The Value of Misery at Work

The Value of Misery at Work

A friend of mine recently started a nursing job at a new hospital. As part of the standard orientation plan, she was assigned a preceptor to show her the ropes and acclimate her to the hospital's policies.

But instead of being a supportive and encouraging leader, the trainer was constantly looming over my friend's shoulder, speaking over her during report-outs, and making unnecessary stylistic corrections to her written reports.

Instead of feeling confident and at home at the new hospital, my friend—an experienced and wonderful nurse—felt distrusted, incompetent, and frustrated. After just two shifts, she was going out of her mind. And the training period was six weeks long!

Each time I saw her, she was pulling her hair out, venting, and counting down the days. As we sipped gin and tonics on the porch after one particularly rough shift, I asked her:

What if, instead of seeing this as a frustrating and demoralizing situation, there was another way of looking at it?

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