Vet is running hours late. Is it too much to ask for a phone call?
I know that we all end up treating our vets and our farriers with kid gloves if we want to continue using them.
And I know that as the owner of one horse at a small barn, there will be some vets who do not want to make a barn call for a one horse client.
But I've been using the same vet for 10 years. I've always been a good client. And by that, I mean that when I've had bills, including the expensive ones, they were paid on time, with checks that don't bounce. When I've been given instructions for after care for an injury or surgery, I follow those instructions to a "T". When I have an appointment with the vet, I am ready on time, with my horse clean and ready to go in her stall. I don't call for nonsense questions, and I call the office, not the vet's personal cell.
So I think I deserve at least a modicum of professional communication in return.
I had an appointment yesterday for fall shots. I'd made the appointment for the late afternoon. I told the office staff specifically that I do understand that the vet may be running late at the end of a day, and if that's the case, please let me know, so I don't use vacation time to leave work early if it's not necessary. 45 minutes before my appointment, I've heard nothing, so I call the office to see if the vet is on time. No response, so I leave on time & arrive at the barn. Only to get a call that he's at another barn on an emergency and will not arrive until 2 hours later.
Since the vet was already on site at the other barn (the office specifically said that) it was clear that the office knew well before their call to me that he would be late.
I told the office staff that I thought it was unprofessional and just plain bad manners not to let me know he would be late, so I could plan accordingly.
When the vet arrived, he called me on the carpet, told me that it's just the nature of the business for him to be late, he's been on the road all day, etc. and basically said that it's too much for me to expect to be notified. I told him I was well aware that emergencies happen, but I thought a phone call, or even a text from his office was not too much to ask.
We went round about a bit, finished the visit.
So who's out of line here? Me, for expecting notification that he's late? Or the vet, for going off on me about that expectation?
Not too much to ask, but don't bet on one
There's a reason we used to call our vet the "mysterious and wonderful Dr. XXX". It was a play on the great and mysterious Oz...We never knew if he was actually going to come on the DAY he was supposed to, much less the TIME!
It's not too much to ask IMHO, but the odds of getting it to actually happen are slim. Vets and Farriers (esp farriers) have a great sense of entitlement. And that's because they know a good one is hard to find and hard to keep.
So, we're just stuck with it.