Bathed In Lies

, , , , , , | Right | October 30, 2018

(An old woman comes into the clinic in the evening, not long before we close. The vet determines that her dog has a skin condition, and instructs me to give him a medicated dip before the client comes back to pick him up. I soak the dog in the medication, let it sit, and then rinse him thoroughly, and since it’s winter and now dark outside, I make sure to spend some extra time blow-drying him so he doesn’t get a chill on the way home. I think everything is fine, but soon after she picks her dog up, the client calls to complain that we “didn’t do anything” for him. My coworker assures her that we treated him, and we think it’s over, until the next day when the phone rings. It’s the client again, this time furious and insisting that her dog “never even got wet.” The vet gives the phone to me.)

Client: “You lied to me! You’re cheating me! You never did anything for my dog!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I definitely did.”

Client: “No, you didn’t! He was completely dry! You never even got him wet!”

Me: “I blow-dried him before sending him home, ma’am. I didn’t want him to be cold.”

Client: “You’re lying! He had some dirt stuck to his paw when I brought him in, and it was still there when I picked him up! You didn’t give him a bath at all!”

Me: “I didn’t scrub him. That’s not what he was here for. A medicated dip is not that sort of bath; it is just a way to get the medication to soak into your dog’s skin. I was treating him, not cleaning him.”

Client: “You didn’t do anything! There was still dirt on his paw! You’re lying to me to get my money!”

Me: “As I said, ma’am, he was not here for a bath. I wasn’t trying to wash him. But I promise you, he received the treatment.”

Client: “No, no, no, you didn’t do anything. I can’t believe you would lie to me like this.”

Me: “I’m sorry there seems to have been a misunderstanding, but if you like, we could certainly give your dog a bath, no charge. It wouldn’t have to be done by me, if you don’t trust me. One of my coworkers could do it.”

Client: “No! All I want is for you to admit you lied!

Me: “Then I’m sorry, ma’am, but I can’t help you. I won’t tell you I didn’t do my job when I know I did.”

(This goes on for days, with the woman constantly calling back, us offering her different services for free, and her insisting that the only thing she wants is for us to admit we’re liars. This is how my last conversation with her ends.)

Client: “I can’t believe any of you. This is just terrible. I have to do it! I’m calling the better business bureau!

Me: *so very tired* “Go ahead, ma’am.”

Client: *stunned silence, before she sputters something and hangs up*

(I didn’t hear anything more and thought it was over, until my coworker came up to me a few days later and confessed that she’d heard the vet, my boss, talking to the woman on the phone and telling her that she was right, that I was a liar, and that I would be punished. He had her come in for that free bath, on my day off, so I wouldn’t see her and find out! But the part that really stung? My boss has cameras set up all throughout the clinic so that he can watch us from his office or at home, and review the footage after he’s gone out. There’s one right over the tub where I gave the dog the treatment… so my boss knew full well I had been telling the truth the entire time!)

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