It’s the holidays, and that means lots of things: peace on Earth, goodwill to men!
Just kidding, it means cranky people fighting in the parking lot, someone getting shanked over the last PlayStation, and passive aggressive fruitcake gifts.
I wasn’t always this cynical. I, too, was once a merry-eyed elf with stars in my eyes and garland round my neck, until I worked long enough in veterinary medicine. Then I began to dread the month of December. It is a month of ill portents:
- Too many people who blew their budget on Black Friday, cannot afford to work up their cat’s pancreatitis, and then blame it all on you in a waiting room explosion worthy of the Fourth of July;
- The strange but consistent uptick in euthanasias the week before Christmas. Always.
- Wondering where your card is from your favorite client then remembering with a pang of pain that they lost their dog to cancer in October. Yes, we feel sorrow for your pets. We love them too.
- Hearing the two most dreaded utterances in veterinary medicine:
1. Fifteen minutes of telling us how every vet before us has wronged them, but we are awesome.
We’re not flattered. We’re terrified. We know it’s only a matter of time before we’re next on the naughty list.
2. The four words you must never say: “Money is no object.”
Translation: That’s because we have no intention of paying the bill. Been there, done that, many times.
So please forgive your vet if they seem a little more harried than usual, if their eyes are open a little wider than normal or their smile seems a little strained. It isn’t you. It’s December and they are bracing themselves is all. Should you wish to improve their month, aside from being the lovely clients I know you are (and appreciate more than you know!) I propose the following ways to make some vet’s day a little merrier:
- Food, of course, always loved. Make sure to include the staff in the note. Usually they work as hard or harder than the vet and get none of the glory.
- Did I mention food?
- Cards. We read every one, especially on the bad days. I still have some from 2003!
- Pictures of your pets. They make me smile and I love them.
And should you be stuck for ideas, I’ve made you some ecards:
Feel free to send one to your favorite vet. Trust me, it’s as good as cookies.
An early Christmas card for you Dr.V – My Daisy died in October. I am now an SPCA foster mum for Watson, who I plan to elope with once he is available for adoption. He is 7 yrs old, outgoing, friendly, a natural therapy dog for all and sundry. We hope your holidays are full of joy and peace, and paid in full accounts. Best wishes from Barbara and Watson
Dr. V says
Daisy is smiling down on you! This beautiful pic made my day. Watson is a lucky pup!! Thank you.
Erin Gleeson says
As a former vet tech, I can vouch for food always being welcome! And not just desserts. There isn’t always time for lunch, so real food you can grab and eat is always appreciated.
Dr. V says
All I know is, if you brought us a pizza, we always stayed late for you. And they at one point had my home phone too.
welllll, i wouldn’t say one of those ecards is as good as cookies 😉 thank you for acknowledging that the staff works hard!
Dr. V says
It depends. Better than oatmeal raisin but not as good as chocolate chip.
Candy Crush costs money? I mean, I knew that the app probably wasn’t free, but it actually costs money to play it after you’ve downloaded it? Why on earth do people play it, then?
Dr. V says
I’ve very deliberately never played it but I think they get you to do tremendous numbers of in-app purchases.
Cherie Therese Buisson says
You just made my morning with this!! I had a new client once who, when I offered an estimate scoffed, “I don’t need an estimate! Money is NOT an option”. That’s not a typo – she said option. Did I give her an estimate? You bet! Her reaction: “ARE YOU CRAZY??? I can’t afford that!” Thanks for the laugh when your blog reminded me of this
Dr. Mel says
Sitting here at my clinic and this just made me laugh. Especially since we often take post dated checks. 🙂