DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have been an active practicing RN for 37 years, from hospitals to home health. It never fails that at some point, my employer wants me to act like someone I am not.
Granted that I have toned it down substantially over the years, but I have never been a sweet, demure, public relations-type person. I am more of a down-to-earth, tell-it-like-it-is, realistic, logical-type person. I am not going to promise something that I personally cannot deliver, and I am not going to lie to a person just to appease them.
I am not brutal, but I do tend to be blunt if that is the only way to get the message across after softer attempts do not seem to be getting through. I say that people cannot claim they did not understand what I was trying to tell or teach them (whether they accept it or not is not the issue).
How do I get my employer to understand that I think it is unrealistic to expect me to appeal to all the people, all the time?
GENTLE READER: It does not appear to Miss Manners that your problem is making your employer understand your position, but rather convincing him that it is acceptable. This will be easier to do if you are being blunt about insisting that patients take their medication rather than about telling them that you are too busy to bring it.
No good deed...
DEAR MISS MANNERS: While helping a friend move from one apartment to another, I accidentally dropped a box marked “fragile.” It turns out that I broke a decanter that cost more than $500 (most of her belongings are not nearly this expensive).
My friend has asked me to reimburse her for half the price. I appreciate that she’s trying to “meet me halfway” by covering half the cost herself, and I feel terrible, but I can’t afford to spend $250 right now. I also think that she should have had such an expensive item insured.
I was just trying to help her (at her own request), and now I’m afraid that I’m going to ruin the friendship. Does etiquette dictate that I must pay for all or part of such an expensive item?
GENTLE READER: It is always gracious for guests to offer to replace any property that they damaged – and for hosts to demur, knowing that a reasonable amount of damage is part of the cost of entertaining.
In this case, you were acting, in effect, as an employee, rather than a guest, even though your reason for doing so was for the sake of friendship, not pay. And breakage is also part of the cost of doing business. That is why employers carry insurance. Had you injured yourself as a result of the work you were asked to do, Miss Manners hopes that your friend would have stepped in to defray any reasonable associated medical costs.
How this will affect your friendship, Miss Manners cannot say. That your friend calculated the cost of her property without allowing for the donation of your labor is not a good sign.
Judith Martin writes the Miss Manners column with help from her son, Nicholas Ivor Martin, and her daughter, Jacobina Martin. Send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, MissManners.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.
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