Author Topic: Uninvited guest taking advantage  (Read 6209 times)

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veryfluffy

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Uninvited guest taking advantage
« on: January 15, 2014, 05:56:41 AM »
This story was told to me yesterday by a friend of mine ("Irene"), and it left me absolutely cringing and horrified. It's one of those Someone Being Outrageously Rude But What Can Be Done situations, so I wonder whether there is anything that could have been done?

"Gladys" is an elderly lady who lives in my village. She is quite frail, with multiple medical issues and is starting to get a bit vague but generally still has her marbles. She lives alone, and gets a home help, but also has a number of family members, friends and neighbours (including who visit regularly and help with things like her shopping, bills, walking her dog, etc. So for her 90th birthday, Gladys decides to take all these people she relies on to lunch at the local nice restaurant.

Gladys has just recently had a district nurse visit her at home a few times to deal with a medical issue, arranged by her doctor. A few days before the lunch, one of her friends drops by and just asks what time it has been arranged for. The nurse pipes in, "Oh that sound nice, I'd like to go." Perhaps the event shouldn't have been mentioned in front of the nurse at all? But her indicating she's like to go was taken as just a pleasantry in the context -- no one responded, "Oh yes, please come" or anything.

At any rate, Irene drove Gladys and several of the other guests to the restaurant in her car, while a few others arrived separately. I think there were 8 people in total at the reserved table. And then the nurse arrives! Of course, since she hadn't been invited, there was no place for her -- which a polite person might have taken as their cue to say, "Oh, I was just passing by and thought I'd pop in to wish you happy birthday Gladys!" She didn't say that, but waited as the group graciously asked for another place to be added to the table.

All of Gladys's friends were quite considerate of the fact that they were being treated to lunch, and order moderately priced items from the menu. The nurse had the most expensive steak, and also order extras on the side, and a large glass of wine. Afterwards, she wanted to order dessert, but Irene told her that there was a birthday cake that had already been arranged -- so the nurse didn't order a separate dessert, but was apparently quite sulky about it.

Apparently everyone at the lunch, especially Gladys, was entirely polite to the nurse the whole time, and no one called her out on any of her behaviour. I guess my question is, at what point or how could it have been made clear to her that she wasn't invited? Should they have? If an uninvited guest is behaving badly and taking advantage, can anyone do anything?  (I might add that the nurse didn't even bring a card or a gift!) Her presence didn't spoil the lunch, but Irene told me it did make all the invited guests uncomfortable to some degree.
   

cicero

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Re: Uninvited guest taking advantage
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2014, 06:16:53 AM »
playing devil's advocate just for a second, especially since i really don't like third-hand stories - but is it possible that when Nurse said "oh that sounds nice, i'd like to go", and taking into account the things she ordered - that she thought this was a "get together"/ pay-your-way gathering, and not a hosted event? because that's what "i'd like to go" sounds like, to me anyway.

Yes, of course, she shouldn't have invited herself - but if she thougth this was a "gathering of the people who are working with Gladys to celebrate her birthday", AND the fact that it was discussed in front of her, she might have thought it was a more casual thing.

as for sulking, etc - we weren't there, so we really don't know if that is true, or if that was what Irene thought.


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lorelai

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Re: Uninvited guest taking advantage
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2014, 07:41:01 AM »
I don't think if say anything in the moment but I might decide not to employ her in the future.

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Uninvited guest taking advantage
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2014, 08:07:02 AM »
When to mention it? Right when it was first mentioned, saying that she's looking forward to treating family and friends and will be sure to tell nurse all about it.

Runningstar

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Re: Uninvited guest taking advantage
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2014, 08:19:46 AM »
When to mention it? Right when it was first mentioned, saying that she's looking forward to treating family and friends and will be sure to tell nurse all about it.
Oh if only I could be this quick on my feet!  I would have only thought of that too late. 

English1

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Re: Uninvited guest taking advantage
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2014, 08:56:02 AM »
Something should have been said earlier when the nurse wanted to attend.

Personally i'd put in a complaint to the nurse's employer, if it happened here in the UK. I don't know where you are and if things are different there. But here, there is a lot of protection of vulnerable people/service users against being taken advantage of by a carer/nurse. It is forbidden to accept personal gifts. Inviting yourself along to a meal, and accepting a free meal from the person you are caring for, is going to get you in huge trouble here. and quite rightly. What the nurse did was a serious breach of professional ethics.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Uninvited guest taking advantage
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2014, 08:57:43 AM »
I'd be reporting that nurse to her agency.  She took advantage of an elderly woman!  I can't imagine any of the nurses or other homecare folks that looked after my Dad when he had his hip replacement pulling the same stunt.
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Harriet Jones

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Re: Uninvited guest taking advantage
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2014, 08:59:10 AM »
I'd definitely report her.  And request a different nurse from that agency.

NyaChan

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Re: Uninvited guest taking advantage
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2014, 09:49:24 AM »
I'd report her as well. 

As for how to prevent, for myself, I don't think I would have clued in that her "I'd like to go" was more than either an awkward attempt to join the conversation (a bad attempt at "oh well that'll be fun" or "that sounds nice") or at worst fishing for an invite which wasn't forthcoming.  At the luncheon, I probably would have asked her why she was there in genuine surprise and then if she said she was there for the luncheon, "I'm sorry for the confusion, but this is a private gathering for my friends and family."

amylouky

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Re: Uninvited guest taking advantage
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2014, 11:16:01 AM »
Yes, of course, she shouldn't have invited herself - but if she thougth this was a "gathering of the people who are working with Gladys to celebrate her birthday", AND the fact that it was discussed in front of her, she might have thought it was a more casual thing.

That's curious. I wouldn't think that the rule about not discussing events in front of uninvited people would apply to someone who is (basically) an employee and shouldn't have any expectation of being invited.

I think nurse was presumptuous to invite herself, and very rude to actually show up and expect to be hosted.

I would request a different nurse, and explain the reason. That is not professional in the least.

JenJay

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Re: Uninvited guest taking advantage
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2014, 12:03:47 PM »
I'd be reporting that nurse to her agency.  She took advantage of an elderly woman!  I can't imagine any of the nurses or other homecare folks that looked after my Dad when he had his hip replacement pulling the same stunt.

I agree. My first thought was "If she'll take advantage of Gladys so blatantly in front of others, what might she try to pull when they're alone?"  :-\

lowspark

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Re: Uninvited guest taking advantage
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2014, 12:48:06 PM »
Right when she said, "I'd like to go" Gladys should have immediately replied, "Oh sorry, this is a private party and the guest list has already been set."

I'm wondering why they didn't say anything to her at that time.

cicero

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Re: Uninvited guest taking advantage
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2014, 01:40:58 PM »
Yes, of course, she shouldn't have invited herself - but if she thougth this was a "gathering of the people who are working with Gladys to celebrate her birthday", AND the fact that it was discussed in front of her, she might have thought it was a more casual thing.

That's curious. I wouldn't think that the rule about not discussing events in front of uninvited people would apply to someone who is (basically) an employee and shouldn't have any expectation of being invited.

I think nurse was presumptuous to invite herself, and very rude to actually show up and expect to be hosted.

I would request a different nurse, and explain the reason. That is not professional in the least.

well, now that i've thought about it and read the other replies - of course, the nurse shouldn't have done what she did (she is an employee). I do wonder how it was discussed, and what kind of relationship they have, etc.

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jedikaiti

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Re: Uninvited guest taking advantage
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2014, 02:22:40 PM »
Yes, of course, she shouldn't have invited herself - but if she thougth this was a "gathering of the people who are working with Gladys to celebrate her birthday", AND the fact that it was discussed in front of her, she might have thought it was a more casual thing.

That's curious. I wouldn't think that the rule about not discussing events in front of uninvited people would apply to someone who is (basically) an employee and shouldn't have any expectation of being invited.

I think nurse was presumptuous to invite herself, and very rude to actually show up and expect to be hosted.

I would request a different nurse, and explain the reason. That is not professional in the least.

well, now that i've thought about it and read the other replies - of course, the nurse shouldn't have done what she did (she is an employee). I do wonder how it was discussed, and what kind of relationship they have, etc.

Sounds to me like someone Gladys had only met a few times, not someone she'd had an extended working relationship with.

I agree that the proper time to tell Nurse she wasn't invited was when she said she wanted to go. However, I can see there being a bit of confusion, thinking that she was clumsily expressing a sentiment similar to "that sounds like a great idea to file in my brain for future reference" or else fishing for an invite (which was not been forthcoming), but not expecting her to just invite herself and show up. Once she did show up, I think it should have been explained to her.

I concur with the posters who say to report her to her employer. Heck I would say to report her even if she hadn't been allowed to stay at the lunch. It was wholly unprofessional of her in a great many respects.
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YummyMummy66

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Re: Uninvited guest taking advantage
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2014, 02:25:13 PM »
Gladys should have said, "I'm sorry, the lunch is for family only", when the nurse said that she would love to go.

I cannot believe that the nurse just showed up!

I am a senior caregiver in Pennsylvania.  My agency would never sanction something like this.  Although, most of my clients are like family and if they invited me, that would be one thing.  But, inviting yourself and then picking the most expensive items to boot? I don't think so. 

I agree with other posters, I would call the agency and I would not report her per se, but I might ask a question and ask the agency if this situation was common with their employees?  I would let them know I felt very uncomfortable being put on the spot and I would like another nurse from now on.