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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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I recently sent an e-mail to all health staff in my department

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I recently sent an e-mail to all health staff in my department telling them how much I appreciate my technicians and all they put up with and still get their jobs done. Nowhere in the e-mail did I mentioned any names. Apparently one nurse outside of my of my area who had a guilty conscience reported to my supervisor she found it offensive and ask me to apologize to her. All information in the e-mail was true but no names mentioned, this information was relayed to my supervisor by me in a mini conference, plus the fact that the that the few problems mentioned in the e-mail was ongoing over a period of time and not related to any one occasion or person. All the staff supported me and praised me for showing my appreciation for my Technicians except this one person, in fact three nurses asked me was I referring to them. So how can this one person go to my supervisor and the both of them rush to a conclusion that it was offensive to this one person? The supervisor forwarded the e-mail to everyone claiming e-mails such as this are considered demeaning and offensive. Am I missing something here? I plan to defend this in a private meeting with her. Do I have a foot to stand on? My evals are approaching. The e-mail follows...

Allow me a moment to inform you how much the Pharmacy appreciates their contract Pharmacy Technicians. First, they are always on time, they have an attendance record better than most of us, and most of all they have a clear understanding of rules, roles and responsibilities central to their skills and duties. They also go beyond these parameters by ensuring the pharmacy common area (the area everyone uses) is clean which includes emptying trash at least once daily and taking out food garbage that you leave over the weekends or maybe your crushed tablets all over the carpet, or worst used insulin syringes you forget to take out of your insulin bags and must I say, inventory miscount of needle and syringes. (I’ll stop there). Yes, I appreciate my technicians for all they put up with including me sometimes, but please don’t take them for granted. They sometimes discover your errors or oversights and mind too. They’re always willing to share a hot pot of coffee and maybe some sweet buns on the side every morning. They’re not perfect but who is? But I appreciate them for the good I see in them and their hard work. I depend on them and realize it would be very difficult to run the pharmacy without them.

So please if you discover they forgot to fill 15 or 20 patient’s bags, know that they worked through several of their lunch breaks to fill at least a thousand doses so that you may have meds over the weekend last week without me telling them (remember this was once done by nurses before Techs were hired). Are they bitter because their contract was changed from an eight to six hour day? NO, but their making every attempt to complete all that was done in eight hours in six. Yes, I appreciate my technicians!

So if you notice some imperfections please be forgiving we all can’t be perfect like you just notice some good sometime and say thanks.

Thank you for your post. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

I think I see what the management is concerned about. The specific examples that you listed, such as dirty syringes, or the patient bags, although they may not be physically attributed to anyone by name, can still be attributed by internal comments and common knowledge. In that sense if someone is the one who was causing the examples that you brought up, it can be seen as 'demeaning' and as you bringing them publicly to task, essentially chiding them in public for private faults.

I do agree that I did not see any ill intent with your comments, and frankly the email was written as a means of bringing everyone together. But management may see it as a formal identification of liabilities and likewise a means of calling out individuals indirectly. I do not see it that way, but I can see others making such a conclusion, especially if this is an office that is primarily run by female staffers. This is not a sexist comment on my part (so please forgive me in advance), but typically men tend to be more direct with their comments so the comments are not 'read into' as often, but comments by women especially to other women at the workplace can at times be unfairly and unreasonably read to mean more than what is written on the printed word.

Hence, the best defense is to point out what the comments actually state, that nobody was being called out, but instead appreciation was given, and any thought to the contrary was unintentional and not meant to take place.

Hope that helps.

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