Archive for June, 2012

How Are You?

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Dr. Phil Zeltzman DVM, DACVS, CVJ recently wrote an article for ImproMed titled “How is Your Attitude When You Show Up for Work?”

While I agreed with his main point – of course we should have a good attitude – I disagree with what he said about asking and answering “How are you?”

The sad truth is, most people don’t really care how you’re doing when they pop the question. It’s a habit, a ritual, a social convention, rarely a true invitation for you to share your misery.  So at the very least, if you’re having a bad day, fake it. Say something non-committal like “Good, thank you, and you?” or “I’m fine, thanks, how are you?”


If you ask such an intimate and personal question as “How are you?” you had better be ready for the whole story.  If you do not want to know, do not ask.

Is it wrong to say “fine”?  Absolutely not.  You may need an opt-out answer.  And sometimes we really are fine.

Perhaps we need safer greeting options.  If we want our greeting to serve only as a morale booster, we should nod and say “hey” with a smile.  Or wave on our way past the front desk.  Or something.

But I think we should be checking in with each other, really asking “How are you?” and letting our coworkers decide how much they would like to share.

It is a dangerous question, and yet one worth asking.  Whether the interaction is going to be a kind exchange of pleasantries, a door to a deep unveiling or something in between should be completely at the  discretion of the one asked.

This is a tough career, people.  We have difficult cases.  We have clients who need us.  We have patients we love who insist on being mortal.  We have Life.  We need to be looking out for each other.  Be brave.  Ask the question.  Be braver still and answer.  Your team needs you, and you need them too.  It is a question worth asking with empathy and worth answering with honesty.  We are far more likely to reach and maintain a good attitude by taking care of each other than by faking our way through a difficult day alone.

Panties and a Positive Outlook

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

At work we dedicated a small corner of the white board at each location to a “Positivity Corner.”  Team members can add to the list of random things that make us happy, mostly work related, but anything goes.  I post our lists on twitter.

The Positivity Corner was fun but  was eventually erased at two of the three locations.

At the third location, every morning, a team member volunteers a (ahem) verbal description of their underwear pattern and we use that for the border of the Positivity Corner.

We are all so amused with ourselves that I truly believe that as valuable as a positive outlook is in and of itself, the last Positivity Corner standing has survived the longest because we just thought we were hilarious.

Sometimes the mortality and morbidity inherent in our veterinary career needs to be balanced with a positive outlook, and sometimes getting through the day takes a little bit more.

Only on Riley and James people.

True story.

Bailey the Goldendoodle Puppy

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

Bailey is our five month old cousin.  She is visiting for the weekend.  She is super cute.  Evidence exhibits 1-12 :)




And today…


















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We had a very fun weekend with you Bailey Girl! Come back any time!