Clinic Stories

Work, or Don't

One of the most fascinating aspects of running a business is employees. They are a key to the smooth operation of any enterprise and as the first contact with the public are literally the voice, face, and personality of a business. As an employer it is vital to train and guide them and they present an opportunity to influence young people in a positive way. As much as one teaches about veterinary medicine, one inevitably teaches about life as well.

Employees can also surprise in many ways. I've lost count of how many enthusiastic new hires did not show up on their first day, or fail to return on their second. I no longer call to ask why, they usually don't answer their phone or return calls, but when I did, the most common reason was that they found another job. I am no longer surprised when employees who are asked to vacuum are gripped with fear as they admit to not knowing how to use a vacuum cleaner. None, however, can top Maryanne.

In her interview Maryanne said she was in college and dreamed of being a veterinarian since childhood. She had been trying to find a job at a veterinary hospital for years and badly wanted the job. Her references confirmed her dedication and positive attributes. Her first day of work was uneventful but she did not return on the second day. Calls to her home were answered by other family members who were also dismayed. “I've given her the message. I don't know why she did not call.”, “That is not like her at all.”, “We are not the kind of family to not show or return calls.” But she never did call.

Two years later she reapplied and I recognized her on the interview. Why did she not return for work on the second day? I asked. She claimed that she didn't know she was supposed to come back and was waiting to hear from us. She still claimed to badly want to become a veterinarian and I told her I would give her another chance. She never showed and I didn't bother with a follow up call. My best guess is she did not become a veterinarian.

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