I've been getting over a breakup. A professional break-up, that is. With our vet.
We have many animals living at our house. Children and husband aside, there's the dog, the cat and a revolving door of fish. We - or should I say, they - have had the same vet for as many years as they've had this owner. But after repeatedly bumping into an old friend and animal doctor, I realized it was time to take the plunge and switch over. Sure "our" vet was kind, capable and convenient. But our soon-to-be-new vet was all those things too. And a personal friend.
And then one night our dog lost a fight with a jagged wooden spike that embedded itself in his paw. It was late at night and we were at a loss. Our friendly vet was closed. But our friend-the-vet was always open. At least he said he would be if we needed him. We needed him...
And he was there! He talked us down, helped us out, and metaphorically held our hands. I knew the time had come to take the plunge and switch vets. He told me all I had to do was make a couple of calls: one to his office to register my pets, and one to the old vet to ditch him.
Huh? I had to actually call the old vet?! Couldn't we just not rsvp to calls for flea meds and rabies shots?
Apparently not. Like all medical specialists, the new vet needed records.
Professional break-ups are tricky. I'm not talking hiring and firing, tho' those can be pretty brutal too. I'm talking about the professionals you - or your health plan - pays. Doctors, lawyers, contractors. Agents, teachers, dressmakers. When you tell a lover "it's not you, it's me" it could be true... sure.... uh-huh. But with a pro, it's a bold-faced lie. Of course it's them - otherwise, why would you ditch?
Unless you've reached some sort of "goal", it's usually the pro's failings that make you wonder if you could do better. Like your waxer. Right, ladies? If you're moving on, unless you've gone laser, it's because they're too pricey. Or too rough. Or too booked. Or there's someone way better/cheaper/gentler on the horizon.
Question is: do they care about being dumped?
I had the same GP for years. I thought she'd see me through to old age. Until I got pregnant. Suddenly, she bugged me. Her old-school advice wasn't what I wanted. I knew it was time to move on to a younger, newer, model. And I did. No muss, no fuss, no phone call. I'd absconded, and it was over...until I bumped into her a couple of years later. It was out of context and I hoped against hope she wouldn't recognize me. But of course she did and she couldn't have been nicer. I felt awful.
I ditched my contractor too. Thought he was ripping me off and being an overall cheeseball. He'd worked for everyone in my family for years. I was outraged that he'd try to cheat me. I vowed never to work with him again. Until my roof started leaking and my kitchen ceiling looked ready to cave. Then I came grovelling. He sent one of his minions to fix the problem. For a hefty fee. Sure, I paid the price. Maybe it was payback. But it was well worth it.... We were back together.
I've changed schools, swapped swim instructors, moved camps... always for the sake of my children. Well, almost always. But scapegoating them was OK. No one was offended, and everyone was happier.
But the vet? What'd he ever do to me? Or my pets? Aside from care for them?
Well, he charged a lot, for one. Convinced me to go gourmet - pet food - for another. OK. So he never did anything "to" me? But what did he do "for" me? A whole lotta nothin' that's what! I was right to dump him. Out with the old, in with the new! I called and announced that our pets would be moving on. There was a pause. Would they beg me to reconsider? Convince me they were the best vets in town? The silence was deafening.....Were they even there?!
Once the receptionist came back on the line, she sweetly asked for the name of the new clinic. And with a "have a good day", our relationship was over. Quick 'n painless. I was devastated. Because it wasn't them. It was me!
I just hope they don't recognize our dog on the street.