I have been lucky enough to have survived this field for 14 years. Not only have I survived it, I have been able to keep my passion alive. I wake up every morning knowing I am doing what I love. It wasn’t always this way. There have been several points in my career that I did not enjoy what I was doing, the life I was living, or who I was as a person. Ultimately, I was the person responsible for my own unhappiness. It was all my doing, no matter how I tried to convince myself otherwise.

To describe it best, I was a total ass to some of my coworkers. You know that angry technician who protects her career by pointing out others’ failures? That was me. The coworker who complains daily, but doesn’t have a solution? I totally did that. I would walk into a room and it was instantly a quieter and darker place due to my presence. The tension was palpable.

I don’t have a true reason for why I behaved in that manner. I’m sure I could evoke empathy by saying I was burned out, not feeling supported by my team, or that I had low self esteem and was trying to make myself feel important. Those very well may have played a part in me being a rather despicable and unlikable person. But ultimately, I was an ass. They were my actions and though I am not proud of them, I cannot deny their existence or downplay my behavior.


I oozed toxicity. My outlook was negative and complaints fell from my mouth daily. I talked crap about coworkers. If I detected a
weakness in a coworker, I reminded them of it. Our clinic had a newer technician join our team. She was green but very book smart. Instead of guiding her and being patient, I rushed her and showed her how I could do it better or faster. I publicly pointed out her mistakes and mentioned her name during water cooler gossip. She ended up leaving the practice and I remember thinking, good riddance. She went off to continue her career and get amazing opportunities. I however, was still just miserable.

I am not sure what was the defining moment that showed me the error of my ways. There was no bright light or existential epiphany. I think I just got tired: Tired of being nasty to people. Tired of starting drama. Tired of playing games with others. It took so much energy from me to be so damn miserable. Finding my happiness and sharing it with others is a continuous work in progress. I’ve had to resign my former self and really focus on the positive in my life, other people, and myself. I’ve come a long way from that nasty person I had become. I still have a long way to go. But I am trying!

I am so, so sorry. I am sorry that I chased away a fellow technician instead of supporting her and maybe, just maybe, getting some support from her. I am sorry to anyone who I belittled or hurt. I am sorry that I failed. There will never be a way I can undo those wounds I inflicted on others. That, however, was the old me. I don’t know her anymore. I’ve outgrown her. Encouragement, kindness and patience with each other and ourselves can be the key to happiness. Happiness with our job, coworkers and ourselves.  None of us are perfect. I certainly am not. But I can try to be just a little bit kinder than I was yesterday.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the editorial team.


About the Author

Jade is a licensed technician of 9 years who lives in Port Orchard, Washington. She enjoys emergency and critical cases, dentistry and creating a bond with her clients and team. During her off time she is busy keeping up with her two crazy Basenjis!