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Open Letter to New Veterinary School Graduates

May 02, 2014 By: Dr. K Category: For Vets, Opinion

Congratulations! You made it through four hard, epically hard, years of veterinary school. You crammed, pulled all-nighters, learned many new skills, passed your boards, and survived job interviews. And here you are, ready to spread your wings and wear the title of Veterinarian.

Here are some pointers from a veteran to you newbies:

Savor the Ride

You’ve done so much work toward getting your veterinary degree. In the final weeks before you graduate and begin working, take a walk down memory lane. It’s hard to enjoy veterinary school while you are in it. Say goodbye to your favorite clinicians and technicians, enjoy time with your classmates. You never get this time back. And believe it or not, you will develop sentimental feelings. If not now, they will show up a few years out. Perhaps the hard labor of veterinary school equates to child birth – an oxytocin surge allows you to forget the pain and remember the fun!

Find the Right Job

Some practice owners don’t want to mentor. Mentorship is critical for a new graduate. But, it’s not enough that someone is willing to teach you. You need to make sure that new employer’s ideals and ethics jive with your own. One mistake I made was taking a position where it was routine to keep patients overnight without care. I compromised my ideals because I was an insecure new grad and regretted it multiple times during my tenure there. Have you considered what type of salary, hours, on-call, and tech support you’ll have? Will you have a good quality of life there?

Take Time Off

Unless you are scraping by financially and need to start work immediately following graduation, do yourself  favor and take some time off after graduation. You have the rest of your life to work and once you are in a contract taking a large lump of time off for yourself won’t happen. Travel, take a staycation, reconnect with loved ones – you will never regret it.

Know It’s Normal to Want to Run

You’ll pull up to your new practice on that first day of work and, more than likely, have emotions ranging from nausea to panic. Suddenly transforming from the student to the expert is scary. You’re not alone. We all did it and understand. But don’t run. You need to pay off those student loans.

Student Loans

Put them on direct debit and forget them. If you are lucky enough have extra cash laying around, pay those loans down sooner. But realize that car payments, mortgages, child expenses, and the unexpected will make that hard to do. Don’t stress over them and never, ever, look at the total balance.

Ok, just kidding about that last part. Kind of.

Don’t Expect Perfection…Ever.

The learning curve for a new grad is steep. So many veterinary students and veterinarians have Type A personalities: We expect perfection in ourselves and are very hard on ourselves when we don’t achieve it. You are going to ask a lot of questions, forget the dosing for amoxicillin, and bury your nose in the 5 minute Vet consult during your lunch. You will misdiagnose patients. You will offend clients. People will say mean things to you and about you. This is part of the professional pill that’s toughest to swallow.

You will never be perfect, no matter how many years in practice. Start your career off knowing that to err is veterinarian. Welcome to the best profession in the world!

Celebrity Kitty In The House!

April 23, 2014 By: Dr. K Category: Just For Fun

A few months ago I received a rather random email. My SPAM filter does a nice job at eliminating those pesky male enhancement ads and thwarts the Nigerian princes who will give me millions if I send them my bank account info. But it missed this one.

It read: “Could you get in touch with me about your video of Piggles in the garbage.  WAe [sic] would like to use it for a show that we produce for Animal Planet.”

Dubious to say the least. I used our trusty friend, Google, and found out that the person and production are real! After discussions with the producer, Miss Pigglesworth, a discarded cat at my clinic, is going to be a star!

Coming to a home near you this summer on Animal Planet’s Bad Dog:

How’s Your Quality of Life?

April 21, 2014 By: Dr. K Category: Opinion

These days veterinary magazines are bombarded with articles about balancing life and work, staying healthy, dealing with stress and burnout, and managing debt load. These articles are the canary in the coal mine indicating a stressed out, oftentimes dissatisfied workforce.

I’ve had the unique experience of working at multiple practices over the past several years while functioning as an emergency and general practice relief veterinarian. One thing remains constant in the spectrum of all practices: This profession chews you up and spits you out.

The practices with the worst policies and employee treatment churn through employees who leave due to dissatisfaction from dysfunction. Veterinarians in the best practices oft times struggle but know they are lucky when they hear the horror stories of the comrades abroad. Burnout is real and rapid. Why?

Veterinary medicine is not puppies and kitten, rainbows and unicorns. Period.

The field has been romanticized by the likes of James Herriot and Nick Trout (who I read and love), misrepresented by Dr. Pol, and placed on a pedestal by the general public. Practicing veterinary medicine in 2014 means many things to veterinarians:

1. We deal with money problems. And not just our own.

New graduates arrive on the scene with exorbitant amounts of student loan debt – sometimes surpassing $250,000. New graduate pay doesn’t come close to sustaining a reasonable standard of living when accounting for student loan repayments (which peskily knock on the door six months after graduation). Indebtedness looms large.

The general public has the impression veterinarians are rich. This is so absurd it’s laughable. I haven’t heard of too many human specialists get accused of being in it for the money.

Veterinarians are asked to perform services for free. Every day, many times a day. Giving away services is noble and self-sacrificing. And if I really cared about their dog/cat/ferret/stray I would do my job for free. I would ignore overhead, my loans, paying my employees, offering benefits, and keeping the practice cost effective for clients who are willing to pay for services…If only I cared enough.

The psychological battering sucks the life out of you. And it never ceases.

2. We see the worst in humanity far more often than we see the best.

No law prevents horrible human beings from owning pets. Too many animals are owned by people who intentionally neglect or harm them. Generally obnoxious, self-righteous people crank it up a notch when it comes little Fluffy.  The stress of making life or death decisions that are many times tied to finances cultivates the worst in people. I’ve been the recipient of more than one comment about stealing the food from a child’s mouth.

3. Semper Fi

Clients have expectations that we should always be available. This has led to late evening office hours, 12-16 hours days, and added appointments to an already full schedule. It is far too common for vets to work 50-60 hours a week or more, through the evening and weekend, and even in the middle of the night after a full day of work. I have had experiences with clients who are angry we are closed on a Sunday, angry I wanted them to head to a staffed emergency center at 3am for a blocked cat, and even angry because *gasp* I was a “lady doctor” and not that man doctor they usually see.

Battling fatigue is unhealthy for the body and the mind. Missing time at home is corrosive to families.

If it’s that bad, why am I even a vet?

Well, if we are honest with ourselves, we vets will admit we’ve asked ourselves this question on more than one occasion. So why do it? There are good cases, happy endings, excellent practices, loving clients. There are thankful employers, friendships built, and grateful pets.  There is an inherent “rightness” in what we do. And there is reward. For many, that is enough to combat the heaps of emotional (and sometimes literal) crap we wade through on a daily basis. For others, like a vet school classmate I recently spoke with, it was not.  She is now working outside of the profession and is happier because of it.

Can you have a reasonable quality of life when practicing veterinary medicine?

That’s up to you. My theory on having it all goes like this:

There are three things we all want/need to have a balanced life. Work, Family/God, and Sleep. It is easy to have two. The third is where it gets difficult.

I can’t imagine working full-time and taking care of my daughter/home/husband while also maintaining my sanity and not losing my identity. I’ve struck my quality of life balance by working part-time, raising my daughter, and getting the down time I need to still be me.

I’ve got it all together, don’t I? … Wait, did I say three things? Let’s not forget the fourth…MONEY! By working part time I sacrifice money. And there’s the rub.

We do the best we can in this profession. Finding a balance is tough. Maybe you need to cut your hours. Maybe you need to own your own hospital and set your own rules. Maybe you have a personality that lets the turmoil roll off of your back and you are unaffected. Or maybe you need to step out of the profession and see if the grass really IS greener.

You can’t have it all, no matter what job you chose. There is no magic equation. Some of the best advice I have ever heard came from the former CEO of Commerce Bank Vernon Hill.

If your circumstances aren’t going to change, you need to accept them or change yourself. It’s that simple.

And that friends, is how you get the quality of life you want.

One Decision Away From the Frying Pan

April 02, 2014 By: Dr. K Category: Opinion

The AVMA recently posted a story that gives me a sickening knot in my stomach. Find it here.

The summary of the story is this: A dog owner took her dog to the emergency clinic after she had been spayed that morning but her regular veterinarian because the dog was retching and her incision was bleeding. The emergency veterinarian believed the dog needed exploratory surgery and quoted the owner for the surgery and required half the amount as deposit. The owner had some money but not anywhere close to the deposit. She did not have a credit card. The owner and the owner’s sister were both declined Care Credit, a credit line for medical urgencies and emergencies. The veterinarian sent the dog home with a pressure bandage on her abdomen but the dog died overnight. The owner posted a grief-ridden post on Facebook that has been shared thousands of times.

A resulting maelstrom on social media has lead to death threats and harassing phone calls to the employees of the emergency clinic. And it affirms my feelings that we veterinarians are just one decision away from a social media lambasting that can forever affect our careers.

I understand both sides of the story in this particular case. I am not going to debate the virtues and faults of both sides in this post as nobody has enough information except the two parties involved. My own soapbox for pet ownership is well known but let me refresh you.

Pet ownership is a privilege, not a right.  When you decide to care for an animal you assume full responsibility for its care. I do not expect everyone to have the means to afford every treatment offered. It is highly unreasonably and irresponsible to expect someone else to foot your bill when you cannot afford the care recommended or required. If veterinarians discounted their services for everyone who had financial need, they would rapidly go out of business.

Veterinary medicine is a service AND a business. Businesses must make money to survive. Veterinarians offer many discounted services and have tens of thousands of dollars in veterinary care walk out of their clinics without a sniff of payment every year. It is horrible business practice to give away services regularly but we do it. While most owners are good for payments when extended a payment plan, many others are not. The appalled pet lovers are likely the ones who would have paid a bill if extended the credit. They don’t appreciate the concept of getting stiffed for an entire several thousand dollar bill. And until, as a business owner, you see how unpaid bills affects your bottom line and the ability to pay and you go through the arduous and oft times ineffective collections process – well – you just don’t understand both sides of the coin.

Every day practices are evolving to meet clients’ financial needs while providing the optimal care for the patient. Pets are property by law but have intrinsic value as living beings and family members and we veterinarians, more than any one else, understand this. It’s not a perfect system but most of the time payment plans and Care Credit make it work.

Soapbox dismount.

What concerns me most about today’s social media environment is angry pitch-fork yielding mobs can tear down a person or practice with little knowledge of the facts of the situation or the inner workings of a practice. And it’s all done under the anonymity of the internet resulting in some of the cruelest, foulest, uncensored vitriol posted for all to see. We veterinarians, as well as others in the public service field, have our reputations at stake and can potentially have them destroyed by one disgruntled client. It’s terrifying.

Have you seen this story about the veterinarian who committed suicide after an angry online mob drove her in to financial dire straights?

Every day I make the best decisions I can for my patients while working within a clients’ financial means. If I cannot achieve an outcome that jives with my standard of care, we have the adjust our approach to make it work even if that includes the option of euthanasia.

I fear for the future of good practitioners and public servants when it is so easy for information to pass from person to person without fact checking, intricate knowledge and understanding, and censorship. We will start to practice like we have one foot in the fire which will affect the practice, the client, and the patient. Everybody gets burned.

The Hardest Thing To Say

March 16, 2014 By: Dr. K Category: Opinion

This past week I faced the words I hate saying. A seven month old kitten presented to me for weight loss and loss of appetite. He had no veterinary history and was born to a stray. His elderly owner brought him in poor condition and my suspicions were tweaked immediately. His enlarged lymph nodes and abnormal abdominal palpation further made my heart sink. A positive Feline Leukemia test confirmed my suspicions: This kitten had end-stage cancer caused by his feline leukemia virus.

And here it came, the words I dreaded saying: There is nothing we can do for him.

There is nothing we can do. That vacant, depressing droll makes me feel like a failure as a veterinarian. I pride myself in providing multiple treatment options, climbing the therapeutic ladder to find a treatment that works, and having enough humility to refer to a specialist when needed. I love curing, preventing, and palliating. It’s rare when there isn’t something I can offer to gain a sliver of quality of life for my patients. But how do I deal when I have no options but death?

My cases come home with me. I worry about sick patients. I revel in successes. But the ones that affect me the most, undoubtedly, are the ones I can’t treat. My only peace is I recommended euthanasia to alleviate suffering. A part of me knows I followed all the rules. Another part of me knows this was the right decision. But in the fold of my heart I feel I failed. That love, hope, despair, and feeling of failure describes what it is to be a veterinarian.

Book Review: “An Animal Life: The Beginning”

January 06, 2014 By: Dr. K Category: Opinion

I was contacted a year ago about reading and reviewing a book for a colleague, Howard Krum, and I promised I would follow through. A baby, two career changes, and a move later I have finally completed the book!

Step aside, James Herriot. Gone are the days of romanticized veterinary medicine. An Animal Life: The Beginning chronicles the first semester of veterinary school by following the class of 1992 through Anatomy labs, Wildlife rounds, and cram sessions. Dr. Krum attended veterinary school at my alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, rendering his accounts of the Ryan Veterinary Hospital and large animal antics hysterically and, oft times, painfully accurate.

Dr. Krum touches on the cruel, competitive, sometimes thankless pursuit of veterinary medicine with humor and wit. He has begun weaving a tale of non-traditional students whose lives are irrevocably intertwined as they toil through their first semester. You will be captivated by Dr. Violet Green, a wildlife vet who does the right thing despite the risks, and Jack Doyle, a former police officer who finds himself in veterinary school.

Dr. Krum provides a good read, though sometimes unbelievable, and entertains as well as educates. If you plan on attending veterinary school, this book is a must read. This novel succinctly describes life at Penn Vet and successfully illustrates just how demanding veterinary school is.

New Lifetime Golden Retriever Study Shows Promise

September 25, 2013 By: Dr. K Category: Opinion

My friends at Morris Animal Foundation are conducting a lifetime study of Golden Retrievers and need all the online promotion they can get. As many in the veterinary community know, Goldens are highly predisposed to specific cancers: mainly Lymphosarcoma, Hemagiosarcoma, and Osteosarcoma.

MAF states: Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is a groundbreaking effort to learn how to prevent cancer and other diseases. It is the largest and longest observational study ever undertaken to improve the health of dogs. The study will enroll up to 3,000 Golden Retrievers and will last 10 to 14 years.

If you have a golden retriever you would like in the study, please follow the directions in the link above and contact your veterinarian.

A Case Against Retractable Leashes

September 21, 2013 By: Dr. K Category: Opinion

Retractable dog leashes land in my top three veterinary hospital pet peeves. I’m not alone as the hatred for these liabilities runs deep among those in the profession. Here I post the reasons to ditch that retractable leash and offer some safer alternatives.

1. Your dog doesn’t need 20 feet of lead

I think dog owners believe they are doing something great by letting their dog run a bus-length ahead of them. This habit oftentimes leads to poor leash skills and refusal to follow commands. Many dogs pull at the end of the lead and are not close enough to the owner to receive or care about correction.

If you are one of those clients who allows the dog to have 20 feet of lead in the 10 foot exam room because he needs his freedom, you probably don’t care about your dog rushing the veterinary staff, running circles around our legs, and tangling himself in the exam table. This is where my hatred of these leashes come from. It’s as much an issue with the leash as it is with its owner.

But Dr. K! I want Fido to exercise while on leash! I suggest a fenced in yard or a large open space free of other dogs. Dog parks and doggie day cares carry their own risks.

2. You have minimal control over dangerous encounters

It happens over and over again. Little dog goes to the dog park and, in the blink of an eye, scraps with another dog while at the end of his lead. The pet owner had no control or chance to avoid the situation because he was too far away. Consider, too, dogs who have too much lead while out on their walks and lunge into the street. I’ve seen the action far too many times and repercussions are severe. Keeping your dog close won’t prevent all accidents, but it can eliminate the most preventable.

3. The quality of the line is poor

The lines in retractable leashes are thin. In my practice, dog after dog comes in with a broken line that has been knotted at the end or is precariously frayed and waiting to snap. Dogs who love to chew on their leashes (You know who you are, crazy labradors!) can easily chew through these leads suddenly leaving them off leash. The mechanisms inside the leashes and the locks are also of poor quality when compared to the sturdiness of a traditional thick nylon leash.  There are better made retractable leashes than others, mind you, but all are inferior compared to the safer alternatives I will list below.

Alternatives:

1. The traditional nylon leash. Nothing beats this original.

2. The Lead Rope. I’ve never seen one break.

3. The double handle leash. Even better control and a way to pull your dog closer in a jiffy. This is especially helpful for large dogs in tight quarters.

The Worst Job Interview Ever Part 3: The Explosive Finish

July 11, 2013 By: Dr. K Category: Opinion

Part 1

Part 2

No amount of discussion could convince me to work at Animal Veterinary Hospital. The man sitting next to me on the bench seat of the pick-up wasn’t prepared to give up that easily. I guess he thought if calling me a bitch didn’t end the interview, me telling him he was annoying wasn’t going to stop him.

He yammered on and on about the virtues of his practice as we cruised the winding roads of the neighborhood. I half-listened while formulating my thoughts on getting out of this interview. I’d let it go too far and was in so deep I didn’t know if I could dig out of this grave. We pulled in to the empty parking lot of a school and idled.

Shaffer went on, “The way I see it, we can be like good cop bad cop. You can go in there and be the gentle compassionate one. Really win them over. They’ll like you. If they don’t listen to you, I can go in and tell them to shut the fuck up.” Say whaaaa?

“Umm, ok.”

“I have clients I tell off all the time. They like it. I tell them to stop being assholes. People need that. But you can be the nice one for the ones that like that.”

“I think I could be the nice one, ” I trailed off and sneered in disbelief that this guy continued to top himself.

He put the truck into gear and backed out of our parking spot. “Let me show you where you’ll be staying tonight.” Shaffer had been kind enough to book a hotel room and make a dinner reservation for us that evening. I was to stay at the historic hotel, located on a beautiful vista, and join him in the morning for the working interview. That wouldn’t be happening. But how to get out of it?

We drove and drove with his droning voice ruining my appreciation of the sun-filled brisk afternoon. We rode higher and higher, heading up the rolling hills to the hotel. The path was filled with twists and turns, clearly forged by cattle meandering their way across the valley. I was starting to get that familiar tingle in my stomach. The beacon to impending motion sickness.

As a kid, my car rides consisted of sleeping and puking. I slept through as many trips as I could to avoid the nausea that, to this day, accompanies travel. My motion sickness is so bad, that on a college trip to Costa Rica, I was plane sick, car sick, sea sick, and snorkeling sick all in the same week. Snorkeling sick, you ask? The bobbing up and down in the Pacific ocean while my eyes were fixed on the bottom 20 feet below me triggered a vomit tsunami of fresh fruits and rice over the side of the boat.

And that pre-puking warmth and sweat was starting to spread from my brow to the back of my neck. I focused my eyes forward on a fixed point on the horizon. Was Shaffer talking? I had no idea. I heard humming in my ears and swallowed hard in the hopes the misery could be choked back down to the angry pit of my stomach. There was no hope.

“Is there a place you can pull over?, ” I blurted on the verge of panic.

Shaffer rapidly pulled over into the parking lot of a closed greenhouse. I grabbed the door handle in a dizzying haze and hopped out of the truck. I ran to the tailgate and let loose. I vomited. All over the ground and my shoes. Behind the truck. The truck my interviewer sat in knowing I was puking my guts out. The day could not have gotten worse. Then it did.

Feeling tremendous relief but doing the walk of shame back to the passenger door, I had no idea what to say. ‘Uh, sorry I puked’ didn’t seem appropriate. I climbed in the car, grabbed a piece of gum, and buckled up. Shaffer reached over and gave me two gentle and knowing pats on my left shoulder before putting the truck in gear.

“Why don’t we head back to the hospital.” That was the best thing I heard him say all day.

We drove back in silence. I should have been embarrassed but I wasn’t. This guy was insane. His shamelessness led to my shamelessness.

“I think you should go home tonight since you’re not feeling well. You can come back for the working interview on another day.” Vomit saved the day!

The remainder of the ride back to the practice Shaffer gently reminded me I really wanted to work at his practice. We pulled into the parking lot and parted ways. With a sigh and shake of my head I climbed into my car, locked the door, and pulled out my cell phone. My husband wasn’t going to believe this story.

Two weeks later I received a thank you card for interviewing at Animal Veterinary Hospital. The note also asked if I knew of anyone else who might be interested in working there, to please pass on the information. I only shared my story.

The Worst Job Interview Ever Part 2: Captive

June 29, 2013 By: Dr. K Category: Just For Fun

Part 1

I should have ended it there, I thought, as I climbed into the front of his pick-up. Three hundred pounds, stupid, and a bitch? Who says something like that? Some nut bucket, that’s who. And there I was, riding to his home to meet his wife in the biggest extended cab pick-up truck you’ve ever seen. A blaring red with four rear tires, dual exhaust, running boards, and a large bed with four-wheel-drive suited to drive me out to the middle of nowhere. The middle of nowhere…a perfect place for a murder.

“We’re heading to my house. I want you to meet my wife. I also want you to see my barn and meet my horses.” Ah yes, Max Shaffer was a breeder of Arab horses. My knowledge about horses was and still is limited to what I learned in veterinary school. I had taken my boards and completed my large animal rotations and had long drained my brain of unnecessary equine fluff. They are flouncy prey animals destined for a broken leg, laceration, or colic.

We rolled up a long drive and passed two gorgeous, and I mean gorgeous, barns. The idyllic setting disarmed me a bit from our earlier debacle to the point my eyes sunk into the lush green scenery. I was jarred to reality when I realized the truck had stopped in front of one of the barns. I hopped from the truck and tailed after Max toward the entrance of the building. I entered the barn and the familiar smell of hay, alfalfa, and horses tickled my nose. The barn was immaculately clean, I noted, and found a morsel of respect for the way Shaffer kept shop.

That morsel withered away when he called me into his tack room. He furrowed his brow behind his large round glasses as he reached up onto a shelf and pulled down a wooden box.

“These are the ashes of my favorite foal, Bennie. Bennie spent forty-five days in the NICU at Teaching Referral Hospital. I had to euthanize him.” Dr. Shaffer had a noticeable quiver in his voice. “He was the best little foal. Beautiful.” Was he really crying during my job interview? In the tack room? “It just chokes me up.” Yes. Yes he was. Awkward.

I slipped out the door of the tack room and into the aisle way as Dr. Shaffer replaced the ashes on the shelf. I heard him behind me. “Ok, let’s head up to the house.”

Should it have been odd to me that Dr. Shaffer was taking me to his home during my job interview? I admit, I would have been a lot more nervous about it had he just not shed tears over the ashes of his prized foal. And I really needed to meet his wife; She was either just as nuts as him or she was a saint.

Turns out she was a saint or really good at putting on the act of normalcy. She was clearly the most normal aspect of his life. The meeting went smoothly with nary a profanity uttered. I sat in the living room and listened to her talk about their child, their horses, her career, and the annual Christmas party at their house. Yet this family was nothing akin to the Norman Rockwell picture she was trying to paint.

Back in the truck, Dr. Shaffer decided to take me for a cruise around the neighborhood to get a feel for the area. I just wanted to get back to the hospital, then into my car, then fly down the turnpike without looking back. Away we drove.

“So, let me tell you about the benefits. All of your pet care is free. I will give you my credit card if you have to take them to a referral hospital. You will get health insurance. Oh, and all my employees get a gym membership.”

A gym membership! What a nice perk.

“I think it’s really important you be in shape. It’s good for your brain, too. My previous associate had a smokin’ hot body!”

The pervert emerged and his creepiness factor just blew through the roof. He clearly put stock in his employees appearances, given his multiple comments about weight and physique. I certainly did not want him noticing my “smokin’ hot” body. I suddenly wished for a burka.

We cruised down side roads while Dr. Shaffer pointed out homes owned by his clients. “That one there is loaded. She’ll spend tons of money on her pets. She’ll do anything you say.” As he droned on about his wealthy clientele, I was lost in thought. The scenery was green, lush, and beautiful so I used it as an excuse to look out the window and not across the bench seat of his truck. I already disliked this guy.

We slowed near a sizable estate and Dr. Shaffer started, “See that bush there? That big one on the corner of the lot?”

“Yes, right there,” I pointed to the obvious bush on the corner lot near a very large and ornate traditional home.

“Yep. I picked Tiffany, one of the techs, up there once when she was at a party.” So benevolent of him, I thought, avoiding rolling my eyes at yet another story he used to convince me he was a good guy.

“She was bare-assed naked hiding behind that bush. She was drunk and, of course, with some guy and wanted to go home. She called me to come pick her up. All of my employees know they can call me at any time for help.”

Head. Explode. What does one say to that? Just smile and nod and I might get out alive.

We came to an intersection and he stayed stopped. He turned toward me and asked, “So what are you thinking? Are you interested in this position? I like you.”

Serving up a big dose of diplomacy I gently began, “Well, I am on the fence. I am not sure we would work well together.” Understatement. Of. The. Century.

“What’s the problem? Tell me what you don’t like!”

I continued to tactfully let him down, “I just don’t think we’d work well together. I think we have very different styles.”

“Why?”

“I am not very interested at this point.” If he thought I had balls before, his pestering was about to give him a good look at how big they were.

“What do you mean? Is it something about me?” Um, yes it is you crazy nut bag. I was telling him we won’t work well together and I was not that interested. Apparently subtleties were beyond him.

“I think you are annoying,” I stated flatly figuring I’d lay it out there in a manner of directness that I wasn’t prepared to deliver.

After a moment of awkward silence I was sure he’d offer to take me back to my car and end the interview. He shifted the truck in gear.

“Let me tell you why you want to work for me.” The tour continued.

 Part 3