Clinic Stories

Bus Ride To Hell

After the drug company I worked for was bought out in 1993 I continued to work as a consultant for Pfizer traveling to poultry companies in the South. After five years, the veterinarian I reported to, Dr. Phil Davis, asked me to attend their national sales meeting in Florida for presentations on new products, my expenses, but not my consulting fee, paid. This was unusual, much like a vacation as I attended meetings for an hour or two a day with free time the rest of the day. On the last day there was a banquet and I learned that Dr. Davis and another veterinarian were retiring and would be honored.

The first vet spoke for a few minutes saying that he'd worked long enough and had enough money so he was ready to retire, then sat down. Dr. Davis was introduced and before he spoke, a slide show set to music was presented. It focused on his lifelong career as an Army officer on active duty and in the reserves including service in the Persian Gulf War.

He said that in the military they speak of selecting the people for a mission who can be trusted under the most adverse conditions, a bus ride to Hell. He then proceeded to name and thank those he had worked with who he would invite on the bus. Each person was asked to stand as their name was mentioned and remain standing. As every person called was seated at my table it became obvious why I was asked to attend and soon I too was standing. As Dr. Davis concluded he was lauded with thunderous applause and a standing ovation.

I'm not at all sure I deserved the honor, but it was indeed a highlight of my career as a veterinarian. I'm hoping the bus never has to leave.

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