Resources >> Browse Articles >> How to

Resources >> Browse Articles >> On the Job


How to Deal With an Unreasonable Boss

How to Deal With an Unreasonable Boss

Rob Cameron | Scrubs Magazine

Not all managers are like me. Some are mean, arrogant and don’t care about their staff. That is not me…..I am better than that.

There will come a time, at least once, in your career where you will hit a wall when you are trying to deal with your manager. They don’t listen to what you have to say, they don’t want to work with you or they are just completely unreasonable. When that happens, what do you do?

Here are my suggestions, these would work with me.

First, before you go talk to them make sure you have all your ducks-in-a-row. What I mean is, be ready to present you case. If your attendance has been perfect, show them. If you have been a team player by picking up extra shifts when there are holes, or you have joined committees, be ready to talk about that. On the flip side, if you call off a lot or are not engaged in the unit, be ready to explain.

Second, be honest and straight forward. If you need time off to go somewhere silly like a Star Trek convention, don’t lie and say you are going to your grandma’s funeral, because when she really dies or already has, you will have to explain that.

Third, be prepared for questions or even an answer of NO! Don’t get tongue tied and start stuttering, and don’t start crying. Nothing is worse in my office than when somebody cries.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask why. Maybe there is something you don’t know about that the manager does know. Maybe a couple other nurses are on FMLA, maybe there is a new process implementation that week and they really need your leadership. Found out what you can do to help them out as well.

If you do get a NO, where do you go from there? Well, you have a couple of options, try talking to them again, and make an even better case. Or, take your argument to the next level. But, be extra prepared for this course of action. The Director or CNO will probably back up the manager’s decision, just like your manager should back you up on a conflict. So, you need to have a better presentation to give the next level of management if you want to get what you want.

Be prepared and be honest. When it comes to my staff I will listen to everyone’s case, and if that nurse is willing to help me out when needed, I will work with them…..I am awesome (that’s not arrogant, is it?).

More on

In Nurse Manager: Don’t Burn Your Bridges
In Nursing Blogs: How to Get What You Want From Your Nurse Manager
In Career Advice: Old Fashioned Nurse Manager

Related Reads:

NursingLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a degree program. Use NursingLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.