Monthly Archives: June 2016


IMG_0358When you get on the bus or train, or walk into an office, the looks on people’s faces tell, more than words, that they do not like you.It is everywhere: on the road, on the bus, in the supermarket queue, at work, in the hospital, at the children’s playground, at the pub, at the church and even in our own family settings.

People are abound who do not like you. Such people do everything not to like you, even when you do everything you can for a better relationship. They may not like you for reasons of race, beliefs, gender and sexuality or several other reasons. But people can also dislike you for reasons that you cannot understand. Ironically, even if you ask them why they dislike you, they cannot come up with any tangible reason.

Look at the situation with Lucy Davies, for instance. Her boss was after her. There was nothing that Lucy could do right, as far as Sister Simpson was concerned. She followed Lucy everywhere, looking not only over her shoulders but also into her throat. Like Lucy, Dr Chuks suffered in the hands of his boss who saw nothing good about him. Dr Braver did everything to frustrate Dr Chuks despite the fact that he was a fantastic surgeon. Likewise, Sister Barnes was at Nurse Simmonds throat even when she tried to give her patient some hope.

We all encounter people who do not like us in our daily lives. But people do not have to like you. Likewise, you don’t have to like them. Sometimes we are stuck with such people at home and at work, and they challenge our lives. Of course, we feel bad if people do not like us. It is human to feel that way. After all, we human beings are social animals. We feel love and affection. It upsets us when someone shows the opposite. Moreover, we need each other to survive, and so we form friendships as we journey through schooling, childhood and throughout our professional careers.

But what do you do when someone does not like you? In certain situations, whether someone likes you or not doesn’t matter, and you should not let that stress you. This is the case, for instance, when someone gets up from the seat on the bus because you try to sit next to him, or pulls face when you stand next to him on the supermarket queue. Likewise, the guy who pulls his face just because you are different should not bother you. Those people don’t matter and you can choose to ignore them and let them live with the guilt.

What about in those situations when you are “stuck” with someone who does not like you? Such is the situation when you have to live with a difficult or unreasonable boss on whom your future largely depends. It’s easy to let a person with a challenging behaviour ruin your life unless you have effective ways for dealing with him. I have found the following strategies helpful in those difficult situations:

Calm down

The first rule when dealing with a difficult person is to keep your cool. You can deal with most situations if you follow this golden rule. When a person does something bad towards us out of their dislike for us we feel angry or upset. During that charged moment it is pretty easy to overreact. The first rule in the face of an unreasonable person is to maintain your composure. When you feel angry or upset with someone, calm down lest you say or do something you may regret later. The less reactive you are, the more you can engage your faculty to better manage the situation.

Keep your distance

Some situations are not worth the fight. Don’t waste your valuable time tussling with unreasonable people. Unless there is much to lose, don’t try to change or convince such people. Keep your distance when you can, but when you have to interact with them, be diplomatic.


Show your ultimate diligence in whatever you do even when people do not show appreciation. This principle is a life skill and it will help to reduce your stress.

Avoid gossips

It is common in workplace for people to gossip about a difficult boss. Try not to take part in gossips. The same person who tells you something about your is the one who will pass what you have said to him. You will maintain your dignity and self regard by avoiding gossips.

Be proactive rather than reactive

It is very easy to make a wrong judgment about a person just because we believe that he does not to like us. When the person makes an honest criticism, we may see it as part of his dislike even when such criticisms are for our own good. You should view every situation with objectivity, minimise misinterpretation and channel your time and energy towards problem-solving. Avoid direct confrontation.

Try a bit of humour

When used appropriately, humour can be a powerful weapon to disarm a person with difficult or unreasonable behaviour. Dr Chuks, for instance, utilised this tool when he attended Dr Braver’s Christmas party. “What do you give your dogs in Africa?” Dr Braver asked, wanting to ridicule his African colleague as he devoured the pork shin. All the guests turned their attention at the African doctor. But before they could laugh to embarrass him, Dr Chuks replied, smiling, “Oh, we give them chocolate.” All the people burst into laughter. Even Dr Braver could not resist joining in, laughing and clapping.

Stand up to Bullies

As discussed above, you should pick our fights as not all situations are worth the fight. However, you should confront bullies when it is safe to do so. By so doing, you will reduce or eliminate their threatening behaviour, which will ultimately help to increase your confidence and give you peace of mind. Bullies tend to pick on weak ones. It is also to be noted that whilst bullies show an outward aggressiveness they are cowards on the inside. When someone they have perceived to be weak stand up to them they often back down.

Someone is always there

Finally, be encouraged that nothing lasts for ever, even your interaction with someone who does not like you. Sometimes all you have to do is to simply wait and someone else will fight your fight. Dr Chuks, for instance, was lucky to have Dr Saints taking on Dr Braver. Likewise, Samantha Guest had to fulfil her duty of candour to Lucy Davies and Angela Fletcher brought hope to Gail Simmonds.


IMG_2721People often talk about Monday blues, the feeling you get on Monday after you’ve had and enjoyed a work-free weekend. You feel lazy, tired, having no interest, zeal or enthusiasm to do anything. Monday depresses people more than any other day of the week. No wonder, studies have shown that people are more likely to commit suicides on Mondays than any other weekday or weekend. Studies have also shown that most sick- leaves are taken on Mondays. That is the nature of this special day, the first day of the week.

All the nurses on ward 19 knew what Monday was like, as it was the main operation day. If it were the Monday blues alone, Lucy Davies would not be bothered. She knew what to expect, and she always prepared her body and soul for this busy day. But, when you have a boss who not only looks over your shoulders but also into your throat, you feel more blues. Lucy’s cup was full, or to be more precise, over full. That was how she felt, as Sister Bella Simpson followed her round and criticised whatever she did.

Lucy had always wanted to be a nurse since the age of three, after surviving a severe infection with meningococcal meningitis. She would like to care for patients the way nurses had cared for her. Now, a qualified nurse, she faced a murder charge. Her patient had died from a deliberate injection of a toxic chemical. She denied ever doing anything to harm her patient, but no one believed her. Even her colleagues would not rescue her. As for her boss, she could not wait to see her locked away for life.

The police had charged her on the basis that everyone had testified that she was the last person to see Mark Calder alive. How could she kill her patient when, as she claimed, she left the room straightaway? Someone else must have committed the murder. But who was that person? Unless she could produce an alibi, she faced a life imprisonment. Even as she was locked away in solitary confinement, Lucy maintained her innocence,

“I left straightaway, when Sister Simpson asked me to leave,” she informed the police.

“That wasn’t what they told us,” the police officer said. “You remained in the room whilst they left. Yes, staff saw you going to the non-acute bay. But that was several minutes later. That was what all your colleagues said.” And then he stared into Lucy’s soul. And after drawing a long breath, he drew his face closer to hers. “You see, your only alibi, Miss Davies, is Mark Calder. Only him can tell who injected the drug that has killed him. But he’s no more  with us. His young life has been terminated by her nurse, the very nurse that he had trusted,” the officer concluded.

Lucy knew then that there was nothing else she could say. And when the officer finally formally charged her, she knew that her only chance of acquittal hung on the reasoning of the jury. She would argue her case and prove her innocence beyond a reasonable doubt.

Lucy remained locked up in the high security prison. As the police left, and she was left on her own, she wondered if there was anyone, one honest person among her colleagues, who would see it as a duty owned to Mark to report who had murdered him.

DUTY OF CANDOUR available now for download HERE