The Nurse Gang

I just quit/got fired from my very worst job about 30 minutes ago. It was one of those typical movie scenarios:  I said “Hey, I quit.” and they followed it up with “You can’t quit you’re fired!!”

Desperate for some extra money while I was completing my social work internship, I decided to accept a part-time job as a janitor for a community health center in my town. I was in charge of cleaning the gynecologist office as well at the family practice.  I could go into work whenever I wanted after the doctors left, so it fit my schedule perfectly. Sounds great, right?  Wrong.

Right away I got a lot of stares. A few of the nurses knew that I am openly gay so that quickly spread around the practice. Eventually I was called into the HR director’s office for a stern lecture about my dreadlocks and my love of only owning and wearing men jeans (I’m a girl), I was warned that if I didn’t basically fem it up, I would be written up. Did I mention that I worked completely alone at night, and the only time anyone saw me was when I was walking from my car into the building?

My first day at work had me on my hands and knees picking up the remnants of Taco Bell cheese and Subway lettuce that the nurses left behind at the gyno office. Did it hurt my pride? Sure. But, I was all about the $12 an hour I was making. The following week, the nurses at the gynecologist office decided to test my will by throwing away KFC chicken, leftover Jimmy John’s, and whatever fast food junk they happened to be eating that day into every single exam room. Even the ones that weren’t used that day, meaning that I wouldn’t usually have to clean them. But, once something is thrown in the trash, it’s considered used and the room had to be cleaned. Eventually fed up with all this food nonsense, I told my supervisor who confronted the nurses, and they were eventually given a verbal warning, and they admitted to everything.

But the bullshit didn’t stop there.

The receptionist at the family practice took it upon herself to “throw away” scissors at the beginning up the day, and of course throughout the day dirty diapers and urine sample cups were piled upon these “broken” scissors at the bottom of the waste can.  Imagine my delight when I lifted up the trash only to have diapers, piss, and dirty latex gloves fall at my feet. This time when I told my supervisor, nothing was done.

The final straw was last week, when I threw away a week old, half-eaten cake that was starting to attract ants. Of course, the next day the nurses were in the mood for some coffee and cake, and were appalled to find that I had thrown it away. After spamming my work e-mail with their ridiculous complaints, I decided to purchase them a new cake. I had the baker write “Sorry about the old cake. From, J.” Obviously this action was completely rude on my part, so I got written up for it. Sick up the bullshit, I quit today.

Although, my supervisor made sure to add that I was going to get fired anyway because the picture frames were too dusty in the building.

Comments (16)

KMay 3rd, 2010 at 8:31 am

nice two faced boss. That is just petty. and wrong. Maybe they did it b/c you were gay? that might be a suit waiting to happen!

Huh?May 3rd, 2010 at 9:13 am

I can’t imagine what kind of petty losers those nurses must be to bother doing any of that.

JennaMay 3rd, 2010 at 9:32 am

If they were harassing you because you are openly gay, you need to call a lawyer ASAP. I used to work for lawyers and found that they love, love, love this kind of case! Easy to win (many witnesses) and a business to sue for payout. Go for it…it would be a win for equality and for your bank account.

AndrewMay 3rd, 2010 at 10:02 am

While I don’t encourage lawsuits, if you really feel like you were being discriminated against because of your orientation you might want to look into it, or at least threaten to. Just freak them out a little bit.

I’ve known a lot of nurses who meet the exceptionally low standards of this post. It’s pathetic.

JasMay 3rd, 2010 at 1:11 pm

This is my very worst job. I don’t know if I was necessarily being discriminated against because I was gay, but I do know that I was the first person to say something about the disgusting offices, which caused them to get in trouble. Not too worried about it as the entire situation is too petty and bizarre to be upsetting.

Very eye-opening to work in a doctor’s office, though. Especially since one doc had the bad habit of not shredding patient information, and throwing very, very detailed and private patient info in the trash…

TMSMay 3rd, 2010 at 1:31 pm

I can’t blame you for quitting, but I gotta agree with everyone else, if they only pulled this shit with you because you’re gay, then you could have a nice fat lawsuit on your hands. Even if they decide to settle out of court, you could still get some decent money.

MMMichelleMay 3rd, 2010 at 3:54 pm

What a bunch of bitches. Women can be so god awful, and just passive…well, I will bite my tongue. This is why I prefer the company of men, they will just say they think you are a fat stupid whore to your face, and then I can laugh cuz that is the insult of every broken man. I’m glad you are out of there, you deserve to be treated better. Working in that indutry can suck, but also have it’s perks (the hours you said) But it’s sad that some people treat janitors and such so badly. I love anyone that cleans up after me, the last thing I can imagine doing is making them work harder.

Frau BlucherMay 3rd, 2010 at 8:30 pm

the funny thing is that you were willing to do this job because you need the money and they shit on you for doing it AND for not dressing fem enough. It’s a janitor job and you’re on your hands and knees and they want you to wear foofoos? As for your dreads, if it’s a health hazard ok…but you’re not working in a kitchen!
If they did this because you’re openly gay, take it to court. The only problem is that it can be really hard to prove sometimes because it’s he said she said…but if you tell them about the dress instructions you have a case. They sound horrible!! good luck.

NayNayMay 3rd, 2010 at 10:35 pm

I’m with Andrew. I’m not a “sue happy” person, but right is right and wrong is wrong. You were discriminated against because of your sexual orientation, and that is wrong. If they want to claim that you were fired, even the better. Wrongful termination, anyone?

MargaretMay 4th, 2010 at 4:17 am

Which neanderthal town were you in? Probably the same one that cancelled the prom because one girl was gay.

MeshellMay 4th, 2010 at 8:59 am

Why do people discriminate against Harley drivers? :(

DeeMay 12th, 2010 at 9:27 am

That non-shredding doc is committing a HIPAA violation! He could get federal time for that! You could complain about that alone.

Jade LynnMay 17th, 2010 at 11:51 am

The whole discrimination based on sexual orientation thing depends wholly on the state your in. There is no federal discrimination law protecting sexual orientation, just state and local mandates.

mystic_eyeMay 18th, 2010 at 5:54 pm

My aunt works in administration in a nursing college and she’s always saying “If this is who they let in, who are they turning away!”

And don’t even get me started on the kinds of people who chose to work in gynecology…

Larz BlackmanApril 12th, 2011 at 8:29 am

Good grief. No one, even the OP, knows if she was discriminated against because of her sexual orientation. Don’t sue. You’ll only punish the doctor who is trying to make a living and take care of people. The nurses will continue to be bitchy.

SamMay 24th, 2011 at 8:46 am

Although most of the comments here recommended OP to seek legal help, I have not seen any proof in the story of the nature of the harrassment. What I see is management being picky about their employee’s appearance and “co-workers” doing something that the OP dislikes. Who hasn’t been there?
What doesn’t make sense to me is why does one accept janitor’s work and then complain that they have to clean up after others?

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