Thursday, May 2, 2013

Judge not lest ye be judged

I think if you count down the list, I’ve had at least one of each. Each kind of person, that is. And no, clean up your dirty mind. I’ve had one of each kind of person as a client. Where do you get these thoughts?

Been doing this veterinarian thing for a long time, and at the end of every leash, and carrying every cat, there’s been a person or two. People. Male and female. Young, middle and old. About every race and culture available, rich and poor and undecided. Misers and philanthropists. Educated and …uh, less so. And though not the same as educated or not, I’ve seen smart, or the other. Dedicated and indifferent. Professional athletes and folks in chairs with wheels. Saints and sinners. Cops and criminals. Politicians and professors. The very honest, and the bare faced liars.

I haven’t learned everything, but I have learned some things. You cannot judge the book by its cover, and some people will fool you too. Let me tell you about two.

She was not an impressive looking woman. We get that a lot. This is not a wealthy area, so few women wear designer clothing, carry designer handbags, or for that matter own designer dogs. And they don’t fritter away hours at spas or visit the polite gentlemen who style movie star hair. She looked a bit tawdry. Her puppy was pure mutt, the product of a shameless hussy and a traveling salesman. Somebody had played 52 pickup with the gene pool with this little guy. But, he had a busted leg and needed help.

This was back in the day when a hundred bucks was a good deposit. Because yeah, even then folks would lie about paying their bills. And she didn’t look the type to have much cash just laying around. But she promised to come back with the money.

She did.

Five times she came in that afternoon, with $20 each time. I didn’t ask, but we all wondered if she wasn’t hunting up a few traveling salesmen, or whatever. But she kept her promise and I fixed up her dog.

He was a minister of a local church. Several of my clients knew him. They said he was a neat guy, kinda hip for a minister. Young and handsome. With a wink they also mentioned that he was a bit of a ladies man.

He dressed well, and yeah, he seemed kinda hip for a minister. The dog had some small problem with which we quickly dealt. Then my receptionist presented his bill for service. He was outraged.

It seems he was accustomed to certain favors from local businesses, for he was after all a man of God. He flat told my receptionist that he expected a discount at the very least, and free would be nice. She looked at him with the quiet determination of a good receptionist who was accustomed to folks trying to con her. And she got her money, but boy was he never coming back.

And he stomped out to his Porsche and drove away.

Next time, dude…don’t drive the Porsche.

I’m not saying that I’ve never been ripped off by a hooker, and watch that dirty mind of yours again, or that all of my minister clients have been arrogant reprobates. Not saying that at all.

Just saying that ya can’t tell by appearance, and it really is content of character that tells in the end.


  1. Sounds completely consistent: Prostitutes work for a living and ministers are con artists.

    Oh! Did I say that out loud?

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  3. The pole dancers always paid in singles, but they paid, I just didn't handle the bills. Then there's the woman that drives up in the Escalade to pick up her cat that had been spayed through the low cost humane society service....and complained

  4. Oh, I have direct contrasts from my time at a vet surgery as well. These ones stick in my mind the most:

    One day, we had a Good Samaritan bring in an immaculately groomed and well-cared for Pomeranian that had encountered a car while exploring. Nothing we could do, the poor darling was gone. Not 10 minutes later, a scruffy stoner-type in his 30's came racing into the clinic, bawling his eyes out asking if we'd seen his puppy. It had gotten out of the yard when someone didn't close the gate properly and he'd been looking everywhere. I broke the bad news to him, he crumpled up on the floor and wept. He took the body home for burial, but before he did, he pulled out a wallet and tried to insist on paying for a consultation. My boss wouldn't let him pay.

    The prissy family that came in dressed in designer clothes, all the accessories and flooded with perfume and cologne, with their old, but otherwise healthy dog after it had a foot injury? Well, they did allow surgery to save the foot. They did not follow the post-op instructions, despite having them explained by three different people. The dog came back two days later and it was messy. They left the dog with us while they decided, and tried to insist on no medical care because it's too expensive. After all, the surgery didn't work, did it? Clearly my boss was just out for money! Boss gave him comfort measures anyway and didn't bill them. They finally made their mind up to euthanise on the third day, and wept loudly and dramatically about losing such a beloved family member.