Take A Shot At Being Nice

| NY, USA | Right | April 8, 2016

(I answer the phone at the animal hospital I work at.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Location] Animal Hospital. This is [My Name] speaking. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, this is [Customer]; I’m calling to find out what shots my cat needs to be up to date.”

Me: “Of course, let me pull up your account and check that for you.”

(I enter the information, pulling up the cat’s record and read off the shots the cat is due for, and it goes smoothly until we get to the FVRCP vaccine, which is also called distemper. Despite what the name may sound like, it is a vaccine for feline panleukopenia virus, an infection (there is also a canine version).)

Customer: “So the distemper shot… that will make my cat nicer?”

Me: “Ah, no, ma’am. The vaccine doesn’t affect behavior or temperament. It’s to prevent a type of virus.”

(Sadly we get asked that A LOT.)

Wish You Could Vet The Customers, Part 2

, | Argentina | Right | March 18, 2016

(I am at a pet shop that has as a veterinary clinic in the back, looking for a kennel for my dog. A lady is at the counter complaining to the only employee there, so he can’t come help me, but I’m no hurry, so I wait.)

Lady: “But my dog won’t eat this food. Don’t you have [Brand #1]?”

Employee: “Sorry, ma’am, we only have this [Brand #2].”

Lady: “But he won’t eat it! Is there any way to make him eat it?”

Employee: “He might need time to get used to it.”

Lady: “But even if I give it to him, he won’t eat it!”

(This goes on for about five minutes, with the employee telling her there’s nothing to be done if the dog doesn’t want that food and the lady complaining because they don’t have the brand she always takes and asking if there’s a way to get her dog to eat the food. Finally, the lady changes tactic.)

Lady: “I want to speak with [Vet]. Maybe she’ll know a way to make him eat it.”

Employee: “Sorry, she isn’t here now, but the other doctor is in.”

(The other doctor is a tall, sixty-year-old man with a grey beard who clearly doesn’t appreciate being called from the back to attend to this issue, but he speaks to the lady nonetheless.)

Vet: “What seems to be the problem?”

Lady: “Well, you don’t have [Brand #1], but my dog doesn’t like [Brand #2] and he won’t eat it…”

(Meanwhile, the employee comes to show me the kennels and I pick one. All the time the lady keeps arguing with the vet about ways to make her dog eat the food.)

Vet: *visibly tired of her insistence* “Look, the only way to make him eat it is if you starve him until he has no more choice than to eat it.”

Lady: *she doesn’t seem very happy with this reply, but she takes the dog food to the counter to pay for it* “Are you sure you are a vet? I have never seen you here before.”

Vet: “Yes, ma’am, I have been for forty years. I just stay in the back most of the time.”

Lady: “Why?”

Vet: “Because I’m too old for this s***.”

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Wish You Could Vet The Customers

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Problem Numero Uno

| Colorado Springs, CO, USA | Working | March 7, 2016

Receptionist: “[My Name], can you take a phone call? I don’t think this lady speaks English.”

Me: “Hola. Soy [My Name], una de las enfermeras. En que puedo ayudarle?” *Hi. I’m [My Name], one of the nurses. How can I help you?*

Client: “Tengo unas preguntas… Cuanto cuesta una consulta?” *I have some questions. How much does a consult cost?*

Me: “Con vacunas, cuesta cuarenta y cuatro dolares. Sin vacunas, cuesta quince y quinto dolares.” *With vaccines, it costs $44. Without vaccines, it costs fifteen and fifth dollars*

Client: *switching to English* “Wait… what?!”

Me: “Uhh… fifty five.”

Client: “Oh.”

(I don’t know why I have such a hard time with numbers!)

But There’s A Cat(ch)

| Winter Haven, FL, USA | Right | March 1, 2016

(I’m a receptionist at an animal hospital. Sometimes we house stray dogs and cats for a while until we can find them forever homes, and people come in frequently asking about any strays we may have. I see a man walk in, and by the way he’s grinning to himself in the corner, I can already tell he’s slightly strange.)

Me: “Good morning. How can I help you?”

Man: “Hello. You may not know me, but I’m a professional cat sitter.”

Me: *trying not to laugh* “All right. I can honestly say I’ve never heard of that before. Is there anything I can help you with?”

Man: “Well, my b**** of an ex-wife divorced me and took all my cats, so now I only get to see them on the weekends. I was wondering if you had any cats for adoption that I can keep for five days and bring back.”

Me: *it takes me a few seconds to figure out how to answer* “So… you want to adopt one of our cats for five days and bring her back on the weekends?”

Man: *completely serious* “That’s right.”

Me: “Well, I’m sorry. If you adopt one of our cats, you’d have to keep them.”

Man: “That’s what I thought you’d say. Thanks anyway.”

Being Nice Isn’t In Her ‘Lexi’-con

| FL, USA | Right | February 26, 2016

(I work at a local veterinarian office as a part time handler and assistant. On one of my days off I bring my own dog in to get her checked. It is fairly crowded, so I take my dog over to an unoccupied corner to wait. A few minutes later a woman comes in literally dragging a young Boxer puppy through the door on a choke chain.)

Woman: *stomps up to the counter* “There’s something wrong with my dog!”

Tech: “I’m sorry to hear that! Can I get your name and some information on your little pup there?”

Woman: *yanks on leash, making the pup yelp* “It won’t listen to me! I’m doing all the d*** commands that your trainer told me to, and it won’t do s***! I’m using your advice, so fix it!”

Tech: “Ma’am, please don’t use that language. Can you tell me your puppy’s name?”

Woman: “Lexi. It won’t even walk right! How the h*** am I supposed to breed this b**** if it can’t learn simple s*** like this?!”

(At this point the poor pup’s eyes are bulging out and she is panting very roughly as the woman waves her arms around and yanks on the lead. I’m not much a fan of people breeding dogs, period, but this woman’s total lack of concern for her pup is setting off all sorts of alarm bells for me. I hang my dog’s leash on one of the provided hooks, give her a ‘stay’ gesture, and quickly go over to help.)

Tech: *looking distressed at the swearing* “Oh! Ma’am, if you need help with dog behavior, this young woman can help you. She’s an off duty handler and one of our best.” *looks to me expectantly* Do you think you can work your magic?”

Me: *gives enraged woman a dead stare* “Not on this b****.”

Woman: “I told you! I don’t need some f****** hippie kid to train my dog! It obviously has something wrong in the head!”

Me: *points to leash* “May I?” *I take the leash without waiting and then plop down on the ground to loosen the chain so that the puppy can breathe* “Hey there lil’ Lexi. Man, that must have been scary. So many new sights and smells and noises! New people and even new, bigger versions of you! I’d be peeing myself, seriously.”

Woman: “What the f*** are you doing?!”

Me: *rubbing the now much more receptive pup on the head* “I’m training her. Now, Lexi, sweetie. I know this big mean b**** has been bad. But I can’t whack her with a newspaper, so let’s set her right, huh? Now, I know that having something around your neck is really scary. But if we don’t do this, then the person with you might get lost and losing your human is punishable by a fine. So do you think you want to try walking with me for a minute?”

(I make a show to the pup of loosening her chain and going into a crouch. Lexi also stands up from her sit and looks at me.)

Me: “All right! Let’s go!”

(I pop up and walk a few steps. Little Lexi stays right next to me and we do a circuit of the waiting room. I give her praise and encourage her to ‘show off to the big guys’ as we go past the other dogs. We come around to my dog, who sniffs the newcomer then goes back to lounging, disinterested. Seeing that they have no issue with each other, I hang the pup’s leash up with my dog’s and go back to the counter.)

Me: “And that is why you ask nicely.”

Woman: “You’re a witch!”

(The woman started screaming profanities at how I ‘hexed’ her dog. The lead vet came out at the commotion and after we explained the situation, she threw the woman out and reported her to the police. When we looked at the security tapes from outside we saw her kick the poor pup when it wouldn’t move from her car, and she was later arrested for animal abuse. My dad’s girlfriend agreed to raise lil’ Lexi and she is now a very happy, sweet dog with no issues on a leash.)

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