Quite The Operation Santa’s Got Going

, , , , , , , | Healthy | December 25, 2019

(I work at a vet clinic that is open late night for emergencies and offers boarding. A couple of years ago, [Former Coworker] had to stop working in order to care for a disabled family member, but she left on good terms with the doctor and still has coffee with the manager regularly. Her son has been asking for a dog for quite a while now. Not just any dog, he knows the exact breed and color pattern he wants. At the staff meeting Monday, the doctor let us all know that [Former Coworker] was going to be surprising her son with a puppy for Christmas. She had found the exact dog he wanted and would be adopting it later this week and bringing it here to board with us until late Christmas Eve when she would pick it up. The morning she brings the puppy in, [Coworker] and I are working at the front desk. She is greeting people as they walk in and handling check-ins. I am checking out a family who just finished their cat’s exam. They have a little girl about six years old, too short to be seen over the counter from where [Coworker] is.)

Coworker: “Hello, how can I… Oh, hey, [Former Coworker], long time no see. So, this is the puppy Santa is bringing [Son]? He’s gonna be so thrilled; it’s exactly what he’s been asking for.”

Young Girl: *very loudly* “If Santa is bringing that puppy to someone, why is he here? Shouldn’t he be at the North Pole?”

(My coworker is clearly at a loss for words and starts sputtering.)

Former Coworker: *just hands [Coworker] the puppy and bends down to the girl* “Your parents haven’t told you? See, when Santa brings a child a pet he calls the parents first to make sure the house has everything that it needs, like food and toys and a dog bed, and space for the animal, and that the kid can take care of it. Then, if the parents say it’s okay, Santa looks all over the world to find the perfect animal, and then, because he doesn’t want the puppies and kittens to get bored in the sleigh and eat other kid’s presents, he has his helpers take them to a safe place near the kid’s house. So, Christmas Eve, Santa will come here and pick up the puppy right before coming to [Son]’s house.”

Little Girl: “Oh, so, that’s why when I got [Cat], Santa just brought her bed and food and had Mommy take me to the shelter after Christmas?”

Former Coworker: “Exactly, he knew [Cat] would be happier playing at the shelter rather than being stuck in his sleigh all night, and that she would just get into trouble with all the wrapping paper on Christmas morning.”

Mom: “That’s right; we got a call from an elf letting us know where [Cat] was.”

Former Coworker: “Yep, the elves have every parent’s phone number. Parents get calls from the elves to make sure they have the batteries and other things needed for the toys, helmets for when they get bikes, that sort of thing.”

(At this point, the girl’s family finishes paying and leaves, the little girl happily asking her parents if Santa has called them about presents this year.)

Coworker: *sighs in relief* “I can’t believe you thought of that so fast; I was so worried I’d just ruined Christmas.”

Former Coworker: *laughs* “Last year, my sister got caught by her girls setting up a playhouse, she told them that Santa was behind schedule and woke her up and asked her to put it together so it would be all ready in the morning. The girls just nodded and went back to bed, but in the morning, the oldest said it was a bit rude of Santa not to tell Mommy she would need to set it up. And we all agreed that Santa should have had an elf call first.”

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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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We Call Bull(dog)

, , , , , | Right | December 17, 2019

Our clients are never able to spell their breeds correctly, which usually leads to a few funny things. I’ve seen a “S***-A-Poo,” aka Shih-Tzu/Poodle mix, and then there was the “Paptest,” aka Papillion.

I swear on my paycheck these are really written on medical documents at my company.

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The Bridges Of Maddening County

, , , | Right | November 5, 2019

(I call a new client — who lives over an hour away from the clinic — at the request of a doctor to set up an appointment so her dog can be evaluated for surgery. New clients usually have questions about costs and policies, but this one throws me for a loop.)

Me: “We’ll see you on Saturday at 11:30.”

Client: “Oh, can you tell me how to get there and avoid the major highway?”

Me: “You mean, take [Road]?”

Client: “Yes, but I need you to tell me if there are any bridges on that road. I cannot drive over any bridges.”

Me: “Uh, I think the last time I drove to [Office] on [Road] was over ten years ago, so I would have to say I really am not sure.”

Client: “Oh. Okay. Thanks, anyway. Maybe you could tell me if [Road] has any curves or hilly spots? I don’t do well driving over bridges, curves, or hills.”

Me: “Uh… I’m not sure about the hills or curves on [Road]. I’m sorry I can’t help you more.”

Client: “That’s okay. See you Saturday!”

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The Number One Problem For Check-Ups

, , , | Healthy | October 25, 2019

(I have three ferrets, all due for a checkup. First ferret, fine but getting old. Second ferret, perfect health. When the vet picks up the third and starts feeling his little fuzzy abdomen, his face falls.)

Vet: “Hmm. Have you noticed that he’s got quite a large lump here? In his abdomen?”

Me: “No, I had no idea.”

Vet: “Okay. Hm. So, it seems very close to his prostate, maybe even on his prostate, so that’s quite worrying. It’s really large; are you sure you haven’t felt it before?”

Me: *starting to freak out a little bit* “No, definitely not.”

Vet: “Okay, well, I’m going to take him out the back and we’ll do a little ultrasound. Don’t panic; there’s a good chance it could be something benign, and if it isn’t, we have options, okay? I’ll be back in a minute.”

(I sit in the consulting room for ten minutes, wringing my hands, wondering if one of my pets has cancerous tumours and how I couldn’t have noticed. The vet comes back, still holding my ferret.)

Vet: *putting my ferret down on the examination table* “Okay, so, we did an ultrasound, and we’re at a little bit of a loss. It doesn’t look like anything I’ve seen, so we’re going to have to either biopsy or…”

(He trails off, as my ferret has toddled over to the sink and started urinating. It goes on for a very long time.)

Me: “Oh, geez, I’m sorry! He’s never done that before.”

Vet: “Well, better there than on the table, right?”

(He pauses, realisation dawning on him. He picks up my ferret once he’s finished his business, and feels the abdomen again.)

Vet: “So. Uh. This is a little awkward, but good news! He doesn’t have a tumour.”

(It turns out, my little boy was too polite to pee on a person or on the examination table, even while people were touching and scanning his large and very full bladder. They didn’t charge me for the ultrasound.)

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