Monday, March 30, 2009


at 5am this morning, i dreamed i was nauseated. i awoke sweat-drenched to find that it was true. a brief spate of vomiting followed this revelation (as well as a brief stint of vomit's less appealing cousin - diarrhea). sorry for the graphics. i went back to bed and managed to sleep for another couple hours. i woke up, prepared for my interview, felt like i looked exceptionally good this morning - except my hair - which badly needed a root job and a general freshener (color and cut-wise).

the 2 hour drive to my interview turned out to be excruciating. maybe due to my early morning trip to the porcelain god...or for some other inexplicable reason - but i was absolutely zombified. i kept nodding off to sleep. it was a terrible drive (although lovely - especially with spring everywhere).

i finally arrived at my destination. i was greeted somewhat indifferently by the receptionist and told to wait in the lobby. i waited. and waited. in reality, it was about 15 minutes before the office manager came out to see me (i arrived about 15 minutes early, as prescribed by all job hunting recommendations). she gave me a small smile, said hi, and turned around to go back into her office. no handshake, no introduction, no nothing. we sit down - still no introduction. finally, i offer my hand and tell her my name. she looks startled and doesn't offer her name. the handshake is limp and not even half-hearted. more like quarter-hearted - if that.

there is no polite chitchat, no questions about my life, family. she immediately whips out a paper and asks me, point blank, "what is your weakness as a doctor?"
i am - naturally, i think - somewhat taken aback by the relative hostility i sense. still, i maintain composure and give my stock answer (hard-headedness, if you're intersted). she scribbles on her paper. this goes on for a few minutes. no friendly chat, no interest in me as a person, my interests, hobbies, nothing. just questions she reads from a paper.

then it's my turn.

i lob out a couple of soft opener questions, "how many appts/dr/day?" type questions. i ask about anesthetic protocols and segue nicely into : "do all surgeries receive IV catheters?" the answer is no. i ask if this is protocol or up to personal doctor discretion. she tells me that if a catheter and fluids are administered, it must be included in the estimate, and this will raise the price. speaking of prices, i ask if they have a fee schedule (this is a VERY standard vet interview question). she says yes. i ask if i may see it. she gives me a blank stare, and then in a very defensive voice says, "why do you want that? what do you want that for?" i'm speechless momentarily but recover my poise and explain the large cost of living difference between her area and my current area, as well as explain that i do not know what normal pricing in the area is.

i feel more and more uncomfortable. i try to turn the conversation in a different direction. i ask if they are paperless, predominantly paperless, 50/50. she stares at me and then launches into a tirade against the use of computers! she explains that good record keeping can't be done on computer, that hand-written records are the only way to go. she explains that she has been with the clinic for 15 years, and the clinic tried to go paperless, but she fought it. i have to struggle to keep my jaw clamped shut so that it doesn't hit the floor. need i explain the absolute IDIOCY of this position? handwritten records are laden with mistakes, impossible to read, and a proven HORRIBLE way to keep records - especially when dealing with either the best interest of the patient OR liability OR both. many pharmacy errors can be traced directly back to sloppy doctor handwriting!

i change tack again and ask about in-house diagnostics - can they do clotting panels? she stares at me with the same blank look i keep getting. she doesn't know the answer.

the interview finally ends. she halfheartedly offers me a tour of the clinic. during the tour, she comes across 2 of the doctors - neither of which introduce themselves to me or even GREET me. one glares at me in what i can only describe as a hostile way - but WHY IN GOD'S NAME WOULD SOMEONE I'VE NEVER MET HAVE HOSTILITY TOWARDS ME?? she doesn't introduce me to any technicians.

we end up back in her office where she asks me if i will take a meyers-brigg personality test. i acquiesce, although at this point, i already know there is NO WAY IN HELL that i will ever set foot in this unprofessional, hostile environment again.

the interview ends with my asking her how many current applicants they have. she smugly shows me a pile of resumes almost 2 inches thick. when i try to broach the subject of job-hunting in a friendly tone, she becomes condescending, telling me how very many applicants they have, it's the largest pool she's seen in her 15 years, yada yada.

i leave realizing that this small petty woman probably didn't like me because i'm attractive, i'm young, and i'm a doctor.

i drove 4 hours round trip for that - for the polar opposite of my 1st interview. i haven't talked about it, but in brief: i was greeted warmly by everyone, introduced to everyone, treated as a professional, they bought lunch for me, answered my questions, included me in appointments, and in general, acted like i was a doctor. they DID NOT act like i was a 17 year old girl fresh out of high school applying for a vet assistant position. that's what i felt like this morning.

what a waste of gas, laundry detergent, and make-up!

ps: i did get 3 good things out of the day: my new ariat barn boots arrived so that i can stop traipsing around in the mud around the barn in tennis shoes, i went and had my hair colored (dark, walnut brown with intense red undertones again) and cut, and i had dinner with my always better half.


DrSteggy said...

WOW. I think I would have told her that I would NOt take the personality test as THEY had failed MY interview.

How miserable! I find that sometimes long term staff hate change enough to sabotage--I bet all the DVM applicants get treated the way you did. Hey you don't want to work there anyway.

good luck at the next one.

elizabeth said...

Wow indeed!!!! Can you even imagine the poor soul who will end up working for them? Yikes! Here's to more interviews like the first one!

premenopaws said...

You little whipper-snapper with your crazy paperless ideas and wanting to know prices and all... I'm sure she was mortified! I'm sure she also truly believed that two-inch stack of resumes was a direct reflection on her personally, and how great her clinic is, and has nothing to do with our current economy.

They'll hire someone who will perpetuate their status quo and not rock the boat or dare suggest improvements.

ellipsisknits said...

Wow. The only thing I can think of is the staff as a whole doesn't really want to hire anyone at all (probably because they'd try to do things some new-fangled way) but is being forced to for some reason? What a waste of time!

The hair sounds great by the way. Do you have a picture?

Mary said...

What a bizarre interview; it almost sounds like a work of fiction it was so extreme -- must have felt surreal to you! It seems like they liked you (can't imagine they'd pay for everyone to take the M-B personality test). But can you imagine working at such a soul-sucking place?