I don’t have to explain myself. This is my blog, and I’m allowed to say what I want on it. If you don’t
like it–don’t read it. BUT I want to mention a couple of things, just for clarification purposes. Yeah, I’m feisty, but I don’t want to give my readers the impression I’m thoughtless, bitter, and hateful. That’s not me. At. All.
Sometimes I wonder if I should even write a blog. As much as I enjoy writing and getting things that bother me out of my head, I’m paranoid about who reads it–and censor it heavily based on my suspicions. Which really isn’t the point. But more then that, I am sensitive to criticism. Not my best quality, and yet so, so, SO difficult to change. Maybe I’ll disable comments all-together. Which isn’t the point either.
This Wal-Mart = Veterinary Hospitals post is a good example. When I wrote it, I didn’t think that much of it, honestly. I had watched a documentary (as I often do) and it didn’t resonate with me all that much b/c my own work experiences at vet hospitals (the only jobs aside from University employment that I’ve ever had) were/are very similar. So without naming hospitals/employer names, I wrote down the similarities. And upon writing the comparisons–based upon my 100% true veterinary experiences–which are varied. . . Well, I received hostility at worst, and dissent at best. Which then made me wonder–should I have written it in the first place?
First, I take the POV that I have nothing to hide. As a victim (for lack of better word) why should I have to censor the bad behavior of others because those in “the establishment” do not like it, do not acknowledge that it occurs (commonly!), and do not want to change it?? It’s the role of a whistle-blower, I think. And those people take a lot of heat, before their actions and honesty are commended. Look up: A. Ernest Fitzgerald, Myron Mehlman, Jeffrey Wigand, Gary Webb, Harry Markopolos, Sherron Watkins, Peter Rost, Linda Tripp, Frederic Whitehurst. I see I’m going to have to look for some books on those people and the corruption they dealt with! Anyway, the role of the whistle-blower is not all that popular, but necessary for improvement and change.
But then I think: Is it FAIR and ethical for me to whine about this? Especially in a public forum? On a small scale–the hospitals involved wouldn’t love it, and don’t really get a chance to defend themselves. I could really get myself in hot water over it too. Especially since the places I’ve worked and names of veterinarians are all over my blog–though not in that particular post. A person with a brain could probably put the two and two together. . . NOT smart on my part. At. All.
On a larger scale–does my whining hurt a profession that I love, and have all my life? I have been one of the biggest proponents of veterinary medicine (just look at my past posts, my former dream, and all I have enjoyed/put up with for the last 17-ish years) and want to see the profession excel. Does my complaining (legit or not) hurt the image of a veterinary hospital, hurt business, and damage the reputations of the ethical hospitals and employers? Plus my particular hospitals and employers?
Thirdly I (with the help of haters) think–Am I a bad, unethical person for having a problem with these veterinary job commonalities in the first place? A wolf, trying to ruin an awesome, and for the most part compassionate profession, if you will. A lot of people would role with the punches, overlook the ugly, and be thankful for the good parts of the job. Does my negative feelings about past jobs make ME the problem in all of it?
These are questions I have. And, as follows, I’ll explain how my intention is none of the above. I don’t consider myself a noble whistle-blowing victim, a whiny cry-baby, OR a hostile wolf trying to bring down the institution. My point for writing what I do about any issues in veterinary medicine, is to generate awareness to the people in a position to change things (veterinarians/employers) to FIX things. I want the profession to be better, that’s all.
I do not mean to call-out any particular person/veterinary hospital (in general posts about work–in some personally directed posts, I obviously do). I do not think my employers for the most part had bad intentions toward their employees, and as such, don’t think they need to be personally raked over the coals (Well. . . Mostly). These are people that had their plates full, other priorities, or no experience dealing with labor matters. Or had a messy midlife crises as the case may be. Yes, I have worked under some shady circumstances that were not always ethical, lawful, or nice–but in an effort to be a better, more ethical person myself, I will try never to use names from here on out, AND I will realize consequences of each post, before I publish it.
I want to see veterinary medicine succeed and grow. But there are some issues that need to be addressed so the career can grow and prosper gracefully. Standards need to be met, and especially, staffing issues need to be mended. Veterinarians are IN veterinary medicine because they are compassionate people wanting to help animals (and their owners) but that doesn’t preclude their staff from common decency. Vets and business owners need to pay attention to the deficits and work to correct them, instead of just calling me out for tattling.
Saying something about the problems in veterinary medicine (and no matter what one person’s one individual experience is, there ARE problems) does not make me evil. I am not out to destroy veterinarians–I simply want to see the wrinkles ironed out so veterinary hospitals can live up to a higher level of care–not just for patients, but for their staff too. There’s always room for improvement.