Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Heartless Hierarchy Constrains

Hi StrangeTony,

You asked "How are things looking at Gentiva?"  They feel constrained on so many levels.  It's what happens when hospice, originally the calling of a dedicated mix of health care and other professionals, comes under the auspices of top down, command and control management.

This heartless hierarchy has asserted itself as the only appropriate route of communication, yet it is not open to the smallest of observations on itself.  Those are characterized as negative feelings, statements which are only offered by negative people.  It matters not that statistics are fudged to make leaders look good or that regulations are bent to the point of breaking.

Add the financial constraints leftover from the Harden acquisition and there is no money for just about anything (other than executive incentive compensation).  I expect it will be awhile before our gasoline mileage rate is increased.

We've learned to say in response to their edicts/offerings, "Thank you, sir/ma'am.  Can I please have another one?"  It goes easier that way.



  1. Hello,
    I'm the person who has posted some responses from time to time. All I can say is that you should consider going to another company, as there appears to be nothing left (at whatever location you are from), that can provide you with any fulfillment or accomplishment. You are under no obligation to stay in an environment and play the victim all of the time. It's time to take action, which may mean moving to a new company. You are in a bad spot in your work life and I'm sure that is spilling over into ohter areas -- personal, etc. The bitterness in your posts is moving into the toxic area, which can't be healthy for you or anyone around you.

    1. Are you talking to StrangeTony with Generic Hospice or Gentiva's Anonymous? If it's your fellow anonymous, I'll wait for their reply.

    2. Might you share your employer, should it be a hospice?

  2. To anonymous,
    And I am not saying that you are wrong to have the feelings you do or the concerns you have. However, at some point you have to say "when."

  3. Anonymous,

    Well said.


  4. Having worked for years under an abusive leader at Generic Hospice I appreciate the tension between one's love for the work and the frustration/fatigue from dealing with an abysmal manager.

    Most patients and family members are grateful for the simplest of things, a smile, a touch, knowing someone cares and is interested in hearing their stories. This is in direct contrast to what an abusive manager offers, a scowl, tin ears, vague orders that seemingly change by the minute, and an endless search for victims of their displaced anger, likely seeded in a horrific childhood. Understanding and compassion for the abuser is difficult to find, especially in the midst of their whimsical fault finding. Yet, it is the only true release.

    We're all doing the best we can with what we have, some more limited and unwillingly to hear or see the impacts of their actions.

    I mentioned the number of times Generic corporate came to manage crises created by our branch manager. Those folks could not hear any perspective other than our branch manager's who painted the crew as recalcitrant. It took courage for people to tell aspects of their story. They spoke their truth, even if corporate did not eyes to see or ears to hear. Speaking one's truth is an important thing.

    I am glad I rode it out and that our abusive branch manager finally left, nearly decimating our site. There were several people who never quit under our abysmal manager, staying because it was their life's mission/journey. We came back under mutual and cooperative leadership to greater achievement. I believe those who toughed it out enabled us to rise again, sooner, maybe even at all.

    I surmise Gentiva's Anonymous has a manager with huge ego needs, who wants the people to say."Oh leader, we would be nothing without you. Your greatness is solely responsible for all our achievements." That's a black hole into which everything falls, i.e. a recipe for destruction.

    I am happy for Gentiva's Anonymous to share their perspective on my blog. Over the decades I've seen the state of leadership in our country sink to abysmal levels. If one person can connect, i.e. not feel isolated and alone, then Anonymous has done a service. I am grateful for those who care for others, while caring for themselves in some form or fashion. .

    "A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves." Lao Tzu

    We all must find our way.

  5. sounds like HR from G weighed in

    1. I was amazed by how many leaps this person made about Gentiva's Anonymous. It could've been someone up the chain of command as well.

      We live in world where so many leader's words are hollow. When this is pointed out (often by invitation), the messenger is shot.

  6. I may be wrong, but I see Gentiva's Anonymous as someone who cares deeply about patients and coworkers. I see Anonymous getting quite a bit of fulfillment from this end of the hospice business. I envision their care and attention for others as a buffer to a toxic, abusive leader. As I mentioned before, we had several people fulfill this role at our Generic site and it made a huge difference in the speed and depth of our recovery.

    I hear truths being told and don't see Anonymous' perspective as toxic or bitter. As for always playing the victim, that's quite a leap. We both may be projecting .

    I do hope Gentiva's Anonymous is able to find compassion for their site's tortured leader. The company will do what the company will do. There's peace to bring and waters to calm in the interim. That includes water needlessly stirred up from personal pathology.

    Everyone has a path to walk and most have thorns. Many of those thorns have flowers. It's a matter of view. I expect Anonymous' ability to view "what is" is orders of magnitude greater than their limited boss. But then again, I could be wrong. However, my intuition suggests not.

  7. StrangeTony,

    I appreciate your sensing my desire to impact patients, their families and fellow employees in a positive manner. It's not hard to know which employees are targeted. An already heavy workload becomes abusive. Unable to do multiple jobs well on a lasting basis, the employee gets written up by management. These are not reasonable conversations amongst adults about the work and how to get it done. They're personal attacks on a worn down victim. There's no mutuality, just the gross exercise of power to demean, diminish and take the air out of the employee's lungs. Corporate has ears to hear and eyes to see, but they only hear our Branch Manager's voice. Gentiva leaders see the BM's perspective that our site's greatness is due to one thing, their leadership (which is in reality abusive micro-managing)..

    Anonymous from Gentiva

  8. This site is a sight for sore eyes. An oasis. I have longed for a place to safely vent. I love my job and would like to stay at Gentiva (or Kindred?) but management is sinking the ship. It's difficult to find other work for the pay I currently get so I have to stay until I can find something comparable. I used to have pride in the place I work but not now. I am curious on how other branches feel about their FSU. Do the get talked down to as well? We hate conference calls with them because of their nasty attitudes.