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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2002
    Location
    Northern KY
    Posts
    4,480

    Default If he's called to an emergency, he shouldn't be talking to his office, they know..

    He should be calling his client back with ETA and any pre vet arrival instructions.

    If your vet has a one person staff, then she is likely The Most Important Person in His Life or at least his business. He would not take kindly to anyone telling her how to run his office to YOUR satisfaction. You have no idea after the vet's initial call, how many times his manager's phone rang before she could call you to tell you he'd be late. She prioritized. Emergency, clients either new or old calling in, possible conversation with vet to schedule an ER or clinic visit then, call the person she knew was already at the barn waiting. Well, Duh, I'm sorry, that just isn't too hard to figure out.

    With the price of gas and time, a "one horse barn" is likely not a high ticket item. I pay my vet and farrier a generous amount on top of what is a very fair farm call and services price. Probably close to the amount or slightly less than what two horses would be. While my vet and farrier are both quite punctual and good about calling if they're going to be late (see prior sentence) I wouldn't squawk if they didn't. If I say I have an emergency, I do not ever have to wait. Also, morning appointments are generally for multiple horse barns, because, they always add something extra and just like the doctors office, if you're not first, you're not going to be, probably, on time.

    You are really lucky your vet didn't fire you on the spot. Male, female, doesn't matter. If you think that does, then it has nothing to do with whether you are right or wrong, that's just attitude.

    I'd probably start shopping before I really needed one if I were you.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jun. 8, 2006
    Location
    sw wa
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zipsmom View Post
    Although I understand your frustration, vets being late happens. I just plan on taking the whole day off when I have a vet coming with the added bonus that I get to spend more time with my horse!
    This ^^^ and also being fortunate to have horses at home ....


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2007
    Location
    Pen Argyl PA
    Posts
    3,944

    Default

    i am lucky, my vets call me if they will be late or have to cancel. I would probably look for a different vet in the future, ask them if they text, and ask them if they can let you know if there are any changes to the schedule as soon as possible, . I do NOT understand any vet that does not understand that your job is important, you cannot just take time off all the time, and that you could have saved some trouble had you known. and he won't give out his cell phone number. my own vet has given me her number for emergencies when i cannot reach the office. I really hope you can find a new vet that is living in the modern world.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    19,443

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nezzy View Post
    i am lucky, my vets call me if they will be late or have to cancel. I would probably look for a different vet in the future, ask them if they text, and ask them if they can let you know if there are any changes to the schedule as soon as possible, . I do NOT understand any vet that does not understand that your job is important, you cannot just take time off all the time, and that you could have saved some trouble had you known. and he won't give out his cell phone number. my own vet has given me her number for emergencies when i cannot reach the office. I really hope you can find a new vet that is living in the modern world.
    Exactly. I don't understand why some posters think that anyone should have to put up with it either. I also won't wait more than 30 minutes for a doctor if they are habitually late. I'm the client. They work for me.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


    6 members found this post helpful.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2006
    Posts
    891

    Default

    My vet practice has a tendency to be early...

    And if things need to be pushed back or rearanged, I've always received a phone call.

    I had a short lived usage of another clinic that would be hours late with no notice, even when I called the office to check in and the office would be of no help. Other issues lit the tinderbox, so off I went to another practice that answers phone calls, is willing to think outside the box, and is happy to email back and forth with me.

    But I live in an area with a plethora of vets to choose from, so perhaps another factor.



  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2004
    Posts
    6,978

    Default

    I'd say the vet was a total douche and qualified as a full-blown "really really Speshul" jerk.

    I bet his mommy is really proud of him too!

    No excuse for that behaviour. I used to use an all-female vet group, they were wonderful. They'd call if they were going to be 20 minutes late and one Sunday, they actually apologized the were going to be an hour getting to the barn. Holy Cow! This was a wonderful group, and they really loved the horses. They were the epitome of professional. I miss their practice, but they're in MD and I'm in VA. In case anyone's interested, they're Buckeystown Vet and they're located near Frederick.

    I won't give the names of two practices in MD that can rot in hell for their behaviours.
    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"


    4 members found this post helpful.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2008
    Posts
    4,906

    Default

    It is the nature of the beast - I just had a similar conversation w/ my vet a couple of weeks ago. My horse is recovering from some hoof issues & being check about every 2 weeks. most of the time the vets have been pretty much on time or early. The clinic is down the road from my barn so most appointments are at the end of the day when they're heading back to the clinic... One time vet running very late w/ an emergency - fine understand and they did notify us. Got later and later so I wanted to cancel the appoint (vet's wife birthday) but he showed up.. about 4 hours afterwards...another time they were running a bit later, tried to call me but had my old #.. I can't hold that against them... so to my conversation w/ vet on the last visit.. sometimes what they think might be an relatively simple sounding choke ends up being not so simple or the vet is out to check one horse, BM or owner says would you mind checking Frosty out.. and that turns out to be more of an issue... or in a recent situation for my vet.. a simple vet call turned into an emergency when a horse cut himself - what's he supposed to do? Of course he's going to take care of that horse.. sure it a pain for us to leave the office early only to have to wait around... Also don't know what your vet's office hours are but my vet closes around 4:30 so if the office staff doesnt' know he's runing late, they can't call you and often the vet might be busy w/ that emergency to take the time to call office to let them know what's happening.. My vets do try to keep their clients apprised of delays but it's not always possible.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2012
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    301

    Default

    I don't know. I have had the same treatment from other businesses. It fries me. I'm sorry, but in this day and age, there is no excuse for lack of notification. I know, the OP was finally notified...too late and I find that not satisfactory customer service. I have things to do, places to go, etc as did the OP that would not have had to leave work early.

    I fully understand in the vet business, emergencies happen but a simple text or 10 second phone call can't be that labor intensive. If the vet has an office and someone that staffs it, they can pick up the phone in a timely manner...like answer when the OP originally called and notify that party of the delay.

    As LauraKY said: "I'm the client. They work for me."

    Susan


    3 members found this post helpful.

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2003
    Location
    Where is gets way too cold
    Posts
    3,980

    Default

    At least your vet makes appointments. I get an appointment for a day, and I can ask for an hour of notice. Other than that, I have to keep my phone next to me because he might be coming at 8 am or 10 pm. :/
    I have wasted many a weekend not doing anything that I can't drop and hurry off to the barn in the middle of.
    As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.



  10. #50
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2010
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,688

    Default

    I appreciate the variety of opinions here, or I wouldn't have posted and opened the can of worms . I am happy to see that I'm not the only one who feels that the situation was less than satisfactory.
    One poster seemed to misunderstand my timeline. My appointment was at 4 pm. I called the office at 3:00 pm to find out if the vet was on time. No answer, had to leave a message. After no return call, I departed at the last possible time, 3:45 p.m. There was no call to me until after 4. So I did not leave 30 minutes earlier than necessary. Leaving early was what I was trying to avoid.
    And while it was not part of the story, i chose an end of the day appointment for my vet's convenience, as his home/office is only about 3 miles from my barn. And when I became a 1 horse client, I specifically asked if they were interested in continuing to provide service or if I should look elsewhere and I was assured it was not a problem.
    With any luck, I won't need vet services again until spring. Plenty of time to shop around and make a decision to stay or switch.
    Again, thank you all.
    Last edited by Hinderella; Oct. 5, 2013 at 12:35 AM. Reason: Typo


    4 members found this post helpful.

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 2008
    Location
    Somewhere over the rainbow
    Posts
    317

    Default

    I feel a little guilty posting, since this is more or less resolved and my thoughts are bitter ones. I suppose I just want to vent a little myself. First of all, I do think it's appropriate for a vet operating in the modern world to make every effort to update ETA's and respect clients' time. If that's the standard approach, then genuinely running late, genuine emergencies, and genuine lapses in communication (no one answering the phone) would be so much easier to take in stride. Instead, many vets run hours late as a matter of course and act put out when clients admit to being inconvenienced. All of this would not be so bad either, but to dress down a client when it was the vet who was late and didn't communicate as agreed? That is, in fact, unprofessional and inappropriate. Of course, this vet may have had a bad day and the outburst was uncharacteristic. I understand that.

    What bothers me is vets, as well as doctors and other medical professionals*, use "emergency" as a go-to, blanket excuse. By no means do they all do this, but it is very, very common. I worked briefly for one vet who was late to every single appointment and really didn't give it a thought. He loved to talk and would sometimes spend 30min or more even after being done just talking. His office staff had to answer who knows how many calls about his ETA and invariably attributed tardiness to something medical, often an "emergency." I really felt for his clients because he didn't seem to realize that we live in a post-agrarian society where most people cannot accommodate this approach. Even horse professionals are inconvenienced by it. And I'm sure many clients enjoyed the visit and listening to him wax, but others clearly needed to get back to their day while the next people were kept waiting :/

    As for respecting working women? I remember one client quite desperate to make an appointment in the late afternoon because she could not take the time off from work to be available all day. His derogatory complaints about her and her "unreasonable request" were extensive. It really seemed like he felt clients should just be waiting with horses in hand for him to arrive at some point in a 10hr time frame.

    Meanwhile, clients calling with emergencies were met with a certain amount of skepticism and foot dragging. While that's certainly understandable, in the above outlined context, it was odd to see him lollygag waiting for, a choke for example, to resolve itself, even when he was quite available. These things did not resolve themselves often enough and the horse would have been waiting in pain with a stressed, credit card holding owner unnecessarily. Pretty weird to me.

    Sometime later, I used a barn vet for something and upon arriving maybe 20min late she was all apologies (and no excuses). I had one horse receiving one injection and she was coming from a large, fancy hunter barn where she had been treating multiple horses. Mind blown.

    Of course, vets very often ARE caught up in very real, time consuming emergencies. And there's probably not a lot to be gained except some misery from assuming our vets are lying to us. They invariably work hard, long hours. But if you live in a place where you have some choice and there are equally skilled vets with reputations for timeliness, organization, and taking advantage of communication technology nearby, you might do well to weigh that against the pleasure of a long country chat

    * ETA: I once had a doctor luxuriously spend an extra 30min with me only to walk out to hear his nurse explaining to the next, frustrated patient that he was dealing with an emergency. Hmm.
    An auto-save saved my post.

    I might be a cylon


    2 members found this post helpful.

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2007
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    4,430

    Default

    I understand the pressures of getting time off work. Perhaps you can pay someone to be at the barn for the vet for the routine visits, like shots. If you are paid by the hour, this would make sense.
    Honestly, there are no "apps" for vets? With GPS the office at least would know where he is or if he is on the move.
    The clinic I use had a billing app, diagnostics/prescription and drug inventory keeper on her phone and gave me the bill at the end of the appointment.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2009
    Posts
    1,016

    Default

    My vet will almost always call unless there is a severe extenuating circumstance. If the vet is up to their ears in a critical horse and just can't take the time away to call their secretary and have the secretary ring me - I could understand.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 1999
    Location
    Shangri-LA
    Posts
    1,964

    Default

    I understand what you are saying. Its about people having a level of respect for your time and the fact that you are having to use scheduled leave from work to have the appointment at a time that is convenient for them. You are a working person that has a job and a boss you are responsible to. You probably have a limited number of days available for leave, you probably have to schedule leave ahead of time and don't have the luxury to take off at the drop of a hat. You don't want to schedule 4 hours of leave, rush home only to find the vet did show up and your leave is down the drain, I'd be a bit upset also. I DO understand there are emergencies, they can happen quickly and without any notice, so sometimes there isn't time to call, got it but all too often there is time for a quick call by the staff to let you know your appointment will be late and offer you the option to reschedule. I feel it is important for the people you pay for a service to show a little respect for the clients time also. I get that things happen. I'm pretty sure if you've made an appointment with the vet clinic they expect you to call if you are going to be late or can't make it, they expect you to show up on time for your appointment and be ready, so why would they be miffed if you expect the same? That said, with my farrier, you could not only set your watch by him but also your calendar, he has always been very respectful of peoples time.
    "My treasures do not chink or gleam, they glitter in the sun and neigh at night."
    ~Gypsy saying


    3 members found this post helpful.

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2010
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    4,334

    Default

    I had a couple of appointments this spring with my small animal vet for both the dog & cat. Nothing serious - maintenance, and run-of-the-mill minor issues. My vet is very down to earth - always reasonable about solutions, and doesn't push heroic measures. Both of those appointments, the mood in the office was quiet, the staff was a bit snappy, and the vet unusually didn't have much to say. I felt a little defensive since I had the same kind of interaction from them both times - wondering if I had done anything to put them off, but having to talk myself into not taking it personally.

    At the end of the last appointment, I noticed a couple returning from the back - somber faced, with a large, empty crate. So I "got" what had upset my vet.

    Maybe your vet lost someone that day as well...
    Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time. Malcolm Forbes


    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Feb. 15, 2010
    Posts
    2,996

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hinderella View Post
    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?
    I think the vet AND his office staff are way out of line, because you specifically made that request ahead of time. Vets and our own doctors as well need to start realizing that we are customers and this is business, not a fiefdom where we serve them. You are PAYING to be treated like crap, and I have heard "from the horse's mouth" so to speak that business is way down for vets because of the economy. Let us all also bear in mind that the advent of the cell phone has made short communication more possible than ever before. I hope he gives his office staff a dressing down, but it was wrong for him to try to save face by giving you one.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Feb. 15, 2010
    Posts
    2,996

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by morganpony86 View Post
    Usually my vets (or their offices) do call. I would find it incredibly rude for them to 1) not inform you after you specifically asked to be notified (and with good reason! It's not like we can all take off work easily) and 2) not be at least apologetic about it.

    That being said, I hate waiting for those who are late. So I actually trailer my horses in to the clinic and leave them there for the day for routine appointments and the vets get to them when they have time between other appointments/emergencies. I see it as the equivalent of dropping your car off for an oil change vs. waiting in line for hours on a Saturday morning. It's a little added effort for me, but then they all get regular "field trips" off the farm and practice loading/trailering.
    ETA: I keep mine at home so the only added effort is I drive my rig & drop them off to/from work.
    I too trailer into the clinic when possible...saves a farm call and makes the horses do their "trailer homework".



  18. #58
    Join Date
    Feb. 15, 2010
    Posts
    2,996

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hulk View Post
    My vet is always late. Most of the time 2 hours or so but it has been up to 8. Or the next day. I take it in stride, dont sweat the small stuff, and just deal with it, because when I call and say its an emergency, he makes it to the farm in light speed. He knows I dont bluff. So it all comes out in the wash so to speak. I feel just lucky to have him take care of the critters. I also feed him a meal everytime he's here, cause I know hes on the road tirelessly 14 hours or more a day, and needs to eat right. Its hectic and hard to run doing farm calls and you never know what your gonna get into till you get there. I suggest riding along with a mobile vet for a week and it will definately give you a different perspective. Can't really judge it till ya lived it.
    Taking a job is a choice. Vets aren't just dropped into a profession and wake up the next morning to find out they're in a hectic living hell. No one put a gun to their head and told them to go be a vet. So like any career, acting like a professional is the expectation to be upheld...they are being paid to be one.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2000
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    10,527

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HillnDale View Post
    I feel a little guilty posting, since this is more or less resolved and my thoughts are bitter ones. I suppose I just want to vent a little myself. First of all, I do think it's appropriate for a vet operating in the modern world to make every effort to update ETA's and respect clients' time. If that's the standard approach, then genuinely running late, genuine emergencies, and genuine lapses in communication (no one answering the phone) would be so much easier to take in stride. Instead, many vets run hours late as a matter of course and act put out when clients admit to being inconvenienced. All of this would not be so bad either, but to dress down a client when it was the vet who was late and didn't communicate as agreed? That is, in fact, unprofessional and inappropriate. Of course, this vet may have had a bad day and the outburst was uncharacteristic. I understand that.

    What bothers me is vets, as well as doctors and other medical professionals*, use "emergency" as a go-to, blanket excuse. By no means do they all do this, but it is very, very common. I worked briefly for one vet who was late to every single appointment and really didn't give it a thought. He loved to talk and would sometimes spend 30min or more even after being done just talking. His office staff had to answer who knows how many calls about his ETA and invariably attributed tardiness to something medical, often an "emergency." I really felt for his clients because he didn't seem to realize that we live in a post-agrarian society where most people cannot accommodate this approach. Even horse professionals are inconvenienced by it. And I'm sure many clients enjoyed the visit and listening to him wax, but others clearly needed to get back to their day while the next people were kept waiting :/

    As for respecting working women? I remember one client quite desperate to make an appointment in the late afternoon because she could not take the time off from work to be available all day. His derogatory complaints about her and her "unreasonable request" were extensive. It really seemed like he felt clients should just be waiting with horses in hand for him to arrive at some point in a 10hr time frame.

    Meanwhile, clients calling with emergencies were met with a certain amount of skepticism and foot dragging. While that's certainly understandable, in the above outlined context, it was odd to see him lollygag waiting for, a choke for example, to resolve itself, even when he was quite available. These things did not resolve themselves often enough and the horse would have been waiting in pain with a stressed, credit card holding owner unnecessarily. Pretty weird to me.

    Sometime later, I used a barn vet for something and upon arriving maybe 20min late she was all apologies (and no excuses). I had one horse receiving one injection and she was coming from a large, fancy hunter barn where she had been treating multiple horses. Mind blown.

    Of course, vets very often ARE caught up in very real, time consuming emergencies. And there's probably not a lot to be gained except some misery from assuming our vets are lying to us. They invariably work hard, long hours. But if you live in a place where you have some choice and there are equally skilled vets with reputations for timeliness, organization, and taking advantage of communication technology nearby, you might do well to weigh that against the pleasure of a long country chat

    * ETA: I once had a doctor luxuriously spend an extra 30min with me only to walk out to hear his nurse explaining to the next, frustrated patient that he was dealing with an emergency. Hmm.
    This. This and so much more describe a practice I was in for 10 years. The first job I've ever quit too. Walked out one day because the place became unprofessional living cluster the last year I was there. You are who you work with.

    OP, if the events happened as you described and the vet dressed me down and didn't ring the next day to say "It was just a long ass day and I wish I restate what I said to you" then I would see if there was somewhere else I could go. Being a practice with one doctor and one staff person it should be very easy to communicate to each client. I suspect something else is cooking in the practice or the doc's world.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    4,828

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    Quote Originally Posted by StGermain View Post
    And as he's called to the emergency, would it kill him to call the office (if they weren't the ones to call him to the emergency in the first place) and tell them, "I'm on my way to an emergency call. Let my other appointments know I'm going to be running late and I'll call when I'm on my way.StG
    This is how my vet practice works normally, not just in emergencies. The vets check back into the office as they leave each appointment just to give the office a heads up. Then they always call me to tell me when the vet will be coming.

    I have been given different vet's personal cell phone #s when dealing with an emergency, but would never call them except in relation to that particular emergency (e.g. vet left my house at 5pm and was not the on-call vet that night. She gave me her cell to call in case of any major change in status, rather than call the on-call number). But in my case I guess it isn't necessary to call the vet personally since their office staff is very organized. It is a medium sized practice, though, so maybe smaller practices can't work like this.

    I guess I'm really lucky.



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