Unfiltered Story #153782

, , | Unfiltered | June 9, 2019

(I work as a receptionist at a private practice animal hospital. An elderly woman comes in; I recognize her as the mother of one of our clients.)

Me: Hello! How are you?

Her: *no response**hands me a plastic bag with a stool sample inside*

Me: … Would you like me to run a fecal parasite test for you?

Her: Yes. My cat has fleas, and I want to make sure he hasn’t gotten anything from them.

Me: Oh no! No problem. What was your last name again?

(She gives me her last name, but when I ask for her cat’s name, I can’t find him in the system.)

Her: I’ve never brought him here before.

Me: Oh, okay! That’s alright, we can still run the test. *I quickly create a new file for the cat and enter the charge for the fecal parasite test into the system.* Okay, so we should get the results back from the lab tomorrow, and we’ll give you a call as soon as they come in. Your total for today is going to come to $49.

Her: *slightly condescendingly* Oh, I forgot my wallet at home, sweetie. But I assure you, I’m good for it. I’ll come back in to pay it at a later date. *winks at me*

Me: Oh… Okay.

(Normally I wouldn’t let this slide without a manager’s approval, but a) I knew from past interactions that she was, indeed, good for it, and b) she walked out before I could consult with a manager.)

(A month passes. She never comes in to pay, nor does she call to make an over-the-phone payment. I send her a statement with a short letter attached, politely asking her to contact us to complete the transaction, and reminding her that she had left her wallet at home before. Several days later, I see her come in.)

Me: Hello! How are you?

Her: *no response*

Me: … What can I do for you today?

Her: *no response. She fishes out a credit card and hands it to me*

Me: … What was your last name?

Her: [Name].

Me: And your pet’s name?

Her: *stares at me as though scrutinizing the second head growing out of my ear*

Me: … What is your animal’s name?

Her: [Pet’s name].

Me: *I pull up her file in the system, suddenly remembers* Oh! Yes! Were you trying to make a payment on your account?

Her: It should be the only charge there.

Me: Oookay. *runs the card for the full amount*

Her: What can you tell me about Rat’s Lip?

Me: … I’m sorry?

Her: Rat’s Lip.

Me: … I… I’ve never heard of such a thing before.

Her: *looks at me as though she were talking to a mentally disabled child* It’s a rare condition that some cats can have. *she describes it to me, and explains that one of our doctors had diagnosed one of her cats with it a long time ago* I was wondering if you knew anything about it.

Me: Oh, no, actually I’ve never heard of it before.

Her: I just need some information about it.

Me: … I can… get the doctor, if you’d like.

Her: Eh, she’s probably busy. I just cant use the internet. I’m not one of those tech people.

Me: *noticing that the doctor’s patient has just stepped out of the exam room, and that the phone is ringing* … If… you give me just a moment, I’d be happy to find some information for you.

(I manage to put the call on hold, search for Rat’s Lip – which is actually called a “Rodent Ulcer”, apparently –  and print out the website’s information for her. Hoping she’ll leave soon, I smile pleasantly and hand it to her.)

Her: Thanks. My cat had this once. *walks out*

(The best part? I later relayed this story to the doctor. Even SHE had no idea what this condition was! How this lady expected me – someone with no in-depth veterinary training – to magically provide information about such a rare disease, I’ll never know.)

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