HomeHealth AdviceMiss Manners: My co-worker is endangering patients

Miss Manners: My co-worker is endangering patients

Dear Miss Manners: A co-worker of mine, whom I work with closely, doesn’t seem to take her own protection seriously, nor the protection of those around her.

We work in radiology with patients. She does mammograms, bone density scans and X-rays. I, being a guy, can do only X-rays and bone density.

We have precautions such as wearing a mask at all times in the building, other than when eating in the break area; washing hands; and taking our temperatures upon arrival of shift.

Today, another careless instance in a long line of them: She forgot to take her temperature when she arrived, realized it 2½ hours later and still went in to scan a patient. I tracked down the person taking temperatures, then went to the room my co-worker was in to tell her where to meet this person. I knocked on the door and tried to shout through, but my co-worker is hard of hearing, so I ended up cracking the door to give her the message.

Shortly after, she got after me for knocking on the door while she was doing a mammogram. She said not to disturb her unless the building was burning down. I countered that she needed to have her temperature taken before she saw the patient — as soon as she realized she had forgotten. A minute later, she took off her mask at the desk right next to me, opened a bag of corn chips and started to eat them. Not in the break room, but at the workstation. When she was finished, she continued to work next to me without a mask.

I’ve asked her many times to go into our break area to eat, but she does not seem to care. She routinely takes her mask off, puts her fingers in her mouth, coughs into her hands and takes care of patients only using hand sanitizer, rarely washing her hands.

I don’t know how to get through to her without hurting her feelings, and I don’t wish to get her written up. Where do I go from here?

Okay, that is an emergency. You go to your supervisor, putting the welfare of those patients — and of yourself — over the feelings and job rating of someone who is menacing them and you.

Dear Miss Manners: Can you provide some advice on an effective, polite way to tell a close relative who constantly corrects minor grammatical errors or pronunciations to buzz off? She interrupts people regularly to correct them. I’m sure she believes she is providing a public service, but no one else regards it that way.

If you can say so pleasantly, Miss Manners will allow you to announce, “Ah! Lady auto-correct herself!” when this happens. As picky people hate auto-correct, this should discourage her.

But the real comeuppance will be when your relative makes a mistake of her own, which she is bound to do, and you say, “Really? I always thought it was …,” politely stating the correct version.

New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday on washingtonpost.com/advice. You can send questions to Miss Manners at her website, missmanners.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.

2020, by Judith Martin



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