Going Toe To Toe With Payday

, , , , , | Right | December 9, 2018

(I am working the reception desk at my vet clinic. Our policy is to not schedule appointments for clients who have large outstanding bills. I am relatively inexperienced at appointment scheduling, and I really should have asked the client’s name before telling her what we had available. This happens on a Wednesday. The phone rings.)

Me: “[Clinic]. This is [My Name]; how can I help you?”

Client: “Hi. My cat may have injured his toe; do you have any openings on Saturday?”

Me: “Unfortunately, we are closed this Saturday, but we do have an opening on Monday morning at eight o’clock.”

Client: “I’ll take it.”

Me: “Great. Can I have your name, please?”

Client: “It’s [Client].”

(I pull up her account and see that she has an outstanding balance of well over $1000. Someone even flagged her account to make sure we don’t provide any more services to her until she pays us.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we unfortunately cannot schedule an appointment for you until you pay off a significant portion of your balance.”

Client: “I’m going to make a payment on Friday.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t schedule you until that payment is made.”

Client: “But I don’t get paid until Friday, and by then, that Monday opening will be taken!”

Me: “While that particular appointment may be taken by Friday, we have other openings next week. However, I cannot schedule you until you have paid off a significant portion of your balance.”

(This goes on for another two or three rounds of her saying she’ll make a payment on Friday and me reiterating that I can’t schedule her until she pays. Finally, I convince her that I’m really not going to schedule her appointment until she pays us.)

Client: “Well, I guess my cat will just have to suffer, then!”

Me: “Goodbye, ma’am.”

Coughing Up The Truth Takes Some Coughing

, , , , | Right | November 30, 2018

(I answer the phone on Saturday:)

Me: “Hello. [Vet Clinic]. This is [My Name]; how can I help you?”

Client: “I think I need to bring my dog in to see you guys.”

Me: “Of course. What is your dog’s name, and your last name?”

Client: “Bruiser Jones.”

(I pull up Bruiser’s file and see that his annual examination, vaccines, and routine testing were all due yesterday.)

Me: “It looks like it’s time for Bruiser’s annual exam, vaccines, and heartworm test; is that what you wanted to come in for?”

Client: “Yes.”

Me: “Okay, when would you like to come in?”

Client: “Monday afternoon, if that’s possible.”

Me: “We can do Bruiser’s annual on Monday at 3:00 with [Doctor he has seen before]. How is that?”

Client: “I’ll take it.”

Me: “Okay, I’ve got you down. Bruiser is doing well, right, no concerns?”

Client: “Well, he’s coughing. That’s why I called you.”

Me: “Oh, that sounds like something we should check out. [Doctor] can still see you, but we only vaccinate healthy pets; if they’re already sick we don’t want to make their immune systems work even harder by giving them a bunch of vaccines. So, we can take care of the cough, but the annual exam and vaccines will have to wait a couple of weeks until Bruiser is feeling better.”

Client: “I wasn’t going to do the vaccines until January, anyway; I can’t afford them right now, what with the holidays coming up.”

Me: “Okay. Bruiser is doing well, otherwise, though, right? Still eating and drinking? Normal energy? Any vomiting or diarrhea?”

Client: “Well, my friend is watching him because I’m out of town, but I think he’s fine except for the cough. Does he need to be seen sooner?”

Me: “Well, I can’t say for sure without seeing him, but usually as long as he is still eating and drinking well and isn’t having other symptoms, it should be fine to wait until Monday. We actually close in about half an hour, and we’re closed on Sundays, as well, but I can give you the number of a 24-hour clinic if you’re concerned, or in case anything changes.”

Client: “I have it already; I think I’ll just wait until Monday.”

Me: “Okay, please call us from the car when you arrive; coughs can be contagious, so we want to make sure we have an exam room available for you so Bruiser won’t need to stand in the lobby.”

Client: “Okay.”

Me: “Have a great day; we’ll see you Monday at 3:00.”

(I hang up the phone.)

Coworker #1: “What was that about?”

Me: “A client with a sick dog called, but when I asked, he said he wanted to schedule an annual exam with vaccines. He didn’t tell me the dog was coughing until I double-checked he had no concerns.”

Coworker #1: “I wish people would tell us up front that they have sick pets.”

Me: “It’s amazing how many people suddenly remember their pet is sick when I ask if everything is going well after they call to schedule an annual exam.”

Doctor: “Yeah, I had a new puppy yesterday where the clients said there were no problems. We did the whole exam, all the vaccines, decided on heartworm and flea preventatives, and had the long ‘new puppy talk’ before the owner said, ‘Doc, I have a question. Is it normal for him to cough all the time?’”

The Worst Noodle Cup Flavor Ever

, , , , , , | Right | November 20, 2018

I am working the front desk at a veterinary hospital when a man comes in to tell us that he has discovered worms in his dog’s stool. He wants us to test the sample he has brought.

The problem is that he’s brought the sample in a dirty noodle cup because “that’s all he had at the time.” I tell him that we cannot accept the sample but that we’d be happy to test another.

He then tells me it will be a long time before he can bring another in, because he’ll have to go looking for the worms again.

I wind up having to get one of the vet techs to explain to the man that we examine for eggs under a microscope, not visible worms, and that under no circumstances can we accept a sample that is sitting in noodle sauce. I’m not sure he ever understood.

“Helpless” To Resist Adopting This Cat

, , , , , | Romantic | November 16, 2018

(My husband and I have been talking about getting a new cat for a while now. I’m set on getting a rescue, but my husband is set on getting the same breed as our last cat, who was a retired grand champion Scottish Fold. One morning one of our clients comes in with a stray cat she found. She can’t keep him because all her cats hate him, so the doctor agrees that he can wait out the stray hold period with us. Before I even start work that day it is already decided by all of my coworkers that if he doesn’t get claimed I am taking him home. He is a scrawny cat with folded ears, obviously a half-breed with an American Shorthair on the other side. My husband comes by to pick me up for lunch and gets taken back to the kennel room to meet the cat. It is love at first sight, and on the way to lunch we have the following conversation.)

Husband: “So… what’s his name?”

Me: “We haven’t decided yet. The doc was thinking Hamish or Shamish, [Coworker #1] voted for Haggis, and [Coworker #2] said Macbeth. I was thinking maybe Jamie for the Doctor Who character… What do you suggest?”

Husband: “Well… I mean he is handsome, and boy, does he know it.”

Me: “Yeah, he is.”

Husband: “And he has those intelligent eyes and a hunger pang frame.”

Me: “Yes, he does.”

Husband: “And you look into those eyes and you’re helpless, right?”

Me: “Yeah… What are you getting at?”

Husband: “You haven’t figured it out yet?”

Me: “No…”

Husband: “Well, babe, he’s—” *starts singing* “—a b*****d, orphan, son of a w**** and a Scotsman, dropped in a forgotten spot in [Shopping Center].”

Me: *finally catching on* “Oh, dear.”

Husband: “Alexander Hamilcat! His name is Alexander Hamilcat, and there’s a million things he hasn’t done, but just you wait, just you wait…”

(We took Alexander home a month later. He is curled up in my lap as I type this.)

Unfiltered Story #127459

, , , | Unfiltered | November 16, 2018

This happened not long after I started working as an assistant at a veterinary office. One of our receptionists had come back with a dog’s leash and collar, and it was my turn to bring the dog up to the lobby from our kennels.

So, I walk into the lobby with this big dog trying to drag me, and a family with three kids immediately jump up and rush over, petting the dog and letting it lick the kids’ faces. The dog’s so excited I’m struggling to get enough slack to slip the leash off my wrist.

I’ll never forget what happened next. Just as I got the leash free and was about to hand the dog over, the mother of the group looked up at me and said, “So, what’s his name?”

The dog’s real owner was busy paying his bill at the reception desk and never saw any of that.

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