What I wish I could tell my boss: ‘You made me feel so small’
The first of a new series of anonymous letters from readers to their managers. Here, a dental nurse recalls her quick descent from happiness to misery
When I transferred to your practice, I couldn’t have been happier. The travel was shortened, the hours were great and the other staff members were brilliant. My first week was challenging and it was hard as I was working with a newly qualified dentist. We managed really well and, within the first couple of weeks, I was over the moon you gave me the job transfer. A few months went by and I saw the cracks beginning to ripple throughout the practice and wondered if I made the right choice. I was treated like a skivvy. I was here, there and everywhere. I was doing my own job duties, as well as those of other people. I was worried and scared to say no, because I didn’t want to be thought of as ‘lazy’. After multiple comments from you, my self-esteem lowed and my anxiety kicked in. I worked hard, did my over time, did the other duties and continued with the pressures.
My stomach turned
One day, I remember finishing up closing down my surgery… it was exactly four minutes until my shift finished. I decided to get my scrubs off, clean my lunch box and change into my normal clothes. You stormed in, making my stomach turn. Instantly you shouted at me and stated my shift had not finished yet and that I needed to change back into my scrubs. I went to change my scrubs and noticed by the time I changed it was 5.00pm – my shift was over. Walking out in my normal clothes again, I wished everyone a good evening and proceeded to leave. You interrogated me before I managed to reach the door. At this point, I had enough. I left without any response to you. I wish I had the courage to tell you: ‘I will not let you speak to me this way.' But I was worried about the consequences. The next incident happened on a very snowy morning. I left the house at my usual time to catch the bus, which stopped right outside work. Ten minutes went by and there was no sign of the bus. I phoned the reception area to let them know my bus was slightly delayed. The message was passed on to you. Luckily, the bus showed up – it was delayed because of the snow. I got to work dead on 8.00am. I was faced with nerves once again. You pulled me to the side and shouted at me in front of the patients and other staff members. You had said ‘you will be getting a formal letter for being late’ I asked you ‘why, I am just on time?’ But instead of listening to me you told me to listen to you. I have never felt so humiliated in my whole career. You made me feel so small and undervalued within the company.
After this, other similar situations followed so I called a one-to-one meeting with the area manager to tell her my concerns. You stated to me you never did any of these things. But you did. I wish I could have told you how I really felt on each of these occasions. You made me feel like my job role as a dental nurse wasn’t good enough, no matter how much I tried. I felt as if you were out to get me. Everything I did was wrong. I feel sorry for the people who received the same treatment from you.
Thankfully, I now work in a practice that celebrates team working, where friendships are formed, and where there is an abundance of compassion and care.
|To write for this series, email Julie Bissett at firstname.lastname@example.org with your 750-word ‘letter’.|
Author: Julie Bissett