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A Memorable Voice(mail)

, , , , , , , | Working | November 2, 2022

I have a medical condition that sometimes causes sudden episodes of hoarseness. It does not respond to water, but sometimes it responds to extreme throat-clearing. I work in a vet’s office and I am calling customers to confirm tomorrow’s appointments. This client’s answering machine picks up.

Me: “Hi, this is [My Name] with—”

Cue the most severe episode of hoarseness I’ve had in years. After using up a lot of voicemail time trying to clear my throat, I manage to force out the rest of my message in a voice that sounds like a bad case of laryngitis.

Me: “I’m so sorry, this is an awful message, but I have [Condition] and it hit really suddenly. I’m just calling to confirm [Pet] for 8:00 tomorrow.”

The next morning, the client came in laughing and told me they were glad my voice had recovered.

You Don’t Get To Vet Other Customers, Lady

, , , , | Healthy | November 2, 2022

My husband and I are taking our dog to the vet. We can see by the number of people in the waiting room that it is going to be quite a wait, but we aren’t sure how severe our dog’s issue is, so we decide to wait anyway. 

I go to the counter to check in and see that one nicely-dressed old woman isn’t wearing a mask. Everyone still masks up indoors here, so I’m sure my displeasure shows on my face when we make eye contact. My husband and I decide to wait outside. 

Eventually, the waiting room is starting to clear out, and the old lady puts a mask on, so we move inside to wait. The old lady is talking exasperatedly to her dog.

Old Lady: “Do you want to sit on my lap or on the floor? Make up your mind! Okay, you want to go here?” *sigh* “Fine, then sit still!”

Some time passes and someone else is called up to see the vet. The old lady goes to the counter to complain about the wait, and the young staff apologizes earnestly and disappears.

A woman in scrubs comes out and approaches the old woman. 

Vet: “I’m really sorry about the wait, but you see, that person was before you. They came in and left their name and then went back to get their pet, so that’s why you didn’t see them. Also, the reason that there is a long wait today is that their pet died, so it’s taking some time. Thank you for your understanding.”

Old Lady: *Embarrassed* “Oh, it’s no problem… I understand…”

A woman in regular clothes came out then, her eyes red from crying and visibly distressed. The vet talked to her quietly for a bit and then the woman left.

I couldn’t help but glare at the old lady again. There’s never a good reason for a long wait at the vet’s office, and she could only think of the inconvenience to herself!

Not Very Mellow About The Yellow

, , , , , , | Healthy | September 25, 2022

I work at a veterinarian’s office as a receptionist, usually just answering phone calls and making appointments. Today, I had a call from a woman who was in tears. 

Caller: “You have to help me! Oh, God, it’s an emergency and I don’t know what to do!”

Me: “Miss, I need you to calm down, please. Tell me what the emergency is and what kind of animal.”

Caller: “I’m babysitting my sister’s dog, and she just peed, and oh, God, it’s the wrong color! I don’t know what I did wrong!”

Me: “Ma’am, what’s wrong with the urine? Did you see blood in it? If so, you’ll need to bring the dog in immediately.”

Caller: “No, nothing like that! The dog’s pee is yellow! Oh, I don’t know what to do! My sister loves this dog!”

Me: “Yellow? I’m sorry ma’am, but that’s a normal color for urine in… well, almost any animal.”

Caller: “But you don’t understand! She has a brown dog!”

As it turned out, the caller thought that animals peed the same color as their coats, and I had to explain to her why she was wrong for ten minutes. The dog’s owner turned out to be a customer of ours, and we told her the story the next time she came in. She sighed.

Customer: “This is why my sister was never allowed to have a pet growing up; she’s not the brightest.”

Ceiling Cat Is Watching You Fail At Maintenance

, , , , , , | Working | September 9, 2022

I work for a vet. We rent clinic space in a small strip mall. We are responsible for interior fixtures, but the physical building, including the dropped ceiling, is the responsibility of the management company that “maintains” the property.

We need some plumbing work done, which necessitates shutting off our unit’s water, and the shutoff valve is in the ceiling. The plumber drops the ceiling tile he moved to access the shutoff valve. Being about thirty years old, it breaks, leaving a hole in the ceiling.

We immediately contact building maintenance and inform them that we need a replacement tile ASAP. No response.

We contact them again a week later. No response.

Another week later, we point out that there is a serious danger of a cat getting up there and being incredibly difficult to retrieve. They finally respond.

Building Maintenance: “Oh, we’ll get maintenance right on that.”

Maintenance never even came by to look at it.

About a month later, the maintenance guy came by, not to replace the ceiling tile, but to ask if we’d heard anything about a new management company because he’d heard a rumor but nothing concrete. I reminded him that we needed a new tile to keep cats from escaping into the ceiling. He said something vague about putting it on his list and left without doing anything.

Today, I got to send three voicemails and an email to the building manager saying that the thing we’d been warning them might happen for a month had happened, and there was a semi-feral cat running around in the ceiling instead of being spayed.

THAT they responded to. They came out in about half an hour to measure and cut a new tile for the space where the broken one had been, and they made plans to replace several other damaged tiles we had asked them to replace last year, as well.

The cat got away from my coworker on the way to being sedated for an exam and had not come out yet by the end of the workday, probably because she was already scared and the noise of an active vet clinic seems even scarier. We set up a trap on the cabinets near the hole overnight, with a bowl of water and some incredibly nasty-smelling warmed sardines as bait. Hopefully, she will be safely contained in the trap when we arrive tomorrow morning and we can proceed with her now heavily discounted spay.

Do Not (Pet) Pass(port) Go

, , , , | Right | September 8, 2022

I’m a veterinary surgeon. This was a few years ago when Pet Passports were first introduced in the UK. At the time, to get a Pet Passport, the dog or cat needed to have a rabies vaccination, then wait some time, then have a blood test to see if the rabies vaccine worked, and then they were okay to travel. I think it was a minimum of three weeks to be able to use it.

I had a client come in with a dog.

Client: “I need a passport for [Dog].”

Me: “Okay, we can start with a rabies vaccination today.”

I explained the process.

Client: “No, that’s not good enough. We’re travelling in two days!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but it’s illegal for me to stamp and sign a passport that will let you take [Dog] in two days.”

Client: “Well, vets in [Major City] did it for me.”

Me: “Sorry, I’m not prepared to break the law for you.”

Client: “Can you give me some sedatives so I can smuggle the dog across the border?”

Yes, he really did say this. I responded after an incredulous pause.

Me: “No!”

At this point, I started ushering him out of the door, completely done with this consultation. The client got halfway out of the door and then turned to me.

Client: “Wait! My dog’s afraid of thunder! Can I have some sedatives for that?”

Me: “How stupid do you think I am?! Get out!”

No, they didn’t pay for their consultation. Yes, I tried to report them.