I rarely get written up. No, really, it just doesn't happen very often. Of the handful of times I've gotten a write up, it almost always has been due to by absences (we get in trouble after the 6th absence in any 12-month period, and the trouble gets very serious at 9 absences a year). But having a history of kidney stones, I have always had a straight-forward attitude about my attendance: I do the best that I can, and I try to make up for it by doing other things (I worked a total of 24 extra shifts in 2008, plus a lot of extra "projects" for the unit).
So it came as a surprise when the interim clinical director asked me to meet her in her office.
I had assumed it was to be introduced to the new permanent clinical director, but I realized pretty quickly that the tone of the meeting was serious.
The exact details of the write-up are not all that noteworthy, in that, like almost every other employee I have ever had to write up for this infraction or that, I refuted the factual basis (and even questioned the truthfulness of the interim clinical director). Most of the complaints were that I simply didn't like the interim CD and tended to make that pretty obvious in our daily interactions.
Suffice it to say that I made the decision to live with the write-up and work toward building a relationship with the new clinical director. I decided, after a few days of thought, that it was more important to move on to the bigger problems of two inpatient units that had been through more than a year of hell, and needed to get over all of the conflict and just move on.
It was a good decision, in retrospect. It has been five months since that write-up day, and the new clinical director and I have forged a good professional relationship, despite the fact that we have both, literally, seen each other from the business end of a loaded shotgun (the write up meeting took 90 minutes -- I've never had a write up meeting that lasted that long, with basically me arguing with two clinical directors -- much of the meeting was heated and even mean-spirited, myself included). We've been able to work together on several projects, and I've come to trust her judgment and her sense of fairness and justice.
Maybe that initial meeting -- little ol' me seated on one side of a wide desk with two "bosses" taking turns arguing one point after another -- helped me get to this point faster than my peers. Nurses on my units are amazed at how quickly I "turned around," from considering to resign to becoming a real partner in difficult times. Of all of the charge nurses, I have become the new CD's main supporter.
Maybe knowing what we look like down the sights of loaded shotguns is an ideal way to get to know your boss?