In the last post, I talked about how everything started out great and that I was well-liked by almost everyone. I also mentioned the incident when I responded in kind after Candi, a CNA, caught a bad attitude. Needless to say, I found out that, right or wrong, talking down to her was a no-no because she had connections.
And over several months, one by one, many people turned against me. Luckily, several of my real friends knew how Candi was and had no respect for her. They were the people who had my back, so I can say that I did have allies who took care of me.
However, there was a clear division at Shady Grove Living Center. There was the administrator, who I’ll call *Beau, *Cammie, the payroll clerk, the department heads,*Harry (who was Cammie’s husband), one maintenance guy, whose name was *Jules, and two CNAs, *Shelly was one and *Cheryl who were two flying monkeys. On our side were my supervisor Darnell, all of my coworkers (except for one suck up), a charge nurse, and the rest of the CNAs who had my back.
At first, the bullies made false reports about me to Darnell. On the days after my shift (I worked part-time in the evening), the third shift CNAs would complain that I hadn’t stocked the linen closets on each of the halls and that they had no clean bed pads, bedsheets, nor gowns for the residents who soiled their beds during the night.
But because I always thought ahead and could easily predict what these people would do, I had made sure to pull out my cellphone and take pictures of all my finished work at the end of my shift.
Once I was done stocking the linen closets, I took photos of all the shelves inside, chock full of freshly clean linens. I then took pictures inside all the empty barrels that were marked “dirty laundry,” before clocking out and going home. And, with the time-stamps on each image, there was no question I’d done my job.
I took pictures every night, at the end of the shift. And I had proof to show Darnell every time they lied.
When that didn’t work, the bullies only turned up the harassment, as word quickly spread throughout the nursing home that I’d taken pictures of all finished work.
In a way, it was funny because each of the linen closets was directly across from a nurse’s desk, where the bullies would sit around and gossip. And I remember overhearing them make snide remarks about my camera and my taking pictures, to which I’d only snicker and chuckle to myself.
Harry, the head of maintenance, would talk pretty ugly to me, but I knew I wasn’t the only one because many times, I’d see him talk terrible to several others- even a few who worked for the nursing home. So, I didn’t feel like the Lone Ranger.
And because I’d already been a target of bullying in school, I knew what to expect as all bullies pull pretty much the same tactics, only adult bullies are much more sophisticated with it. Therefore, I was able to prepare, stay a few steps ahead, and outflank them.
During this time, I began to witness a couple of the bullies in this workplace clique commit a few illegal activities. On one instance, I worked a double shift to cover for a coworker who was sick.
Early one Saturday morning, I saw with my own eyes Harry walk into the back door of the nursing home, dressed in camouflage and his bright orange hunting vest. He crept down the hall past the laundry room, then stopped at the time clock and clocked in. Harry then filled out a bogus work order, then left.
He didn’t return until late that evening to clock out and leave again. I’ll never forget the look on his mug when he saw me sitting outside on my last break as he drove by in his shiny new pickup. And when I told a trusted friend at work a day or two later about what I’d seen, she wasn’t at all surprised.
“Girl! He’s been clocking out and going home on the weekends since I’ve been here! And I’ll tell you something else,” *Brenda told me, “Cammie’s been embezzling from this facility, and she’s been ripping off some of the residents who don’t have families- weaseling them into signing papers to leave their assets to her when they leave this world!”
I felt my eyes pop out of my head as Brenda gave me an ear full!