Some days I think my colleagues are the most amazing group of people I could possibly work with, and would gladly and gratefully place the lives of myself and all my loved ones in their capable, clever hands. Other days, I think they are hopeless, bitter, gossipy old skanks, and I throw up my hands in despair.
We have a problem-child nurse in our department, who I’ll call Sarah. She’s actually a pretty good nurse, but she’s loud and opinionated, doesn’t listen well, doesn’t play well with others, and she’s managed to offend in many and manifest ways (for reasons I won’t go into here) the crusty twisted old
princesses RNs* who like to think they run the department — or at least public opinion.†
I don’t actually mind this nurse (mostly) and will converse with her in a friendly-like manner, and will even be seen to do so in public. Shocking, I guess. There was a pub night the other night and the subject of poor unloved Sarah came up. When nurses drink, the knives come out, and you’d better get out the sawdust, ’cause there’s going to be blood on the floor. The next day my closest friend in the Emerg, who was attending and witnessed the repeated eviscerations of various nurses, told me (by way of having my back) that the Old Crusties feel I am becoming associated too closely with Sarah by being friendly and speaking with her and that I had better knock it off.‡
I went away and thought about this one for a long while.
Apparently, I have concluded, Acme Regional Emergency is actually an elementary school-yard. Sarah is the little ugly girl with the cooties, and I am in mortal danger of getting Sarah-cooties, which seemingly are very catching and will destroy me forever.
I think this is what it comes down to. Honestly. Nurses behaving badly, and cooties.
But you see, I said “cootie-proof forever” beforehand, so I’m in the clear.
When I think about it, it seems to me we generally often treat our colleagues on the basis of whether they have cooties. Call it the tyranny of conformity, or horizontal violence or having the temperament and mentality of a eight year-old or whatever you want.
This makes me so proud of nurses.
*I mean crusty as in peel-the-paint-of-the-walls-with-a-glance crusty. Angry-spitting-camel crusty. They even frighten me.
†I meant to ask, are you guys bored with my endless fascination with intradepartment politics? I’m sure the nurses among you find it as equally entertaining, but. . .
‡I also strongly suspect some highly critical and nasty things were said about me, but ignorance is bliss.