It’s Taking All Dog Day Afternoon

, , , , , | Right | December 19, 2019

(I am a veterinary technician. A client brings her Labrador in for an exam and rabies vaccine without an appointment. We have a few spare minutes, so we work her in. During the exam, she mentions a growth on the dog’s eyelid, so the doctor takes a look. We do not normally put animals under anesthesia on Saturdays due to our busy schedule.)

Doctor: “Well, it seems to be causing some irritation to the eye itself, so it should probably be removed soon.”

Client: “Could you go ahead and do that today?”

Doctor: “[My Name], do we have time to put him under?”

Me: “Not really. We only had time to do this exam because our last appointment didn’t take long. We still have two rooms to go in, and then two appointments scheduled after that. We close in about two hours.”

Client: “Well, it shouldn’t take long. It’s just a little bump on his eyelid. You’ll have plenty of time.”

Me: “Ma’am, with all due respect, it takes about twenty minutes just to get him under anesthesia, and then we’d have to do the procedure and wake him up. That would put all of our appointments behind. I’d hate to rush through your dog’s surgery. We have plenty of time during our normal surgery hours on Monday. That’ll give you a chance to fast him beforehand, anyway.”

Doctor: “Well, I could use [anesthetic drug] instead of the gas. It’d be more expensive but we could do it today.”

Client: “Yes, yes, let’s do that. I work on Monday so it can’t wait.”

(I glare at the doctor. He shrugs. Another technician takes the dog to the back and I walk the client to the front desk to check out. While I’m writing up her file I hear her complaining to the receptionist.)

Receptionist: “Your total comes to [total]. If you have other errands to do, your dog should be ready to go home in about an hour.”

Client: “An hour? That’s way too long! And why does this cost so much? I wasn’t planning on spending this much money!”

Me: “If you’ve got other things to do, you’re more than welcome to make an appointment to drop him off Monday. It’ll be cheaper Monday, as well, since we’d use a different anesthetic.”

Client: “I can’t drop him off Monday! I work all day!”

Me: “Then he’ll be ready in an hour. We can’t rush the doctor any more than that without risking your pet’s life.”

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