AUTHOR: Marty, a.k.a. canape
TITLE: Complete lack of human compassion
DATE: 12/12/2008 10:45:00 PM
Chelsea and I were at peace with each other when she left this past Friday. Although I miss her more than you possibly want to hear about, I know that it was time for her to go, and it was my responsibility to help her leave this life. I promised to be her guardian and caretaker, and I was for 14 years. All the way up to the very end.
There was a part of the story I didn't tell on Friday. I didn't want to mar saying goodbye to my pup anymore than had been done for me that day. The experience we had at the vet was unbelievable, and I wavered on whether to share it at all. However, if anyone is searching for this vet online, I think it is important that they hear how we were treated.
Quail Corners Animal Hospital, where I had trusted the care of my dogs for close to eight years now, will no longer be our vet. There was a girl who was supposed to be scheduling it to be done at home for us. Two days went by without her calling me back, only to find out that the vet who was supposed to do it had gone into labor. While I certainly understood that labor and birth took priority, I didn't understand why I hadn't been extended the courtesy of a phone call to give me this information. Instead I had to keep calling back, trying to find out what time I would say goodbye to my pup. I needed to find someone to watch Bird and really wanted Kevin to be off work to be with us. I needed to prepare myself mentally and emotionally.
After two days of not letting me know anything except how little she knew, I finally told her that I would just bring Chelsea in to have it done. She told me the vets who were available, and after I chose one, she asked me if I wanted morning or afternoon. I told her afternoon. She offered me 1:30, and I said that would be fine. I repeated back the time to her, and she said yes 1:30 was the time.
I called Kevin and let him know. Then I called Boo who had offered to be with me, and I asked her to watch Little Bird. I set the whole thing up for 1:30. I did not get the time wrong of the death of my dog.
When we arrived at the vet, we were told by the front desk that our appointment wasn't until 4:30. The woman at the front told us there was nothing she could do to change it.
I'm sitting there in the waiting room, bawling already. Chelsea is just standing there because she can't lay down without just falling over anymore. Kevin is standing with his mouth agape. It was all I could do to get there once. There was no way I could go home and bring her back again.
Seriously? Nothing she could do?
I told her through my tears that she didn't need to change anything; that our appointment was at 1:30, and we were there at the right time. I wasn't going to even entertain this discussion.
She just repeated herself.
I start sobbing. I can't help it. I tell her that I had been working with Rachel for three days to get this taken care of, and that I had been extremely patient with her. I told her that our appointment was at 1:30.
She went to get Rachel.
We have to believe that something else was going on in the office because Rachel approached us swinging. She came out and immediately told me we were wrong. I was wrong. Our appointment was at 4:30 and that she had confirmed it on the phone with me for 4:00. Um, okay. I'm not sure how that made any sense, but whatever.
I have to admit. I lost it. I actually yelled. In public. At that girl. I yelled at her and told her she was incompetent. I yelled at her and told her that she was completely unable to engage another adult in an intelligent conversation that resulted in effective communication. I yelled at her and told her to quit talking to me and just get me all of my dogs' records so I could get out of there and never have to see her again.
The whole time, she was yelling back at me, telling me that I was wrong. Telling me that the circumstances were out of her control. I'm not sure what circumstances kept her from inputting the correct time of my appointment into the computer, but whatever.
Kevin stepped in between us and told us both to stop. He looked at Rachel and asked her what she was going to do to fix this. She said that she couldn't do anything right then, that we could be worked in at 2:30.
I told her to get our records and she yelled over Kevin's shoulder that she would be glad to do that and then stormed out of the little office cubby.
After she was gone, another office worker came out into the waiting room and leaned over to me. She said that there was a vet who could help us then. Kevin took my arm and nodded at me to get up and go back. He knew that this was the one chance we had at my strength. It was sapped, and if we took Chelsea back home again, I would never let her go.
There were mumbled apologies at the "mix-up." I ignored them. There was no "mix-up." It was a major mistake on their part.
The thing is, even if I had gotten the time wrong, which I didn't, they should have ignored it. Obviously, I wasn't in some sort of hurry that I deceptively came in with my dog and tried to get them to put her to sleep 3 hours before my scheduled time. That's freaking absurd.
Any ounce of compassion would have caused the very first woman in the office to ignore the discrepancy between the time we arrived and the time that Rachel the genius entered in the computer. She would have quietly slipped into the back and found the vet who helped us in the end, and made everything work out without subjecting us to the drama that their incompetency created.
This isn't a rant, it is simply what happened that day. In the event that someone Googles this vet, it is the chance for them to see how they might be treated if they choose to go there.
It was hard enough to make the decision. It was hard enough to get in the car with my pup. It was hard enough to get out of the car and take her inside for the very last time. To say goodbye.
I will never understand how they could possibly treat someone in so much obvious pain as badly as they treated me.
Labels: Grief, Pups, Things I Should Keep to Myself
DATE:Monday, December 15, 2008 at 10:15:00 PM EST
So sorry to hear about your loss.
I would just like to point out Im totally backing you on this one. This animal hospital closes at 5pm. Would they really schedule this for 4:30? Good for you for standing up for yourself!
DATE:Monday, December 15, 2008 at 11:15:00 PM EST
I'm so sorry to hear that this was so horrible for you. I used to be a veterinary receptionist and we never would have treated someone like this.
We did try to schedule these sorts of things at the end of the day so that people could spend as much time in a room with their animal as they wanted to, but if we had made the mistake of scheduling such a thing at a different time we would have done what you said that vet should have done. I believe you when you say you wouldn't have mistaken the time you scheduled the appointment, but as you say, even if you did, they should have treated you differently.
Any veterinary receptionist who yells at a client who is having to go through this—especially over something like an appointment time—should be fired.
Our policy was to deal with payment and arrangements first, then put the client and pet in a room to let them have as much time as they need. And then let them stay as long as they need to afterwards. If they looked like they needed it before they left, we tried to offer hugs.
Your pup was a member of your family. I'm so sorry this marred the end for her. I hope that now that it is down on the page, you can put it out of your mind and just remember the rest of it.
I am so sorry.
AUTHOR: Two Lines On a Stick
DATE:Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 12:37:00 AM EST
Well the asshats working there shouldn't be allowed to deal with animals OR people. So sorry that you had to deal with them and also about Chelsea :(
DATE:Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 7:28:00 AM EST
I sincerely hope that the second office worker, and the vet who eventually helped you, were considerably more professional and compassionate.
What a terrible time this must have been-- made worse by unfeeling, incompetent people.
I'm so sorry for your loss, Canape.
DATE:Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 10:37:00 AM EST
That is appalling. My father-in-law is a vet and would have never have allowed staff to treat you this way. He believes that a vet should be there as much for the owners (if not more) as for the pets.
Rachel should be fired plain and simple. She should not be working in a business that involves competency much less compassion.
I am so sorry you had to go through this at the worst of times. Chelsea is in a better place now with the energy of a puppy now. I'm sorry you've been left with the pain.
DATE:Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 10:39:00 AM EST
Oh, and I think you should crosspost this and tweet it on Triangle Mamas. It needs to be shared with other Triangle families.
DATE:Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 10:53:00 AM EST
That is bad. Especially for the state of mind. I am sorry they did not give you or Chelsea the respect you deserved. I'm glad you are not going to use them anymore. I hope that the 'owner' sees this and knows that his employees are real jerks.
AUTHOR: Chelsea + Jonathan
DATE:Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 1:06:00 PM EST
Wow, that made me cry. I'm appalled that anyone working in a service position (i.e. receptionist!) would behave so poorly, and especially when you were clearly there for something that is really difficult and emotional.
I will not be taking our pup there. Thanks for the warning!
DATE:Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 1:47:00 PM EST
Even if I were to entertain the ridiculous notion that you got the time wrong, why on earth would they argue that with you?! And to yell at you and continue to fight with you?! That's just wrong. I'm so sorry that they made it even harder for you.
AUTHOR: The Daily Wit
DATE:Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 4:59:00 PM EST
There's nothing I can say that's not already been said. Just let this comment serve as further outrage (at the vet) and empathy (for you).
DATE:Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 5:31:00 PM EST
I am so sorry, Marty. I know how painful it is to lose a beloved pet - there's no excuse for that horrible behavior when you were already grieving, and it was THEIR mixup.
DATE:Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 12:13:00 AM EST
How appalling. I hope people considering this vet do find your experience.
DATE:Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 2:20:00 AM EST
Weez thinkin of you, M.
(although it might have rocked somewhat if Kevin would have Pete Townshend-post-concert-smashed a guitar over Rachel's head and walked out of the hospital with his hands raised in the air. to the sound of amplifier feedback, no less.)
DATE:Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 3:11:00 PM EST
Reading that had me all fired up, and then crying. How dare they create so much chaos at such a sensitive time. I'm so sorry you had to deal with such idiots, and go through all the emotions of putting Chelsea down.
I'm sorry for all of it, and I want to whoop some butt too.
DATE:Monday, December 22, 2008 at 8:35:00 PM EST
My heart goes out to you. My answer. You did the right thing,let everybody know. Good customer service goes a long way. Poor customer service goes .even farther.