The Cat Isn’t The Only One That Needs Holding

, , , , | Right | May 25, 2020

This takes place on Memorial Day, so the clinic is closed. I’m the only one scheduled to work this day, coming in for an hour or so to feed and medicate any animals in the boarding facility or hospitalized patients.

One of my duties is to check any phone messages and reply to them, if possible. I’m a high school student who just works as a veterinary assistant after school, on weekends, and some holidays.

Me: “Hello, is this Mrs. [Client]? This is [My Name] calling from [Clinic]. I received your message about needing some assistance with your cat. Is this a medical emergency?”

Client: “Oh, thank you for calling! No, you see, I need to give my cat some fluids, but I can’t hold him still. I know you guys are closed today, so I can’t bring him in, but I was wondering if you could send someone to my house to help me?”

We do offer house call services, but it’s very rare and rather expensive.

Me: “Unfortunately, since we are closed, there are no technicians on staff today, so there is no one available to send to your house. However, you can bring your cat in any time tomorrow, when we are open, and we’ll be happy to administer his fluids. It would be about a ten-minute appointment.”

Client: *Suddenly angry* “I have to work tomorrow! I’m not working today! I’m off because it’s a holiday! Why can’t you come to my house today?” 

Me: “As I said, we are closed today. You are off today because it’s a holiday; so are we. You work tomorrow; we do, too.”

Client: “Well, if I could even bring him in tomorrow, it would have to be very late. At least 4:30.”

Me: “That’s great! We’re open until 5:00.”

Client: *Rudely* “Oh.”

Me: “Would you like me to put an appointment in the computer for 4:30 tomorrow?”

Client: “No. I have to be at work at 9:00 in the morning! Do you know how early that is?”

Me: “Well, if the afternoon is too inconvenient, we open at 8:00 am, and you can drop your cat off for the day as early as 7:30. You can pick him up after work, if that would be easier for you.”

Client: “No! I can’t do that! I need someone to come to my house right now and hold my cat.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but there is no one on staff today. Everyone is off for the holiday. We are closed.”

Client: *Demanding* “Wait a minute. You’re there! You come to my house.”

Me: “I’m afraid I can’t do that. I am not qualified to make house calls.”

Client: “But I only need you to hold my cat for a minute! I’m sure even you can handle that.”

Me: “It’s against policy. I’m just an assistant; house calls are technician appointments.” 

Client: “I don’t even live far! It’s easy! You’re just being lazy!”

Me: “Ma’am! I am just a high school student who was assigned to work the holidays. I don’t even have a car! I cannot come out to your house! The best I can do is schedule you an appointment for any time you wish tomorrow.”

Client: “Well, if you can find anyone there who is willing to help me, then you call me back. I know that someone will!”

Me: “All right. If I can find any staff who is willing to come to your house to hold your cat, I will certainly let you know–“

Client: “Finally!”

Me: “–but I must warn you that that is very improbable, because we are closed today and there is no one here! If you would like to schedule an appointment for tomorrow, please leave a message for the receptionist, and do enjoy your holiday. Goodbye!”

I hung up.

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Unfiltered Story #194919

, , | Unfiltered | May 25, 2020

A lady brings her cat into the clinic for a vaccine. While in the exam room, she tells the Doctor the cat got out a week ago and seems to be feeling ill since. The doctor examines the cat and finds that he cat has a significant upper respiratory infection. The vet explains that the cat will need antibiotics and should definitely not be vaccinated until it’s feeling better. The owner is upset. “Well I want him to have he vaccine because he gets so stressed out in the car!” Vet: “Ma’am, he is not healthy enough to vaccinate. It will make him feel worse than he already does. He needs a course of antibiotics.” “There’s no way I can medicate him. Absolutely no way. He’s just so stressed out.” “We can give an injection, but it’s about double the cost of oral antibiotics.” “Oh well I’ll figure it out. Just give me the antibiotics.” The vet, surprised at this change of heart, took time to explain to the owner how important it was to give the antibiotics every day, twice a day. She also recommended a medication to help with the anxiety of traveling in a car- the owner declined it, and insisted she would give the antibiotic. The owner paid her bill, took the antibiotics, and left. She later called back to complain that the vet had swindled her and that all she wanted was a vaccine for her cat, and the vet just wanted to charge her more money. She wanted a refund for her antibiotics and for the exam. The receptionist declined to refund her for either one. I doubt that cat will get better.

Weighing Your Options

, , , , | Healthy | May 20, 2020

I am a veterinarian working at a hospital, performing a routine examination on an animal. Falsifying any medical records, no matter how small, puts me at risk of losing my license.

Me: “Fluffy looks really good except for some dental tartar. We’re just here to update the rabies vaccine, right? I don’t believe he’s due for anything else.”

Owner: “Yes, and if you wouldn’t mind, I need you to change his weight on the rabies certificate; my new apartment won’t let dogs live there who weigh over fifty pounds.”

I look down at the dog, who is pushing eighty pounds.

Me: “I don’t think I’m going to be able to do that today for you. Is there anything else you need, though? Heartworm prevention?”

Owner: *Sighs heavily* “Well, they’ll kick me out if you don’t put down a lower weight, and I just recently got divorced, and all of this has just been a huge hassle.” 

Me: *Gives the vaccines* “Yes, I understand. That sounds like a difficult time you’re going through. Well, Fluffy did really well! My assistant will check you out at the front desk.” 

I proceed to leave the room and a moment later, I hear from the receptionist that the lady is getting pushier about changing the weight so I go up there.

Me: “It really isn’t possible. The certificate is a legal document and your dog is nowhere near fifty pounds.” 

Owner: “Well, that’s just really not helpful. You’re making a difficult time even harder for me!” 

I reiterated myself several times before the lady left fuming. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only time I’d been asked to falsify things.

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Unfiltered Story #194433

, | Unfiltered | May 19, 2020

I am a veterinarian in a country clinic. A client comes in who is notorious for being rude to the reception and nursing staff on the phone, but usually being lovely to the veterinarians. I have just finished a consultation, which included a number of things, resulting in a fairly hefty bill. The way our clinic is set up is there is a small window between the consult room and the reception desk. Clients can’t see in without leaning over the reception, and I can’t see out from where I’m sitting, but I can hear everything that goes on. The following ensues whilst I’m sitting in the consult room doing paperwork:

Receptionist: Your bill for today comes to (total)

Client: What? What on earth for? All I got was some tablets and some shampoo.

Receptionist: Ma’am, there is the consultation charge and you are also buying a small bag of dog food. The main expense is (medication that is pricey but effective).

Client: That’s f***ing ridiculous. And (Boss) never ever charges me for a consult. I want to speak to him.

Receptionist: I’m afraid he’s not in today. But I can get (Manager) for you if you would like to discuss it with him.

Client: I don’t want to talk to bloody (Manager). He’s a money-grabbing a***hole. I want you to remove those charges right now!

Receptionist: I’m afraid I can’t do that.

Client: I’ve been a loyal client to (Boss) for 10 years! But if this is how he is going to treat his good clients, I’ll just take my business to (nearest clinic that is an hour’s drive away).

At this point I’ve had enough, and walk out of the back door of the consultation room and around to reception, where the receptionist is still trying to explain the client’s bill to her.

Me: Is there a problem here?

Client: *suddenly sweet* Oh no, everything is fine. Your receptionist has just added some incorrect charges onto my bill and refuses to take them off. She’s also put the wrong price on (medication). I’m a good friend of (Boss) and he never charges me a consult.

Me: Actually, (Client), I am the one who bills out the charges, not the reception staff. I also explained (medication) to you and how expensive it was, and gave you alternative, cheaper options. You chose that one. Lastly, (Boss) may give you discounts, but I’m not (Boss), and anyway, I highly doubt he doesn’t charge you. So I’d very much appreciate if you would stop abusing the rest of the staff, because quite frankly, it is not going to change the total of your bill.

Client: *slightly taken aback, but getting indignant at the accusation* I have never abused anyone at this clinic!

Me: The vets do talk to the rest of the staff, (Client), and word gets around about who is nice to deal with and who isn’t. I also heard your entire conversation with (Receptionist). So please would you kindly pay your bill, and maybe be a little more thoughtful when you next visit us?

I walked off and waited just out of view in case she kicked up a fuss again. She quietly paid her bill and left. I did get a “stern” talking to by my manager, but he admitted he probably would have said something similar. So remember people, don’t be an a***hole on the phone or in the waiting room – the people you’re wanting to see will know about it!

Unfiltered Story #194367

, | Unfiltered | May 16, 2020

(I volunteer at a nonprofit wildlife hospital, and part of my job is answering calls.)

Customer: “I’d like to ask about your dog vaccination options”
Me: ” Well sir, we are a wildlife hospital and only deal with wild animals, not domestic ones like dogs.”
Customer: “No, this is ridiculous, I used to volunteer there and demand you give me a discount on vaccinations for my dogs”
Me: “Sir, at no point in our history have we ever vaccinated dogs. If you had truly volunteered here, you would know that.”
Customer (Now irate): “WELL THEN WHO DO YOU SUGGEST I CALL?”
Me: “Um, someone else?”