Working in a veterinary hospital poses some unique situations that may not be experienced in other workplace settings.  You have a freezer you don’t keep food in, random body fluid stains appear on your clothing, and you can go from happy to sad and right back in a matter of minutes.  You also might find yourself in your co-workers’ personal bubble more often than you realize as you work together on patients.  Working in a vet clinic also means you spend an insane amount of time with your work family.  It’s not uncommon that many of your friends also work with you.


As with any work place, someone will be in a leadership role.  In this case, probably a manager, a veterinarian, or lead technician.  Frankly, anyone can be looked upon as a leader.  These are the people who will help glue the team together as you kick ass and save lives.  But they’re also the people who sometimes have to make hard choices such as who gets the holiday shift, who works with who, and in some cases, who doesn’t work at the hospital any longer.


The complication arises when that leader is also friends with the staff.  The lines between “friend” and “boss” get blurred and feelings may be hurt.  It can be exhausting for those in-between people…the ones that don’t have full authority but are the shoulder to cry on or complain to.  Rest assured, these types of relationships get tested but ultimately the end goal of exemplary patient care and customer service must not be forgotten.


Let’s be real for a second.  Your co-workers are those who will be there for you when you have a reason to celebrate and come to work happy.  They’ll also be there when something is wrong….and more often than not, this is the case which we hear.  My spouse is a jerk.  My kids are being a pain.  The “other vet team member” makes more than me.  My vacation got denied.  The boss is a jerk.  I’m looking for a new job.  The list of complaints can go on, but hey, there’s an animal in the clinic that needs our help.  So when you get to work, check your s**t at the door.  Focus on the patients and save the drama for after work drinks.


It’s not that I don’t care about you.  Enough distractions though and ultimately our patients or the business might be affected negatively.  It’s not worth it.  If everyone does what they’re supposed to do and how they’re supposed to do it, we can have a more positive and productive work environment.  But you might think I’m a jerk for asking you to do your job properly.  Hey, I’m your friend, but do your damn job.

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The views and opinions featured on There, I Said It are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the editorial team.