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When your organization has taken too much from you

Hello everyone,

today was my last day working at our large teaching university hospital.

One of the attending physician (one rank above me, my future job in 1 week) said when I told her I was going to this smaller hospital:

Her: so you did not apply to our hospital?

Me: no…

Her: so we failed your recruitment then… (disappointed voice)

Me: yeah I wanted to change: to work in a smaller hospital  (that is true but more below). I’ll get more experience… maybe in the future…

So tonight I did not feel like saying good bye to the emergency team. The reason is that they played so many power moves on me I had to always be on my guard. Today only one power move from a nurse.

The truth is that in this hospital (3 years) I encountered so many humiliations, so many put downs. I also had to do many overtime that was never paid to me. Most mandatory (by law) additional training days were not given to me nor the little training days that I got was paid to me. So now I have to do the training days to get my official title in my next position. That means that I will have to use vacation days for it. Also since I don’t have my official title yet I would have to get it in 2-3 months. So that means that in between I don’t get the exact salary I could get. That means that I’m losing between $3000 and $6000.

In summary, I have been poorly treated, they took a lot of time and money from me. I’m not happy with the training either. So no I don’t want to work there anymore for the moment at least.

I learned a lot about medicine, politics, social dynamics yes. But at a hefty price. Sometimes people don’t take into account the emotional and the give-and-take dynamics.

I created this committee to improve things for residents and patients as I think they deserve better. I listened to “leadership BS” so I understand that narcissists tend to raise to the top. That is one of the problems at my organization.

So I did this but I don’t feel like giving to this organization anymore. The deal was not fair. When I asked a recommendation letter to the head of the pediatrics department. He accepted and then when I told him I got a job he said: “so it’s not needed anymore then…” I did not want to push as I would have insisted too much and he basically did not want to do it.

As I’m leaving I only got a standard email: “you have to give this material and this material back”. No thank you no nothing.

So all in all they took too much and gave too little. They did provide training and salary but that’s not enough. If respect is lacking then there is no sense of trust nor belonging.

I had a recent exit interview with HR. I told the bad and the good (little), my truth. They assured me it was anonymous. They asked me with what executive physicians (2 ranks above) was difficult to work with. I asked again if I that was really anonymous. I told them this was a good example of the fear we feel to speak up. We never know if there is a risk for our career or not. They assured me it was anonymous. I thought a bit then gave a name (among the many). They also asked me who was a good one. I told the one with whom I felt respected, guided and trusted by. A great leader.

But too much politicking, too hierarchical, too formal, I have had enough of this.

So that is one example in my opinion of the law of social exchange. When one has the power to end a relationship that cost one too much (end of training), one will. So I’m not bitter, just a bit sad for the waste. I’m very happy to leave though. So mixed feelings.

Maybe it will be the same where I’ll be but at least I know what I’m leaving.

Lucio Buffalmano, Ali Scarlett and 2 other users have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoAli ScarlettBelPower Duck

Rock on, John.

Allow me to give one feedback: there is a lot of "they did" in the message.
And I'm sure they did a lot of shit indeed.
But also there's the other side of the coin of "if one did reach beyond what's fair, another allowed it to happen".
What's been has been, but since learning is always good, it's possible that if one had put his foot down on getting the legal minimum requirement that should be the bare minimum, he may have gotten it.

And now back on the positive: I'm really happy to read and glad for you that you're moving from that below-average place.

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Ali ScarlettJohn FreemanPower Duck
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Hello Lucio,

thank you! Yeah as I read my message again after posting it I noticed there was a victim mentality sound to it. So I’m not surprised it comes off like that I agree.

You’re totally right, some residents got some of their overtime paid. So I definitely have been too much submitting for fear of unnamed and unsaid consequences (as per PU). Out of fear of rejection/ostracizing probably. Also not getting my training certified.

So I’m taking my responsibility for it as well you’re right.

I’m taking the opportunity to thank you again. In one of your messages about being respected when being vulnerable. You talked about “moments of low self-esteem”. This lit a bulb for me. I am currently listening to a book about self-esteem. I think now that it (finally found it) is the root cause of many of my challenges, including the one above. The cause of this (too) low self esteem being the way I was treated as a child. I read Nathaniel Brandon’s book years ago but there is some unfinished business here… So thanks! 🙂

So it sounds sad but it’s good now I know what to focus on in terms on good “self-development ROI”. 🙂

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Lucio BuffalmanoAli Scarlett

Cheers, rock on John!

Onward to (hopefully 🙂 ) better workplaces and colleagues!

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It's a really tough one because the whole system pushes residents down.  Hard to stand up when other colleagues are submitting.  You did great things by organising the residents.  Hopefully the cycle of abuse can be broken.

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Lucio BuffalmanoJohn Freeman

Hello Transitioned,

excuse me for the delay.

Thanks! I agree the whole hospital is pushing down on residents. I also now witnessed what it takes not to reproduce the abuse one has be submitted to. It takes introspection to understand what happened. Criticism/critical thinking to examine and decide what you’re going to make of it. Finally it takes character not to do it once one has understood what it is and what it does. I noticed that it is often the first part that is missing. Us being social animals we imitate what we see. Having had other professional experiences than the hospital helps to compare and take some distance. Regarding all of the above and my values, I have no excuse nor reason to do that. We’ll see what kind of man I am once in this position. I know as a resident I am supportive to interns. For me climbing the hierarchical ladder means first and foremost that I can put more people under my protection. It may sound grandiose but that’s the least I can offer after my experiences. Now I have to be up to the next challenge in terms of skills and leadership. Onward and upward as Lucio would say. 🙂

I’m looking forward to this next challenge and want to succeed in it. That’s the most important: desire. Now I have to follow up with action.

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Lucio BuffalmanoTransitionedPower Duck
Quote from Transitioned on April 23, 2023, 6:01 am

Hard to stand up when other colleagues are submitting.  You did great things by organising the residents.  Hopefully the cycle of abuse can be broken.

Yes, the culture, environment, and what's the "norm" are generally more powerful than the law.

Such as, if the law says you only work 40h but everyone ignores it and works longer and/or as long as it takes, it's very hard to stop at 40h (and also very hard not to pay some consequences if you do).

On the other hand, if the law says 40h minimum but everyone leaves at 3pm, it's a lot easier to do your 40h or even less (as a matter of fact, it may become weird for you to work longer).

Still, that's where good strategies and personal power can make the difference.

I remember the lead engineer in a previous startup and he was the only one to stick to the 40h -in a startup it's even a lot tougher than in bigger businesses-.
And he would even come in very early in the morning most of the times, meaning that he'd end up leaving very early, too.

But he set expectations early on, was great at his work, provided great value with his (legally-bound) time, was very professional and hard working and wasted absolutely no time when he was there, and... He made it work.

Sometimes I'd hear the founder being annoyed at that "stick to the law" behavior, but he had to swallow it.

And that guy had everyone's respect, too.

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John FreemanTransitionedPower Duck
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