I started working at All Animal Veterinary Center on August 12, 2004. I thought it was the perfect job for me. I had wanted to be a veterinarian as far back as I can remember. This would be the perfect place for me to see how a hospital was run.
I was asked to work on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and on the weekends. On the two weekdays that I would work I would do janitorial duties for the most part and sometimes I would get to help out or watch what was going on in the hospital. On the weekends my main priority was to take care of the animals in boarding. I would also have other chores along the janitorial aspect to do. Janitorial work was not what I wanted to do but I thought it was a good way to be introduced to the veterinary hospital scene.
I was at that time attending a college that was about ten miles from the hospital. I was twenty years old and giving up my weekends to work at this hospital. I was not real happy with doing that but I needed the money and I got to spend time with animals and learn some.
In September I moved out the dorms at the school and moved in with my fiance. Now the distance to work had increased to twenty miles. Shortly after we adopted a six-month-old Australian Shepard from the Humane Society, named Ella.
Dr. Cerro told me that I could bring Ella with me to work to get her some socialization. I thought this was great until Dr. Cerro would start to tell me how I should train my dog. I understood that she probably knew what she was talking about but if I had any questions on training my dog I would have asked. Clients would make similar statements about Dr. Cerro.
One day Ella escaped into the reception area and Dr. Cerro tried to grab her collar to bring her into the back and Ella snapped at her. Of course I was told what I should do about that and told that I should get Ella into some obedience classes. That same day as Dr. Cerro was letting the other dogs out she tried to get Ella to go out with them. Ella did not want to listen to her and I could not go to let her out at that time because I was busy doing some work. Dr. Cerro grabbed Ella by the collar and drug her to and out the door.
Needless to say I was a little pissed off at that point in time. I decided that I would not bring Ella with me to work unless absolutely necessary.
I had to work on holidays too and on Christmas morning I rolled my fianc's jeep. I was in the hospital until eight pm. This was when I decided that maybe driving so far was not such a good idea if my life was in danger because of the weather and roads.
I planned on transferring in January, to the college that the vet technician was attending. I talked to Dr. Cerro about not being able to continue working there because of so much driving for school then. I had to drive fifty-two miles one way to school twice a week and if I were to continue working during the week (forty miles a day twice a week) and on the weekends (forty miles a day, twice a day, on Sat. and Sun.) that adds up to about 450 miles a week.
Dr. Cerro told me that she would give me a $0.50 raise and that I could work all day (8am to 5pm) on Saturdays and Sundays and not work on the weekdays anymore. I told her of the possibility of having to find a secondary job to keep up with my car payments. She told me there would be no need for that and that she was sure that what I would be working would be enough for the $230 payments each month.
I started classes in the beginning of January and by the end of the month I realized that my measly paychecks of about $150 every two weeks was not going to be enough to pay my car payment and pay for gas to do all the traveling I needed to do. I then got a job at the new movie rental place that was only seven miles from my house and on the way to school.
My second job was very flexible to work around my classes and my job at All Animal Veterinary Center. This way I did not have to tell Dr. Cerro because neither job conflicted with the other.
Over the next month and a half I struggled to work two part time jobs, go to school, plan my wedding that was coming up on March 17 and put up with Dr. Cerro telling me everything I did was done the wrong way or not done good enough. She continually tried to use intimidation as authority. I recognized this and did not let it get to me.
In February the hospital had a rabies clinic on a Saturday morning. I was previously told about it and was told that they may need me to help that day. I got there a little late; it's hard getting up early all the time. I had a bunch of jokes and short stories to do with animals and vet offices that I wanted to ask Dr. Cerro if she wanted to put them up somewhere for clients to enjoy while waiting. She would not let me get one word out and started in on me that I was late and that I had to have all the boarding animals done by nine (that was when the rabies clinic started). I understand that she was upset that I was late on a busy day (I was only 15 minutes late).
I let it go and went to deal with the five or six dogs that were in boarding. As I was outside with one of the dogs Shelly Desmond, the groomer, came in and told me that if I had any problems with one of the dogs that I could come and ask her for help getting that particular dog inside. I did have problems getting that particular dog inside. For about 15 minutes I tried to get this one dog inside. I went and asked Shelly if she could help me and she very rudely told me that she was busy and that I would have to do it myself.
I was done just after nine only because I had trouble with the one dog. Regardless of the rude behavior towards me that morning I went out to the reception area and asked Shelly if there was anything I could help her with. I helped her catch up on the new client forms and then went and asked the vet technician and Dr. Cerro if there was anything they needed help with, they told me no and to see if Shelly needed help. I told them that I already had but that I would check again. I was in the reception area for about two minutes and Dr. Cerro came out and said to me, "You can clock out now!"
In a not-so-good mood I left and did not return until 5 pm when I was to be there for my evening shift. There was a huge list of things that she wanted me to do. One of the first things that was on the list was that I could not work more than 3 hours per shift. I did not understand where this came from or why.
On the list of things she had estimated times that it should take to do them. These estimated times added up to 3.5 hours not 3. I pointed this out to her and told her that the reception floor could use a second vacuuming and mopping but that the time allotted to me to work did not allow me to do so. I formulated a template worksheet for the weekends and used those to show her everything I did from the time I arrived to the time I left.
Dr. Cerro showed up Saturday evening and started bitching at me about being late and that I was just getting in the way at the rabies clinic. She also told me that I had poor efficiency, poor reliability, and poor organization. One of the last things she told me was that I was "not going to move up in the world" with out those things and that no one was going to let me move up in the world. I just listened and walked away so as to not lose my job because of the things I wanted to say.
Back in December I had asked Dr. Cerro for the weekend of March 18 and 19 off because I was getting married and my parents were coming down for it and I wanted to spend time with them. This was about a three-month notice to get someone to work that weekend.
The beginning of the month I was asked to organize the storage room (kind of ironic, huh?) and in doing so I found out dated pet food on the shelves. I brought this to Dr. Cerro's attention and she said that she would talk to the vet technician about it and to pull the outdated stuff off the shelves and that it would get dealt with. The following weekend I noticed the food I had pulled off the shelves was mixed in with the food for the animals that were in the hospital and put into the food for the animals that were in boarding. That is absolutely disgusting! I was outraged but did not know what to do from there.
The week of March 14 through the 18 was also finals week at school. I only had classes on Mondays and Wednesdays; those were the only two days I had to be at class. The weekend prior to finals week Dr. Cerro did not have much extra for me to do and I thought that was great and that I would have more time to study.
I did what was on the "to do list" on Saturday. I found the mop bucket full of dirty water for about the millionth time. I wrote a polite note saying, "To Whom it May Concern, I found the mop bucket full of dirty water again. It would be much appreciated if the water was emptied after it is done being used." and I signed it. On Sunday when I went in I found that Dr. Cerro put a big red x over my note and wrote, "(Name), this will not happen! The mop bucket is left to be used at the last minute of the day. The person who finds it the next day is to empty it! The important this is that the mop is not left in the water. DOC" She also added more things to the "to do list."
I was very upset. She knew that I had finals to study for; her own vet technician had finals at the same time because we were going to the same school. She also knew that my parents were coming down and that I was getting married. I did not feel that I had to put up with any more the stuff I had been putting up with. On that Sunday evening I wrote a short note saying, "Dr. Cerro, I regret to inform you that I am giving you my two weeks' notice. I will send you a more formal resignation letter as soon as I can write one." and signed my name to it.
Monday morning Dr. Cerro called my house looking for me and did not leave a message. The instant she hung up she called my cell phone and finally left a message. The only reason I know that the two phone calls were one right after the other is because of the caller I.D. The message she left on my cell phone was to give her a call as soon as I got the message. I received the message on my break during one of my classes. I did not have time to call her back at that point in time.
I got home after 7pm, took a shower, had dinner and worked on my ten-page research paper that was due on Wednesday. On Tuesday I continued to work on my papers and other homework for school and then Wednesday I went to classes and had my finals. Wednesday my parents were also on their way down from ten hours away. When I got home my fiance had left a note telling me that Dr. Cerro had called and said that boarding for the weekend had been taken care of and that I was to give her a call.
My fiance was not home because he and my dad went to Ann Arbor to pick up his cousin who was to be in our wedding the next day. My family and friends were staying at our house so I had to attend to them and make sure they had places to sleep and also had to show my mom where the store was to get food for that night. I had absolutely no time to even call my parents on Tuesday to give them directions to our house, my fiance had to do that.
Thursday was the wedding and that day was horribly hectic. On Friday the friends and family I had at our house wanted to go shopping at the mall in Traverse City. I thought that because we were going to go right past it that I could stop at the animal hospital to get my check.
The hospital does not close until 5:30pm. We arrived at 5pm and the new receptionist (the previous one was also resigning for similar reasons as mine) was leaving. I was confused as to why she was leaving early and I just figured that I had the key so I could still go in and get my check. I went in and tried to put in my alarm code and the alarm still said armed I tried two or three more times and it did not work. Wonderful, that meant that she took my code off the alarm. I went to see if my check was where it was supposed to be and it was not. I left the building and called Dr. Cerro.
She again would not let me say much and that she would be there shortly to turn the alarm off. I then asked, "Well, then where is my check?" she said that it was locked up until she got my key. So I was getting fired for quitting. My mom accompanied me inside to give her the key and get my check. I started to apologize that I had not gotten a chance to call her because of being so busy. She cut me off and told me that she had called me twice with no response and that she would accompany me out the back door and that she did not want to speak to me.
I again tried to tell her why I hadn't gotten a chance to call her and that I had finals. She just repeated the same thing she said before. So my mom said, "It's not worth it. Let's go." and we left.
Today, 3/23/05,I received a certified letter stating that they "no longer required my services" but that I could still bring my animals in as a regular client. I could not believe she has the audacity to tell me to keep brining my animals there after she would not even let me speak to her.
Last week I was talking to a co-worker of mine at the movie rental store and she told me that she had brought her dog to the All Animal Veterinary Center and that she would never bring him there again because of the way Dr. Cerro handled her dog and that Dr. Cerro had tried to tell her how to train her dog just because he was fussing about being handled by her. No animal really likes to go to the vet so of course they are going to fuss about being handled by him or her.
I am now done working there and will be sending her a letter including this report.