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I was ostracized at work and offered a transfer

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a female part-time nursing care worker in my 50s, and I’ve been ostracized from a circle of colleagues at my workplace. When I sought advice from my boss about this, I was offered a move to another place. I think it’s unreasonable.

I was transferred to my current workplace six months ago. To my surprise, a colleague on the early shift tries to do work quickly, which means having some of our clients take a certain medicine when or before eating their meals, even though it should be taken afterward. This colleague also acts like they’re pushing food into the clients’ mouths to move the eating process along.

I felt close to that person at first, as we are almost the same age and live in the same neighborhood. However, I now distrust the colleague as I found our approaches to nursing care are so different. Apparently realizing my feelings, this colleague started to turn against me by, for example, not asking me for help anymore, even if it’s needed. The colleague also now isolates me from a circle of coworkers, and won’t eat lunch with me. I’m totally shunned.

I’m unhappy to have nowhere that I can feel comfortable, so I asked our group leader for advice, only to find myself being offered a transfer. I don’t understand the idea of moving me, rather than having the colleague leave the workplace.

I, Tochigi Prefecture

Dear Ms. I:

It’s no exaggeration to say nursing care can involve life-threatening matters. In this respect, your colleague on that early shift is not just taking a different approach from yours, but what the caregiver is doing can be described as violating the rules.

All people at your workplace should prevent such deeds from happening. You haven’t openly voiced your objection against these deeds but at least realized this is a problem. I think you are a conscientious worker.

As a result, however, you’ve been snubbed by colleagues, and even your group leader has suggested you be transferred. You found it very unreasonable, but you should take it as a chance to leave a problematic workplace.

This is just my take on the situation, but I feel your leader has understood your point and also realized the problems of the early-shift caregiver.

Therefore, the leader has decided to thoroughly supervise and instruct the worker in question, who is a rare asset for your workplace, where early shifts are understaffed. At the same time, however, the leader has also decided to let you move to a better working environment.

I may be wrong, of course, but how about seeing the offer as I imagine and seeking to provide what you believe is the ideal nursing care at your new workplace? I believe this is much better than continuing your work there while feeling so frustrated.

Soichiro Nomura, psychiatrist

(from Oct. 7, 2017, issue)Speech

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