The Veterinarian – Exchanges and Dealing with the Fear Behind it All (Part 1 of 3)

The veterinarian stands a short distance down the hall pouring himself a cup of coffee and he hears the receptionist speaking with a client over the phone.

“I’m sorry that Kroger doesn’t carry the medication in the dosage form that we prescribed, but that isn’t exactly our fault. The veterinarian prescribed that specific dose because that is what is best for Sparky. You can either try some other pharmacies or purchase the meds from us. We have the medication in the needed dosage form.”

Silence for a little while. The veterinarian cannot hear the words on the other end of the conversation. He can guess at them with highly predictive probability, but he decides not to go there and instead, he chooses to be quiet and just listen. He slowly sips his coffee, ease dropping for more than one reason.

“What? What are you talking about Mr Johnson? You think you paid a $180.00 dollars for a rabies shot here?……. When was that? I really don’t have any idea what you are talking about…. in 2008? Did you just say 2008?” And the veterinarian thinks it’s just another day. He sips some more coffee, laughs a little under his breath, and continues to listen. The posture of the receptionist has become defensive and bewildered as she dances in agitation with the phone receiver.

“Mr Johnson, you did not spend $180 on Charlie in 2008. You spent $130 and that price included full annual care and some other medications. The veterinarian has never gouged you, ever. He doesn’t do that. You know that. Your wife has been coming here for a long time with your pets. And the veterinarian just accurately diagnosed Sparky with congestive heart failure after you went to three other hospitals that didn’t have a clue as to what was his real problem. Surely, you understand that, right?”

The veterinarian thought no, surely no, he doesn’t understand that. He doesn’t want to understand that. He wants to try and over-dominate me and my staff just like he does his wife, and pretend like he is the only one with any sense in the world…. it’s just another day in respectful paradise. But at least the coffee is yummy and I don’t have to talk to him myself. The receptionist is doing an excellent job of handling his madness by not falling into his trap and giving him the further excuses he seeks so intently. Bravo, my misfit staff member. Bravo to you. You are helping him more than you even realize as he attempts to crucify both of us. Can you hold the line? I wonder. I think you got it, but it’s not over yet. Not yet…..and they so love to draw you into the madness.

The receptionists outward agitation grows along with the volume of her voice, but she remains stable….she holds the line. “Millions and millions? Yeah, Mr Johnson, yeah, he makes millllłiiiiiionssss and millions. Millions! That’s why he lives in his clinic and drives a 2004 car. You’ve got it all figured out, don’t you?”

And the veterinarian chuckles a little more to himself, almost spitting coffee on the counter in front of him. An involuntary perma-grin is progressively etching itself across his face. The coffee, instead of being expelled onto the counter from his explosive chuckle, continues instead to bathe his throat in its comforting warmth. His inner voice speaks to itself and reflects on how nice it is to witness another person who really has nothing to gain, and who also knows your true essence, defend your honor against another.

“Mr Johnson, your wife paid the prescription fee with cash. You can’t reverse it or force us to refund it to you, but if you decide to come back and get the meds from us we will credit that fee toward the purchase of the meds. If you are not happy with the veterinarian or the service you have received at our hospital, please…….please go elsewhere and find someone and someplace that can provide you with the service and care that will make you happy and content.”

To be continued…

Cribb          2015

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