Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Ugly

The Good:
Fluffy kittens, puppies who wag their whole hind-ends, difficult cases solved, lives saved, tricky procedures mastered, grateful clients, happy staff, appointments all running on time and so much more. Did I mention fluffy kittens?

The Bad:
Screaming cats, biting dogs, cases gone sideways, lives lost, procedures failed, angry clients, grumpy staff, running three appointments behind and so much more.

The Ugly:
This is what I want to talk about today. Briefly. Briefly because it aggravates me too much. "The Bad" is part of what we signed up for and honestly, it is swamped by "The Good", so most of us shake off "The Bad" pretty easily. But we didn't sign up for "The Ugly". "The Ugly" is clients who are not only angry, but who are unreasonable, disruptive and abusive.

In the past I might have slotted them under "The Bad" as generally these stressful encounters were face to face, more or less private and blew over quickly. Now these abusive clients take to social media and vet ratings sites to become trolls and give their venom a sustained public life online. This is thankfully extremely rare, but even one can have a dramatic impact on a veterinarian's peace of mind. These people generally have mental health issues which most readers of their rants will spot, but nonetheless even the most ridiculous slander, once out there, will have some impact. I've been lucky, but a couple of my colleagues have been attacked this way recently.

Maybe eventually social media and ratings sites will find a way to weed this out, but in the meantime, if you like your veterinarian the very kindest thing you can do is to go on Google, Facebook and "vetratingz" and write positive reviews. And bring in a fluffy kitten. Or two.


  1. It made me sad and then mad to learn that your staff and clinic have been victims of this ridiculous "hater trend". I can't stand that haters can vomit their toxic garbage wherever they want and do serious damage to businesses, reputations and HUMAN BEINGS! So, I did what you suggested-I went on that obnoxious site and posted an ACCURATE review of my 23 yrs as a Birchwood client! I can drown out the uglies any day of the week ;)
    ps: this blog post didn't appear in my FB feed so did you forget about that page again?

    1. Thank you so much! We really appreciate it. And yes, I forgot again (embarrassed face)... sometimes one too many balls in the air...;-)