The other night, I was confronted with a woman in her late 30s/early 40s. Her small dog had been transferred over by the day veterinarian for overnight care. She required oxygen therapy and careful monitoring through the night.
When I stepped into the room to go over the plan for "Daisy's" care, the owner said to me, "now, you will be transporting Daisy back to her vet in the morning?" I regarded her with surprise. "No, ma'am, we won't. It's just me and my overnight technician. He has a 2nd job, and he leaves at 8am. That's not a service we provide." (It's certainly not something I do on a regular basis for stable patients. I have done it before for very ill patients when I was worried about them, but this patient was stable).
The woman went apoplectic with rage. She slammed her keys down on the table and went into a 20 minute tirade about how she has 3 kids, and her husband was out of town. She couldn't possibly be there to pick up her dog before 9am. I carefully explained that we closed at 8am, and there would be no one present to discharge her dog (or even let her in the building). She then threatened me by saying, "I'm just going to have to take her home! I'm not getting my kids up that early!!!"
She continued to rage. In the middle of her tirade, I simply walked out of the room and shut the door. At this point, I am sick of dealing with people. What right did this woman have to a) expect me to act as a personal taxi service so that SHE was not inconvenienced?? and b) what in my 8 years of school taught me that I had to put up with that? So, out I walked.
I called her veterinarian to relay the problem. He graciously offered to come pick the dog up in the morning. Great, I thought, pander to that kind of obnoxious behavior. I sent my technician in to tell the owner the "good" news, as I couldn't bear to talk to her (I was truthfully afraid of what would come out of my mouth). Naturally, the owner turned into sweetness and light, apologizing to my technician for her behavior towards me, saying, "I shouldn't have acted like that, the doctor didn't deserve it."
Want to bet had no one agreed to pick up her dog that she wouldn't have acted so graciously? I didn't see her again before she left, as I purposely hid in the office. My tolerance for BS is so low right now that I'm afraid I would have said something catty and unprofessional. Avoidance is sometimes the best solution.
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