We used to have a nurse that worked with us. She was the most dissatisfied person. She schmoozed up to the DON (Director of Nurses) a good bit, at least, to us; she always seemed to have a little dirt on the tip of her nose. It paid off in her favor, though. As indecisive as she was, the DON frequently catered to this nurse’s demands.
When she wanted day shift, she got day. She switched to evening, to part time, to full time, back to part, and then to graveyard shift. When the DON gave her graveyard shift hours, I confronted them. She was giving her my hours so I had every intention of getting in their faces.
The administrator laughed and told me not to worry, that nurse will change her mind again in the next couple of weeks. “Just enjoy the time off,” she offered with a laugh. “If it goes any farther than that, I will intervene.”
The result was that my hours were cut from four days a week - 32 hours - to only two days a week or 16 hours.
Anne and Lavada (two of my CNA’s) overheard me walking down the hall one night talking to myself. “What are you saying?” Lavada asked with a chuckle.
“I’m telling the ghosties to scare the hell out of that nurse who is trying to steal my hours,” I explained.
Now they were both laughing. They thought it funny and even shared my scheme to the new nurse who expressed she was not afraid of ghosts. Indeed, she looked forward to working with the staff on the upcoming weekend. She was scheduled to work a four-day weekend: Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday on graveyard shift.
I’m not exactly sure what happened but the DON had to eat crow when she called and asked me to come in and work Monday and Tuesday night as her buddy, the brownnoser, had called in and would not be coming back (again). This was the third time in a year that she had quit working there.
When I came in Monday night, I demanded the girls give me the skinny. I wanted to know what happened.
“I don’t know, ask Anne” answered Geralene, who had been working the weekend with Anne and the new nurse. “All I know is last night she said she was not coming back.”
Anne, still laughing and trying to catch her breath explained, “The ghosts; they ran her off.”
“How do you know that?” I asked, equally amused.
“Because she kept hearing Shirley walking the halls,” Anne explained.
(Shirley was a past patient at the nursing home who, on quiet nights, could still be heard as she walked down the hall to the nurse’s desk. She used to rearrange the magazine rack and continued to do so even in death. It was so frequent the administration had to remove the magazine rack because it frightened many of the patients, staff, and family who witnessed magazines floating, of their own accord, back to their place on the shelf)
Secretly thanking the ghost, I asked, “Did Shirley walk up to her?”
“No, I don’t think so,” Anne continued. “We could just hear her walking the halls the entire night. Shirley was in full swing. But, I do think one of the ghosts did touch her because at one point, the nurse yelled and jumped up from her chair at the desk and no one was there but her.”
Laughing with her, Geralene added, “Didn’t she say that one time she was being followed when she walked down to the other nurses’ desk?”
Anne nodded and said with a laugh, “She complained of that all night. She said a few times she felt like she was being followed. Good job, Michelle. She’s not coming back.”
I did not like working with ghostly spirits but I knew they were there. I didn’t deny their existence or belittle their ghostly hauntings. Whenever I think about that weekend, I always wonder if it were a coincidence of the increased paranormal activity, or did the spirit world help me out? I’m still on the fence with the answer.