How do I handle my nursing supervisor, who hangs around my desk and talks about everything but work? She never seems to have any work to do.
Dear Donna replies:
It’s always challenging to respond to this type of question without knowing the people and all the details. But you might try saying, in a light-hearted fashion, something such as “Mary, I love talking to you, but if I don’t get my work done I’m going to be standing on the unemployment line.” If your friendly attempt to make your point doesn’t work, you may need to be a little more blunt while remaining respectful: “Mary, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to work.”
Your primary obligation is to do your job. Sometimes that requires setting boundaries with those you work with while remaining professional and tactful at all times.