A person walks up to our receptionist and asks how much a parvo vaccine is.
The receptionist answers.
The person makes a moue of distaste, her lips puffing out. “I’m not planning on vaccinating anyway,” she tells the receptionist, who can only stand in bafflement as to why someone would drive up, park, and walk in the door to make this announcement. “I know it’s a racket you vet people do to make money. The vaccine gives the dog parvo, then you charge an arm and a leg to treat it.” She pauses for dramatic effect. “The person at the feed store told me so.” She crosses her arms and leans back in giddy anticipation of the reaction to this deep dark secret being revealed.
The receptionist stands silently, trying to formulate an answer. I should note for the purposes of this story that I am standing next to her at the time, in civvies, so the client has no idea who I am. She looks at me for signs of solidarity and, finding none, continues to stare challengingly at the receptionist.
Who finally manages, “Aren’t you going to vaccinate at all?” The woman shakes her head. “I just need some Advantage.” The receptionist looks to me for guidance. I take in this person, standing there in all her indignant glory, and run a quick algorithm in my head that has been perfected over the years- Chance of Changing Mind versus Time Wasted versus Mental Energy Expended on Pointless Debate. The scale rattles in my head and settles on: Proceed to Lunch Hour.
“Let me know how that works out for you,” I tell her politely, then go out for Subway. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s just that I’ve learned to ascertain when it’s just not worth it. I do feel sorry for her dog, though.