It was my 6th shift in a new department and I’ll admit that I wasn’t up to scratch on my knowledge. I was cutting it a bit fine that morning and was a few minutes late to work. But there was no one else there. So I waited and finally half an hour later someone else turned up and started their jobs. They didn’t need my help so I finally gave into the boredom and turned on Netflix. Two minutes later my supervisor walked in and caught me. Great first impression.
He was a little frosty that nothing had been done but my hands were definitely tied behind my back as nothing was open. He warmed up after a short while and started to ask me questions about the machine we were using and some specific physiology questions. It had been a long time since I had studied this in university and I had long forgotten all of this information. I kept repeating ‘I don’t know’ and ‘I’m only guessing now’. But he was good about it and kept telling me that I knew the information, it was just about accessing the knowledge. I felt really embarrassed because I should have known that information and I felt like I was a first year university student again. But he just kept telling me that I was smarter than I thought I was.
My supervisor told me that he was only going to be in town for another three days and then he had a new job to go to. He said that I could ask him stupid things because he was going soon and wouldn’t be providing a reference so it didn’t matter.
Under normal circumstances, I really have a hierarchical approach to work and find it difficult to interact with senior supervisors in a non-work sense. It has taken a lot of work to see junior supervisors as colleagues and not people on a pedestal. I guess that is what happens when you work your way up from a junior student in the field to a a junior professional in the field. There is so much more growing to do but I don’t feel adequate enough to interact with the big bosses. It’s my own complex.
That is why I was acting so strange with this supervisor. I was talking to him like no other boss. I was laughing at his jokes (and I pray that I was laughing, not giggling) and allowing myself to be put through the torture of constant questioning of my knowledge and the embarrassment of rarely knowing the answer. Sure, the entire time I was learning and it also mean that I did not have to sit in silence, bored. It was so unusual for me. And I had to wonder after 6 straight hours of this if the other staff around us were judging me.
To cap it all off, there was a shift change around 4pm and some young, beautiful nurses came on and also started to joke and laugh with my supervisor. And I got jealous. Of course. Because my brain thinks, “Oh hey, that man is treating you like a human being so he must like you a little bit.” Or maybe it was because I had his full attention for those 6 hours. Either way, I knew that I had no right to be jealous and nothing to actually be jealous of, but I was.
That is the thing that annoys me the most about myself. That I am so used to being ignored or men being indifferent that when a man shows a shred of kindness I completely extrapolate this to mean attraction. I know it is not true. And it’s not because I’m beautiful and expect every man to want to date me. I think this reflects on the fact that I expect men to treat me like shit and when someone is nice I think that it is for a reason, not because they are simply a nice person.
So in answer to the question, no I was not intentionally flirting with him.