A Double Coat Of Entitlement

, , , , , | Right | June 18, 2020

I work at a small animal hospital that offers limited boarding and grooming services. Our main focus is on healthcare. Because we are a small practice with many of our employees working in dual departments for coverage, we have rules for when we can provide certain services.

For example, if you want “grooming,” we require animals to make appointments a couple of days ahead and they have to be dropped off in the morning. This way we can make sure we have someone who can give the dog a bath with enough time to dry and be brushed out. We make exceptions for small, short-haired dogs like Chihuahuas.

It is 2:30 pm.

Client: “I would like to bring my pet in for a bath.”

Me: “Okay, let me pull up your account. What is your last name and your pets’ name, and when would you like to bring your pet in?”

Client: “I am [Client] and I would like to bring her in this afternoon if that’s okay.”

On the account I see that the pet is a long-haired, hundred-pound shepherd mix who is also aggressive.

Me: “Unfortunately, ma’am, we do not do grooming services in the afternoon since we don’t have the time nor the staff available.”

Client: “Really? But I really need to get her in. We are getting new carpet put in today so I need her to be clean.”

Me: “I am sorry, ma’am, but we can’t do a bath on a double-coated dog this late in the day.”

Client: “Can’t you just ask [Doctor]? She knows me.”

I go to the doctor who is also the owner of the practice and fill her in. Originally, she says no but when I inform the client, she presses again. I go back to the doctor and she agrees but with conditions.

Me: “Okay, [Doctor] says it is okay if you bring [Pet] in now. You can expect her to be done right before we close at 5:30. We cannot promise that we will be able to brush her out completely but we will do the best we can. Please try to be in the clinic no later than 5:15 to pick her up.”

The client shows up thirty minutes later and the technician who really should be helping the doctors gets started on giving the pet a bath. At 4:15 pm:

Client: “Hi. I just want to know if my pet is ready for pick up.”

Me: “No, she is still pretty wet. It takes a long time for double-coated dogs to dry.”

Client: “Can you give me a time when she will be ready?”

Me: “She probably won’t be ready until right before we close at 5:30.”

Client: “She won’t be ready sooner? I need to plan out the rest of the night; I don’t want to have to wait around for her to be ready.”

Me: “Ma’am, we are doing the best we can to get her back to you. Like I said, double-coated dogs take a long time to dry. Then, we have to brush her really good because if we don’t you will have little puffs of white hair everywhere. The bath and the dryer loosen up the undercoat. You don’t want to have dog hair all over your new carpet, do you?”

Client: “We aren’t getting carpet put in today; we are just getting our house measured for new carpet.”

Me: *Frustrated pause* “You can pick your pet up at 5:15.”

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Unfiltered Story #196531

, | Unfiltered | June 13, 2020

(I’m a client in this one. Usually I take our cats to the vet on my own, but this time my husband wanted to tag along to see what it’s like. Our vet is great, but my coward of a huge tomcat is terrified of everything he doesn’t know. This time, the vet had to draw some blood for testing. We’d taken my cat our of the carrier, I was holding his back, the vet’s assistant was holding his head, and the vet just shaved part of his front leg.

For those who don’t know: Cats also purr when they’re upset, to calm themselves down.)

Vet: *calmly preparing syringe and talking to the cat* “Aw, I know, it’s all scary, isn’t it? We’ll be done here soon and you can hide in your carrier, don’t worry.”

My husband: *watching in confusion* “He’s… purring. I’ve never heard him purr like that! Does he actually enjoy this?”

Vet: *cheerfully* “No, he thinks I’m about to chop his leg off. Aren’t you a big bad scaredycat who’s afraid I’ll chop his leg off?”

Unfiltered Story #196244

, | Unfiltered | June 12, 2020

(My friend was the goofy customer. She hears her cat and her roommate’s dog fighting, goes and sees blood everywhere. She finds her cat under the sofa, fur blood-red and not moving. In a panic, she rushed the cat over to the emergency vet.)

Friend: “P-P-Please, you have to help! M-M-My cat got into a fight with this big dog and he’s badly hurt!”

Vet: “OK.”

(The vet proceeds to check the cat over. Finally he stops and looks up.)

Friend: “What?”

Vet: “Ms. [Name], this cat has no wounds.”

Friend: “WHAT! But he’s covered in blood!”

Vet: “I know, but he’s doesn’t have a single wound. The blood is not his. He’s in shock, but not physically injured.”

(Turns out it was the big dog’s blood! My friend didn’t see the fight, but she figures that when the dog tried to get him under the sofa, the cat attacked by biting his nose. Sure enough, my friend’s roommate comes in later with her dog’s face to be stitched up. My friend was red faced.)

Some Managers Need More Training On Being Human

, , , , | Working | June 9, 2020

After graduating from college in the vet field, I am hired at a twenty-four-hour vet clinic as a receptionist in the next city over. Because I rely on public transportation, the travel is a nightmare, to say the least; I have to leave three hours before my shifts to make all my connections and as it’s almost winter at this time, the weather is miserable. I suck it up, as it’s a full-time position with a good wage and benefits.

I tell the managers who interview me that this will be my first clinic job and as such, I will need to be trained properly to make up for my lack of experience. They tell me this won’t be an issue and say, “You’re exactly what we’re looking for.”

Little did I know how wrong that was.

On my first day:

Manager #1: “We’re going to start your training today. You have to go to [Website] and watch the videos that [Manager #2] sent you in an email. Here is all your login information. You also have to read our policies and procedures and sign off when you’re done.”

She leaves and I start reading. A little while later, [Manager #2] comes in and sits at the opposite desk. She’s looking over my shoulder a bit but I don’t say anything and just continue what I’m doing. It gets a bit awkward, as I don’t have headphones to watch the videos and she keeps commenting on things as I’m going through them. In the end, I do six hours of this and only finish half of the first module of training.

Me: “Do you want me to do more at home? I only got this much done.”

Manager #2: *Waves me off* “Don’t worry about that; you’ll be able to finish the rest of it this week. See you tomorrow!”

I come in the next day to find out I’m not doing more training, but being placed on the front desk with [Manager #1]. I’m a little nervous, as I haven’t even touched the vet software before, but I decide I’ll do my best. Throughout the day, it’s clear that [Manager #1] wants me to get as familiar as possible to the front desk so I can work by myself or with another receptionist. I’m asked to answer phones, make appointments, and answer client questions: all things I haven’t been trained on yet.

Basically, the day goes like this:

Manager #1: “Okay, this client wants to buy [Brand] food. Let’s ring them up.”

I search the food catalogue to find that there are twenty [Brand] items to pick from.

Me: “Okay, so that’s one [Brand] item, at [weight], correct?”

Manager #1: “No, it’s under [Another Name that isn’t the brand], see? You have to search by the other name to find it.”

Me: “Can I ask why is it under a completely different name?”

Manager #1: “That’s just how the system is; you have to search our products by term, not by name. So, if you need renal food, search ‘renal,’ or ‘kidney,’ and scroll until you find it.”

Me: “I understand, but that seems confusing to me. If I just search that, I’ll get results for other products that aren’t food, which makes me look through more things.”

Manager #1: “Don’t worry; you’ll get used to it. Just remember to use terms, not names.”

I struggle with the system and I also have some issues with the other staff. Our veterinarians, vet techs, and vet assistants all stay in the back room to do their tasks; however, they seem very annoyed that I am asking questions. Every time I ask for clarification, they look at me like I have three heads and then very condescendingly give me an answer, like I’m a child. Or they just don’t help me at all and say, “Figure it out.”

I’m a rather shy person and I don’t like to just start talking to people without saying, “Excuse me,” and the like, which apparently makes it worse, resulting in me awkwardly waiting until people are finished their conversations. Example:

I’m patiently waiting until the technician is done speaking to another coworker.

The tech stops talking and notices me, then says abruptly:

Tech: “What is it?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to butt in. I was wondering if I could ask you a question if you have a moment?”

Tech: *Sighs* “What do you need?”

I’m starting to feel embarrassed.

Me: “I’m on the phone with a client who wants to bring her dog in for a booster vaccine, and your schedule is getting pretty full. The next opening I have is right before you do rounds for the hospitalized patients, so I wanted to ask if I could—”

Tech: *Interrupting* “Yeah, put her in. You don’t have to ask me that.”

Me: *Taken aback* “Okay, I just wanted to clarify before scheduling her in—”

The tech goes back to talking to someone else.

Every. Time.

I do this a few more times with the same results, and then decide to not ask before changing it to see if they say anything. True enough, the next time I schedule a tech appointment, I get chastised for not confirming with them. Seeing as I can’t win either way, I continue to ask them whenever I make a schedule change.

This goes on for about a month and my motivation is quickly depleting. I never do get back to training. I get talked down to and yelled at for incredibly small things, such as not putting whiteboard markers back in the exact same place when someone needs them even if there are multiple available.

On top of this, my shifts are also changing from morning to night, which I initially didn’t have an issue with, but now I’ve been exclusively working 4:00 pm to 12:00 am and it’s wearing down on me. It’s made travel a lot harder; I live with my parents, so thankfully, my dad agrees to drive me home at twelve since no buses run that late, but he’s getting fed up with it. It’s worthy to note that I do have problems with anxiety and this job is making it skyrocket. When I’m approaching thirty days of employment, my managers ask to meet with me for an evaluation.

Manager #1: “This is your thirty-day evaluation. We’re just going to talk about your performance and ask a couple of questions, okay?”

Manager #2: “Can you tell us your thoughts on how you think you’re doing?”

Me: “Well… to be honest, I am struggling with a few things. I’m getting used to the system and routine of things, but I find the technicians and vets are not very nice to me. I admit that sounds childish, but it feels like I’m bothering them when asking questions. The only reason I talk to them so much is to make sure I’m doing things correctly and so I won’t have to ask next time. I know I’m supposed to help them as much as possible to make things easier for them, but I need to ask questions in order to do so. I am talked down to and chastised constantly and I can’t seem to do anything right for them.”

Manager #1: “Well, you know, when there’s a lot of women working in one place—”

We’re all female excluding one male vet.

Manager #1: “—we can get kind of catty. They may seem like that, but they’re really nice and caring people when you get to know them.”

I’m a little shocked by this, as I don’t think it’s right to say that in order to excuse their behaviour, but I don’t press it.

Manager #2: “We’ve noticed you are having a hard time with some of the day-to-day duties. The other receptionists say you don’t pull your weight.”

Me: *Shocked* “I— What? I don’t understand. I don’t have any issues with that! I take out the garbage, mop and sweep, clean the exam rooms—”

Manager #2: “Well, the girls feel that you don’t help out as much as they would like. They shouldn’t have to tell you to do these things.”

Me: “I’m not sure I follow. I offer to do tasks when it’s slow and I check in with them to see if there are other things that need to be done, if that’s what you mean? I just wanted to be sure we’re all on the same page with what we’re doing.”

Manager #2: “We’re also thinking about the next couple of months ahead. You take the bus here, so what will happen during winter when the weather is bad? We need to know you’ll have a way to get here. We are remodeling for the next year and it’s going to get even busier and we’re concerned you won’t be able to keep up.”

Me: “I’m concerned, as well, since I haven’t finished my training yet. I’ve asked both of you when I can resume that but it never happened. I really think I need to finish the training.”

Manager #2: “We don’t think it will help you improve at this point.”

Manager #1: “We’re concerned with your performance. We need you to be up to standards that everyone else is at. If you can’t do that, you need to rethink your position here.”

I almost have a panic attack right then and there, but I manage to keep it in until the meeting is over and have an attack in the bathroom. This is also near the beginning of my shift, so I have a miserable time the rest of the day and night trying to keep it together.

I’m sure I’m going to be fired soon, so I go home and talk to my parents. They’re not much help and just say, “Keep your head up and do your work,” but in my mind, I’ve already been fired and let everyone down. I barely sleep that night and do my next two eight-hour shifts over the weekend, but I feel I’m doing so poorly that I want to walk out.

On my next day off, I seriously consider what I want to do. I haven’t been sleeping at all and when I do, I dream of being at work. I think about work when I’m off and when I’m hanging out with people. I’m obsessing over it and the fact that I’m not doing well, and it’s making my anxiety go out of control. I finally decide that, for the sake of my mental health, I have to quit. I walk into the clinic the next day with my company shirt and name tag.

Me: “[Manager #1], I’ve been considering what we’ve discussed and I’ve decided that at this time, this position is not right for me. I’d like to resign.”

She doesn’t look the least bit surprised and just takes my things and walks out. [Manager #2] walks in.

Manager #2: “So, you’re leaving us?”

Me: “Yes. I don’t think this is the best place for me right now.”

Manager #2: *Shrugs* “Well, it’s understandable. This is a really busy clinic and not everyone is suited to it.”

I wanted to scream “I don’t care that it’s busy! This is about you not doing your job to help me succeed!” but I bit my lip and left for good.

I heard an interesting story about the clinic later: apparently, I was hired after a previous receptionist left for another job, but once I started, she asked for her job back and returned to her normal hours. I’m pretty sure this was their way of slowly pushing me to quit because they either couldn’t afford another new receptionist or they didn’t need me. Maybe both.

My thoughts were confirmed when I saw they never relisted the position on job sites. Now I have no reference for the time I was there and it’s a huge eyesore on my resume. It’s making me reconsider if I even want to stay in the field.

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Unfiltered Story #195005

, | Unfiltered | May 29, 2020

(I work as a kennel assistant at a veterinary hospital. My job is mostly walking dogs, cleaning, feeding, basic grooming, and otherwise wrangling our patients. The receptionists give us a buzz when they need somebody to come up front to get a pet that’s boarding or being groomed.)

Receptionist: *as I’m approaching* We’ve got a nail trim.

(In the lobby, an owner is holding a puppy and hands her to me.)

Owner: This is [Dog]. Nails as short as possible, please!

(I carry the puppy back towards Treatment, where we have medical and grooming setups, and one of the vet techs is available to help cut nails while I hold the puppy.)

Vet Tech: *examining the puppy’s feet* Hmm, this dog doesn’t even need its nails trimmed, look.

(She turns one foot so I can see the nail is worn down from walking, with about two millimeters of nail before the quick – in short, the puppy has the ideal nails already. I take her back up to her owner.)

Me: [Dog] didn’t even need a trim, her nails are already really short.

Owner: Wait, really?

Me: *shows her the dog’s nail from the side* That pink area there is the quick. We can’t take any more nail off without it hurting.

Owner: Okay… Oh, I think one of her nails was splitting. Can you have a look at that?

(We hadn’t noticed a problem, but we hadn’t examined all eighteen toes individually. I quickly made eye contact with one of the receptionists before responding.)

Me: That’s really something you should have a doctor look at.

Owner: Really?

Receptionist: If you come over here, I can see if there’s a doctor available to have a quick look!

Owner: *wanders over to receptionist*

(The whole encounter was a bit exasperating, but we’ve seen some ridiculous things at the vet. Some people just seem oblivious about matted fur, seeping infections, jaundice, or even what constitutes a medical emergency!)