That Doesn’t Settle It!

| AK, USA | Right | July 27, 2017

(At the vet clinic where I run the front desk, we require payment at time of service. I understand that some human medical institutions will bill the insurance company and then, if there’s any out-of-pocket items, they have a separate billing department settle the remainder of the transaction. But this isn’t a large multi-winged hospital, and that’s not how pet insurance works. A woman has been calling in several times a week and even showing up without an appointment because her dog is “very sick.” She changes her story every time we talk to her, and once she brought her dog in (in a panic) because it had the hiccups. At first we thought she was just an over-cautious dog-mom, which we understand, but at this point we’re all tired of the run around and waste of doctor’s time and resources.)

Doctor: “Okay, have a good day. The front desk can take care of your invoicing.”

Lady: “Great! Thank you, Doctor! You’re the best; we love you!”

Me: “Hey! Sounds like [Dog] did great today! I can settle your bill right over here.”

Lady: *suddenly less bubbly and exuberant* “Ooh, is it ok if you bill me?”

Me: “Well, unfortunately, that’s not something we can do—”

Lady: “We have insurance for her, so it’s not like I’m trying to rip you off.”

Me: “Oh, of course, but that’s not the issue. You see, we have many postings indicating our policy: Payment due at time of service.”

Lady: “Well, it’s just until tomorrow. I can pay tomorrow; is that okay?”

(At this point, I just want to say: “No, so figure it out” but this is customer service, so I see if we can bend the rules… just this once.)

Me: “Let me ask the doctor if we can work out some promissory paperwork, okay?”

Lady: “Oh, really? Can I go?”

Me: “Just wait a minute, okay? I’ll need you to fill out some paperwork if she approves it.”

(After a brief talk with the doctor, she says that we can delay payment, but the lab sample we are shipping to the labs in Seattle will not be delivered until payment is received. Thinking this a more than reasonable compromise, I head to the front to inform the client.)

Me: “Hey! So good news, we can delay payment until tomorrow bu—”

Lady: “Ooooooooooooh, thank yooooou! I love this place; you are all so great!”

Me: “Well, thank you, but also I have to let you know that your lab sample won’t be sent out until we receive that payment.”

Lady: “What?! Ugh, well, I can’t believe that. This is totally unacceptable.”

Me: *stunned by the sudden shift in attitude* “Well, I’m sorry you feel that way, but the doctors provide a valuable service and—”

Lady: “I just thought you all would rather help a poor dying animal than get paid! Ugh!” *storms out without paying*

Me: “Yeah, and I guess colleges should just give out doctorates free of tuition, too…”

Making Colorful Observations

| USA | Right | July 19, 2017

(We have lots of clients who have been bringing their pets to our clinic for many years. When I started working there it was not uncommon for me to be asked if I was new by clients who hadn’t seen me before. I kept being asked until I had worked there about 18 months because clients with healthy pets only come in once or twice a year. My coworker, who is extremely personable and very good at her job, is checking out an older woman after her dog’s exam.)

Coworker: “Your total is $[total].”

Client: *swipes credit card* “Are you new here?”

Coworker: “Yes, I started here about three months ago.”

Client: “I knew I hadn’t seen a black person working here before.”

Coworker: *puts on her brightest smile* “Here’s your receipt, ma’am.”

(The client leaves.)

Me: “Wow. There were so many other ways to express that she didn’t recognize you.”

A Blanket Of Warmth

, , , | Hopeless | June 12, 2017

(I had to put my miniature dachshund down this morning. He’s been my best friend for about 12 years, and has helped me through so much, including two miscarriages. I have always viewed him much like a child, so losing him has me completely heartbroken. While leaving the veterinarian’s office, with my husband just ahead carrying my dog in his favorite blanket, a postal worker saw me about to break down. I have never met her before, but she immediately rushed up to me with a knowing look.)

Postal Worker: “I know what’s happened. I know it’s not easy. I am so sorry.”

(That sweet stranger gave me the most comforting hug and let me cry on her shoulder in the parking lot until I had the strength to get a hold of myself again. Thank you, dear lady. It was a small, but incredibly meaningful gesture.)

Roped Into That One

, , , | Romantic | May 26, 2017

(One of our cats has gotten sick, so we’ve taken her to the vet. After the exam, they take her off to give her a couple of shots. Left alone, I start fiddling with various things in the exam room, one of which is a length of rope with a loop in it, probably used to attach to leashes. I slip one end of the rope through the loop and let it drop to my crotch, and am about to say, “Look, honey…I’m hung like a horse.” Instead…)

Fiancée: “You’re going to need a much smaller rope.”

Me: *throwing the rope aside* “Shut up. I hate you.”

You’d Get Either A Cabbit Or A Rat

| Calgary, AB, Canada | Right | May 22, 2017

(My coworker has a woman call in and ask about chinchillas. This is how the conversation goes.)

Coworker: “[Vet Clinic]. [Coworker]. How can I help you?”

Client: Can I get a chinchilla by breeding a cat and a rabbit?

Coworker: “…No.”

Client: “Oh…You sure?”

Coworker: “Yes, ma’am.”

(Why do I live on this planet?)

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