiently as you can within the parameters laid out by your organization, which includes the department and all of your employees. You report to your superiors, not to your employees. You know this, too: Relationships change when you go from co-worker in the same rank to supervisor when you are no longer a peer, but are now a boss. I had to make that transition in my career a few times. The first time was an adjustment, and it sounds like you probably made that adjustment at least once already. Keep that in mind.

Good luck to you, Kim and I hope you have allies in the other supervisors in the organization. You will need them, if not for anything else than to have someone in the same supervisory bracket to talk to (as well as your superiors); forge those relationships if you have not already. You're going to need them at some point in your new role.
 
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While I was not in a supervisory position I watched my husband as the youngest manager in a large fortune 500 company over 600 employees. Also, my dad and uncle were managers and directors in the same company. My husband was promoted when my dad passed and his brother was in one of the departments my husband was over. Once my husband had to deny his vacation and my SIL called me yelling at me, my husband was not his brother at work but his boss as I told her. My BIL was never the type that could even make a foreman he was too meek. Some are cut out for the job some are not.

When you enter management-type positions you simply cannot be their friends you are their boss as Earlene mentions above. The same applied when we had our manufacturing company, I could not be friends with the office staff we were the owners. You have to follow hospital policy, not employee wants, and implement them. Will it make some mad, of course, especially the employee that is used to getting his way, but it will also gain the respect of employees that appreciate a good leader. I know my husband would agree with Earlene about your scheduling yourself to work all the hours to cover him. It would be a Big No...
 
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Earlene and Carolyn made good points. I will add that, if you really really feel like you must give him a free pass this time, you must have the come-to-Jesus talk with him.

Tell him you are giving him ONE pass ONE time so he can have this ONE week. And you are only doing that because there was "confusion" during the changeover. But now there is no more confusion because you've told him the rules. Any further attempts to go around the system will be ignored.
 

justjacqui

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Oh this sounds awful! Was there ever a plan to replace the 2 staff that you are losing on July 1st from the sister hospital? It seems strange that nothing had been done about this especially if your supervisor was originally going to stay on until January? How was she going to cover the shortfall?

I hope you can sort out the scheduling issues without working yourself to death.

How can someone take so much time off? My understanding of the US is that you only get a couple of weeks at most of vacation time per year. Is he just taking leave without pay or is he only paid when he works?

Instead of congratulations I will send you best wishes.
 
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@earlene he isn't going anywhere any time soon. He has been there this long and knows nothing else. Last year for holidays...we all take one minor, one major, and a midshift. He took ONE holiday claiming seniority, and I had to have a talk with him about it. I'm like, you need to take three. He tried invoking the union. "Ok, so we all agreed on this because per the union, we have to take two holidays and be on 24 hour call on another day, for what is now the midshift, now we just work the midshift and get paid overtime for it, instead of sitting at home getting paid $3/hr to be on call, wondering when you are going to get called in, if at all." "OH! OK" So he made a big fuss over it for nothing, when our department agreed on it to begin with. We all talked about it and agreed on it a few years ago. Nobody just said here, take an extra shift. WE all talked about it, because it sucks to be on call. Its a win-win.

And he isn't worried that he wasn't offered the job. It was out there for the taking as per the union rules. He knew he wasn't qualified. He likes his midnight shifts. He doesn't even know what a coronal brain is supposed to look like LOL. 30 years.... And when you tell him he says it is "a new thing" or "nobody told him" what a coronal brain is supposed to look like. LOL. I mean come on dude, you should be teaching this stuff. Anatomy hasn't changed.

We think he got covid fog from 2 years ago. He used to be great and I used to say that I wished that I could clone him.

I walked through trauma to go to my car last night and one of the trauma nurses made a remark that poor "him" doesn't ever get time off. I had the calendar rolled up in my arm (cause I just pulled it down last night). I unrolled it. Nurse was like holy ****, he has like the whole year off. I'm just like "I don't know whats up with him lately".

And yeah @AliOop , this is a one time deal, unless he asks for a favor in the future. All of us have always covered each other. He just doesn't care anymore and thinks he is entitled to something.

I go in every morning and have to listen to a half-hour dissertation on how bad the world sucks and nobody cares or wants to work any more...even after he just took a big chunk of time off that we all had to cover. I really think it is covid fog. It is EVERY.SINGLE.MORNING. LOL One morning it was a friday. I came in and told him to go ahead and get out of there, "it's friday". He flipped out on me and pointed out how much money he would lose by leaving 30 minutes early every day. Sorry. I wish somebody would tell me to get out 30 minutes early on Friday....

Edit: and then they called a trauma alert and he was like "welp, guess I should get out of here". LOL

Another morning I came in and asked him if he would be interested in working 4-10 hour shifts instead of 5-8 hour shifts. He was super excited about how great it would be to have the ENTIRE weekend off, instead of having to come in at 11p on Sunday night. "I know, right?" The next day I came in and said that I got a traveler that can work Friday-Sunday overnight. He lost his marbles on me that he doesn't owe this place anything and I can't just change his schedule like that... "and you want to be supervisor!!??? What kind of sh** is this?" Like all up in my face mad. So now I lost that traveler because he wouldn't change his shift, when I already talked to him about it.

Maybe early Alzheimer"s? I dunno. He is only like 58.
 
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I walked into work this morning (I was expecting him to blow up on me...this is his first day back from yet another hiatus). He says "Hey Kim, you know I don't really need that week off in the beginning of July. And if you want I can work that Friday night you asked me about." In my head I'm like "who the blank are you, and what did you do with the angry man I usually walk into work to." LOL

I just simply said, "we'll see. Its my first week and I don't know if they are going to go for me not being here all day every day for a week." ...like I haven't given it a thought. He isn't being nice, its a mind game. I have worked with him long enough to know. It almost worked, I almost feel like I should just give the old guy off.

So now I am re-working the schedule. AGAIN. Without him being off. All long vacations off until I get my coworker back from baby-leave. A day here or there is fine but not anything like blocking off a whole month. At least let me get my bearings. We were short to begin with.

This woman calls me today from HR. She leaves me a message that she appreciates my interest in our facility, but she cannot continue with my desire for a position that does not exist. And that I will need to wait for it to be posted before I formally submit my application and resume before they can consider me, and wishing me luck in my future endeavors.

First of all lol, the reason why my boss submitted her retirement in advance is so that they could fill the position. And transitioning me from Lead Tech to Supervisor was an internal transfer, approved by our COO and the Director of Human Resources. It's a done deal.

So now all of our requests for a higher level of access on our computer systems, right down to our Staples account have been put on hold, because this desk jockey decided that the position doesn't exist. I understand that she didn't understand, but didn't she think it was odd enough to even ask somebody?? You know, like her director that sits behind her lol.

Two weeks of work on my director's behalf to get everything approved and pushed through, squashed by a nit wit.

To be honest, I know that everything will be fixed, but I am really disappointed in the Staples account being put on hold LOL. I have a new office to get supplies for LOL.
 
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Don't do it because he'll hold it over your head at a later date about how he "sacrificed" his week off.
Doing it. Sorry but not sorry dude. But i will probably give him his 3 week vaca in aug/sept.

But listen, this same guy, who never calls out. You can probably count how many times he has called out on one hand for his entire career. Called out tonight. 11p-7a. My boss who is retiring has totally checked out lol.

She calls me…. I’m like, sorry I been drinking. I am on my last hoorah before i actually have to be responsible for the dept lol. Shes like, guess you need to start drinking some water. LOL WHAAAAT?? Its 9pm. Sorry, not doing that. Ok, only 2 beers in, but i have to drive an hour. Nope, not doing it.

She left it on my head to get coverage. Yeah…this friday is her last day, but shes still the boss and i aint getting paid for this crap yet lol.

Everybody i called said they were drinking LOL. Im like… guess we have a theme in our dept here…

Finally got a hold of someone, he is going in. Said i caught him at at a good time cause he was about to start drinking LOL. “Ahhhh i just made a gin and tonic…”
 
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Today was probably one of the saddest days of my life, walking out and leaving my supervisor behind knowing I will never work with her again. I'm happy for her, but I have worked with her for the past seven years and it was just really overwhelming today.

I cried all the way home..I even missed my exit LOL. I walked up to her room before I left and stood there for a few minutes trying to muster up something to say to her without crying. Finally I just grabbed my papers and said "well, I will see you tonight." I felt so stupid, but I am really bad at public displays of affection. I dunno, she musta taken a valium or something this morning because she managed to hold it together all day LOL. She's been there almost 50 years, and flocks of people were in there all day to say goodbye. Even her daughter came this morning. She just graduated xray school and after she gets a little more experience at the hospital she is working at now, I'm going to train her in CT.

I'm throwing her a party tonight at 7, so I am going to see her again today, but just walking out of there, and her giving me her keys was like WHOA....WHOOOOSH.

I called her on my way home to explain and apologize for my lack of emotion when leaving today. Then we both started crying and I almost missed my next exit. I told her to leave early, and she said it was still a little busy. I'm like "what are they going to do? FIRE you?" LOL. Then she called me back so I could stay on the phone with her as she clocked out for the last time. I woulda stayed with her until she left, but like I said, I am throwing her retirement party tonight and I had to drive home, get ready, and go all the way back down there to decorate...its at a nice place in Palm Beach.
 
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I think the whole Radiology dept needed a release lol. We had such a good time. Like, ppl that never seemed to be fun people, having a blast. My boss dancing. A clinical instructor standing/dancing on a sofa and me spotting her in case she fell LMBO. This all started after the upper crust left, of course. The pictures and videos I have are priceless LOL.

Such a great send-off for her. I am so glad it was a good turn out. People that i didnt even know that she used to work with showed up. So many people, it was so great. I strategically handed out 15 open invites, and got a mass of a turnout. It was like woodstock. Then the band congratulated her after intermission and said our hospitals name and department. It was like “the crowd went wild”. It seemed like all of West Palm Beach was there to congratulate her.
 
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Two week update. Everybody in the hospital that hated one thing or another about our department has decided to complain about what they hate about how our department has been run. My biggest complaints are from the ER and Trauma. I'm getting pulled into a hundred directions on top of being incredibly short-staffed. Seriously down 4 techs That's more than 50% of our staffing. 3 full time techs and a bunch of travelers that know nothing but just scanning.

i"m fresh meat. So even the Radiology nurses are giving me a hard time.

My boss didn't start IVs. I do. And I have been for 26 years. So get this. We are doing a Cardiac scan, which starts out with our Rad nurses. Rad nurse IV blows, so I get ready to start a new IV. I get a good one. Nurse tells me I got an arterial stick. I did not...feel it, its in the vein. "its in the artery" It definitely is not. YOU CANNOT GET AN 18 GUAGE IV INTO AN ARTERY MID-FOREARM.

She walks over and is fiddling with it. Nope its arterial. ITS NOT!!! She pulls the cap off that I put on and starts letting blood drip all over the floor..."see, its arterial". If it was arterial, it woulda squirted all over the place, not drip out. And the patient would have been screaming in pain. I put a new cap on and pushed a flush real hard. YOU CAN SEE HIS VEIN. "Stay calm Kim, Stay calm." Patient is freaking out.

Trying to assure the patient that I have been doing this a long time and everything is ok... Rad Nurse is like "I have been doing this longer than she's been alive". and laughing. I looked her dead in the eye at that point "so you have been doing this for 50 years?!" ...Cause that's how old I am, I just look young. She's a little older than me, but definitely hasn't been a nurse for 50 years.

She pulls my iv out and just stares at it as it is getting a great big hematoma on his arm. No dressing...and the guy is on blood thinners. "see, its arterial" What are you doing????

I'm getting it from the ER, Getting it from Trauma...now getting it from our own nurses.

I was warned from my director that I need to curb by temper, which I have been. But I feel like Samson who just got his hair cut off. I lost my super-power. I can't find an in-between and now people feel like they can walk all over me.

Me two weeks ago woulda been like "I got this Karen, its fine. Get in your lane".

And she wrote an incident report on the "arterial IV"....
 
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