What do you do all day?
This question gets thrown around a lot, no matter the industry. It’s often derogatory. It implies you do not do anything simply because someone else is not educated on your role. You must be sitting around doing nothing for 40 hours every week.
Administrators and managers do not really ask this of one another much (at least not out loud). Managers may ask this of their subordinates as they learn the roles of their team members or work to understand processes, etc. Good managers ask the question much differently, though. Frontline team members may ask this of one another – people in other departments, for example – a lot.
Be careful; this is a trap – for the person answering and the person asking.
It is easy to think people are lazy or not working when you have no clue what it is they do. Find out. Don’t assume or pass judgement. Most people in health care aren’t in it for the money and have a strong or steady work ethic. I heard a nurse speaker one time joke that we often bust our tails just to avoid “the look.” We all know “the look;” it’s “the look” that asks “What did you do all shift?” without saying a single word. Yeah, we all want to avoid that.
Don’t get sucked into the trap. And watch yourself; you just might be asking the question (of many people) or whipping out “the look” at the beginning of every shift. More importantly, appropriately educate others about what you actually do. Share your work with colleagues and supervisors. It may seem like bragging. It’s not. It’s keeping people informed and curbing the What do you do all day? monster.