Saturday, July 3, 2010

Shot Clinic

So every Saturday, for a few insane hours, we have what's called a shot clinic. This is where for a few hours, regular vaccinations are done at a reduced price. Even with extra staff, these hours are terribly busy and full of confusion. We also take animals that need medical treatment during this time. Add to that it's a holiday weekend, most sane vets are closed, and the phone is ringing off the hook. Here's an example of one of the phone calls I answered:
"I got one of your reminder cards and I want to know what these vaccinations mean and how much they cost"
(now this is something I don't mind explaining, but I don't have 30 minutes to go into it as I'm slammed with backlog and the phone is going nuts). So I give the quick condensed version.
"So what does my dog need?"
"Uh, the list of vaccines that I described that are written on your reminder card"
"Okay" (hangs up)
Same woman calls a few minutes later:
"May I speak to Dee?"
"I'm sorry, she no longer works here" (she's been gone for over a year)
"What's your name?"
(I hear her talking to someone in the room) "the bitches' name is Lucy"
"Thank you" (hangs up)
While I love being busy at work, I hate that I can't always give the clients the service I'd like to when things are less harried. But there are some of those who want to spend hours on the phone, and my boss is not willing to pay someone to strictly deal with phone calls. Too much time on the phone is costly to a business that doesn't take phone orders, so I deal with being called a bitch.

Tons of phone calls from boarding kennels needed vaccine verifications today (being a holiday) and lots of last minute people wanting tranquilizers for their dogs because of the fireworks. Our tranquilizers are prescription, and cannot be prescribed unless the vet has examined the animal.
Since our highest rate of demand for tranquilizers comes during the New Year and Independence Day holidays and they come at the same time every year, my advice is to plan ahead if you know your pet needs them. Most vets are either closed or only open half days near a holiday, so it's a good idea to avoid the rush. I know Monday will be equally slammed with animals that were injured trying to escape the noise.
The microchip companies will keep their phone lines fully staffed this weekend to take the calls of found animals that ran from the noise. I'd love to see that number go down with some proactive work from owners.
Happy Independence Day to you and your pets!

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