Tuesday, March 21, 2006


My much loved and adored doggy is having a hard time at the moment. I think she is starting to show signs of aging and has little episodes that send me and Daniel into a flat spin but basically they amount to nothing.

One such incident occurred on Monday morning when she appeared to be unwell. From the previous post you understand that getting her to the vet is not a straight forward procedure for me. Daniel was scheduled to leave for Chicago in the afternoon and the latest appointment the vet could offer me was at a time that was really not convenient for me or anyone who might be able to assist me by coming with to the vet.

The lady on the phone told me that the appointment schedule for the day started at 10am. I spoke with her on the phone just before 9am and she said that if I could get there before 10 it would be good, but if not, for a fee of $95, we would be put in as an emergency appointment and be seen ahead of those pets with appointments. Simply put, the privilege of jumping the queue/line was going to cost me $95.

While this is a hefty amount, I looked at the logistics for the day, and I was prepared to pay it for the convenience of having Daniel go with me. I also didn’t want Pingy to have to wait until the end of the day before being checked out by the vet.

We got to the clinic at about 9.45am at which time we were the only people in the waiting room. We saw the vet, Pingy was given some medication, and we were back at the reception desk by 10.15, at which time there was a patient in the waiting room busy on her cell phone. I was not aware of her having a pet with her. By the look of the contents of her wide open briefcase, I thought to myself that she might even be a pharmaceutical rep. People usually go in with their pet to see the vet.

Daniel politely asked the receptionist if it was really essential for us to have to pay the $95 to jump the non-existent line. The shock that registered on her face took me by similar surprise. She was genuinely shocked that Daniel dare to question this. She said to him, “we have appointments scheduled from 10am.” He looked over his shoulder to the waiting area and said, “There was no-one in the waiting room when we got here and it doesn’t look like we have delayed anyone.” She moved over to her computer, wiggled the mouse, and her body language indicated that she was checking the appointments. She looked at Daniel over the top of her glasses and in that uniquely ‘Welcome to New Jersey, now go home!’ kind of way said to him, “Would you like to come back here and check our schedule for the day?” Right about now my blood started to boil. “That won’t be necessary,” he replied.

I left there feeling genuinely upset about this. There is something distinctly shallow about this attitude that suggests you can have anything you want depending on what you are willing to pay for it. I am learning more and more how this society is motivated by nothing more than the mighty D.O.L.L.A.R. and there seems to be a very small number of people who notice how self defeating this attitude is.

Call me old fashioned, but given that we have been using the services of this clinic for over 4 years, combined with the fact that we were there two weeks ago, and we are scheduled to have Pingy spayed next Tuesday, might it not have been a great opportunity to extend some kind of customer appreciation gesture our way? I couldn’t help thinking how differently we would have felt if she had just said something as simple as, “I will reduce the emergency fee as there was actually no-one ahead of you.”

This is when you want to have the courage to say, “Stick your nice day up your ass, lady” – well sort of, even if only just for a moment!