Saturday, 13 December 2008

Quid Pro Quo (Part 1)

This is rather a long story so l will split it over a couple of days.

It happened about 5 months ago. Reception rang down the back about 2am saying that a woman was in with her cat and it had not passed faeces or urine for several days. However the cat basket smelt of strongly to belie the faecal comment added to that the woman smelt of booze and had a huge black eye.

The vet was operating so l went to collect the patient and take it down the back and triage it on the other prep room table [He was “fettling” a cut foot).
Apart from the strong faecal smell the cat was a lovely long haired white cat with a lot of matted hair.
And a loud purr, no temperature, normalish heart rate [average for a cat that’s stressed at the vets]

The vet said to tell the owner we would need to admit it and he would phone her later. With what she had described we would have to keep him in, run bloods and possibly drip etc.

I went back to explain this and the cost and the woman became agitated started on about how she had lied to get us to see the cat. It had been to the toilet just before she put it in the carrier. It was just not eating or drinking.

I went back down to speak to the vet. He rolled his eyes heaven wards. If she wants me to examine it when l have finished this op tell her the cost and including blood test. However he was happy enough that the cat was not in danger over anything and would be ok to see a vet in the morning.

Back l trotted with the message. She blew up and said “Your accent, is not English, you are South African?”

“No actually l said l am Rhodesian, although it is called Zimbabwe now” l said with a gritted smile.

“I knew it you are a South African racist. You hate me because l am a foreigner”. She looked possibly Greek and had an unpronounceable name and about as white as l am.

“Actually l am also a foreigner here” l said knowing this was going no place fast.

The client became very fractious and came out with about 5 different stories about the cat. While chanting every few words that l was a racist.
The story that sounded most plausible about the cat was that she found the matts in the coat and felt they were uncomfortable.

“Uncomfortable, no shit Sherlock” but it was not an emergency, l did not say that just thought it. I told her that the cat was fine until morning and to go to her own vet to have the cat’s matted hair clipped.

I tried to get her to give me her benefit status, she did not fall into criteria for at least one of the local charities. And of course it was my racist fault she did not fit the criteria, as l was a racist that hated foreigners.

I got fed up and told her l would ring her taxi or the police she had a choice. Still she refused to move just swearing and cussing. So l picked up the phone and said ok police makes no odds to me. She seemed to become more sober and spat a taxi firm number at me.
I rang them and then told an auxiliary to stay behind reception till the taxi arrived. Then l went back to finish helping the vet with the anaesthetic. Anaesthetic is a veterinary nurses job but on nights when there is small shifts we do all sorts including temporary racist.

After about 15 minutes the auxiliary rang back and asked for the “racist veterinary nurse” while trying not to laugh.
She also mentioned that the clients taxi had not arrived yet. I was getting pissed off by now a joke can go so far. As l walked into reception l mentally swore this could get nasty and it was not a laughing matter.
A black guy was at reception. Thankfully he was well dressed in a suit and tie. Not a yob in street clothes with a big mouth. Even so l was not going to back down or be ashamed of who or what l was.

As l walked through he looked at me and asked if l was the South African.

“Nope l am the Rhodesian and before you say it is Zimbabwe don’t bother. My birth certificate says l am Rhodesian and l do not want to call myself a zimbo and further l do not support the sociopathic scumy psychopaths zanu in charge over there that have destroyed my country”

His mouth twitched slightly. “So what’s the story here” he asked.

To keep the peace l explained things to him, while l looked over at the 2 women holding a dog on their laps. It needed a vet fast. My problem was that the vet was busy and no other nurses were about to sort things. And l did not want the present problem to escalate.

A black woman, also well dressed was sitting with the problem client and looked over very unfriendly and said “Do you not care about animals? This lady just told us all about you”

I told them briefly what had been going on and that the woman’s cat was not dying just had hair matts, she was drunk, possibly on drugs, rambling and incoherent and inconsistent in her stories of the cat and what the vet had said.
The obnoxious client now said she was not leaving.
I picked up the phone and rang the police to get over please ASAP. They are always very good if we have a problem.


Annette said...

My God,how did you keep your patients?
That woman sounds dreadful.
Plese let us know what happened.

Auntie Jane said...

Oh dear... You do have to put up with some pretty nasty unsavoury clients, don't you?

Can't wait for the next installment of the story...