I don’t get it?!?!?!

I’m a little confused.  I need someone to explain to me when it became “ok” to be mean, rude, and impolite?  Seems I am running into these people more and more often.  Here is a couple of examples for you…

Part One

A few weeks ago, July 4th actually, I was scheduled to sell soaps at the Green Dragon Farmer’s Market here in Ephrata.  I had called earlier in the week, Monday, and told them I would be coming, what I was selling, how large of a spot I needed, and put a request in for an area in the complex.  They were polite, said “not a problem”, “see you on Friday”, etc. 

Friday rolls around, I’m up before dawn loading the truck, etc.  I pull into the Green Dragon at 6:30 am and head to the office to get my location.  The guy behind the counter is rude, takes my money, and gives me my spot number.  I politely ask, “Can you point me in the correct direction?”  Without even looking at me, he sighs loudly, and points to the right.  Ok, getting a little angry now…I tell myself he must be having a bad day, let it go.  I say “Thanks” and head out the door.

It takes me about 10 minutes to find my spot.  When I find it, I’m a little more angry.  Seems I wasn’t in the section I requested and was told back on Monday that I would have.  “Ok, let it go.  No big deal.”  I begin to completely unravel when I notice directly BESIDE me there is another soaper.  She isn’t selling handmade goat milk soaps.  She is selling wholesale soaps she purchased from China for about the 1/3 of the price of what I sell my soap for….And…(that’s not it…hold on…here it comes…) They have me “sharing” a 10 X 10 spot even though they CHARGED me for a whole spot.  Ok, now I’m officially – full blown- ranting and raving-seeing red enraged.  My daughter who is with me, notices the situation and says “Take a deep breath Mom before you talk to anyone”.

“Get in the truck”, I say to her.  “Wait here for me, I’ll be back”.  I take off “walking”.  I say walking but it is that kind of mad as hell walk/run you do when you are well for a lack of a better term…pissed off.  It’s a good thing they put me out in no man’s land on the complex because I had to walk/run across the entire complex to get to the office.  It gave me a chance to work off a little steam before I did or said something I wouldn’t have been proud of after I calmed down.

I open the office door.  I restrain myself.  Getting Mr. Personality again, I explain the problem.  Mr. Personality says (without even looking up at me), big long sigh…”So?”  OMG!!!  I wanted to grab him around the neck and beat his face into the counter.  Instead, I sigh, LOUDLY I might add, and say…”So I want either a new different spot where I requested back on Monday when I called in OR I WANT MY MONEY BACK, if you don’t mind.  Now the office is filled withpeople all speaking different languages, all there to sell knock off purses, perfumes, gaudy belts, and cell phone accessories.  They all go silent.  A mouse could fart and you would have heard it.  Mr. Personality looks up.  I’m still having visions of physically hurting him but I remind myself jail isn’t a fun place to visit.  I calm myself down and am now telling myself “this guy isn’t worth ruining your whole day over”.  I tell him before he can sigh one more time, “Just give me my money back”.  He does and I leave.

Needless to say, I won’t be back to the Green Dragon.  It isn’t how I remembered it was when I was a little kid.  It was a real farmer’s market selling local produce and meats all from actual local farmers who smiled and said “thank you”.  I guess if I ever need a cheap leather belt with a large plastic crab belt buckle, then I’ll go back.  Otherwise, I guess I stick to buying my meats and veggies at various farms’ road side stands.

Part Two…

The other week I had a doelingwho appeared to have some sort of blockage.  I called the vet, explained the details, and said if someone could come out, I would appreciate it.  Now this vet is Agricultural Veterinarian Associates.  They are AG vets.  I interviewed them BEFORE I moved.  I told them what we were about and asked them about pricing, what experience they had withgoats, etc.  I had used them one time prior when I had an animal come down withpneumonia and was pleased with the vet that came.

A different vet from the practice comes out this time and she has a student with her.  Great!  Love to see it.  We need more AG vets.  She is nice enough but I quickly realize she doesn’t have much experience with AG animals.  What tipped me off is she didn’t know what Valbazen was.  I explain it is a wormer which is excellent for treating tapeworms and is better than Safeguard.  I go and get the bottle and show it to her (I’m the teacher now).  She shows it to her student and asks if he has learned anything about Valbazen in school.  He says “no”.  I’m a little shocked.  This is a wormer I think everyone who has ever owned or worked with goats or sheep has heard of.  I explain the rate to use it, what worms it kills, that you need to repeat worming in 10 days after the first dose, and you shouldn’t use it on bred does or does to be bred in the near future because it can cause birth defects and/or abortion.

She is then looking over the doeling when I notice she stops breathing.  I have to tell the vet, who is examining her at the time, that the goat isn’t breathing.  Second big clue that this vet maybe isn’t the right vet for me.  Long story short, the doeling dies.  The vet stays another maybe 1/2 hour talking to me about our operation and goat cheese.  Just plain old chit chat.  I was nice and polite.  I did not nor do I now blame her for the doeling’s death.  I believe she was born with a digestive defect and died.  Simple as that.  But, I would hope that most vets out there can tell when an animal is breathing and when the animal isn’t.  I let it go.  My husband was angry, but I let it go simply because I think she would have died regardless.

I get a bill in the mail a week later.  It seems excessive to my husband and I.  I have to pay for medications that I had just picked up so Vince and I stop over at their office to pay for them.  We asked nicely if they could look into the bill we just recieved because it seemed high and we thought perhaps there was a clerical mistake.  I get a call ealier this week from the office.  This gentleman was nice and polite but said they looked into it and the bill is correct.  I said, “ok” but I was shocked and confused because I thought for sure they accidently over billed us.  He must have sensed I was still confused because he said (still being nice), “I could have a partner give you a call”.  I replied (nicely), “Thanks Justin, I would appreciate that.”

Today I get a call from one of the partner vets.  He’s not so nice and just plain mad that we would even question the bill.  He is doing us a favor in just coming out to our farm in the first place.  Wait a minute…I pay you to come out.  How is that a “favor”.  More like I pay you for your time…$100 an hour I might add.  So, because we questioned our bill they have decided they no longer want to be our vet.  You have got to be kidding me.  Since when did it become common business practice to overcharge clients and then act mortified when they question it?  On top of it all, they were supposed to come out and do a vet check today on several animals I am showing tomorrow.  They aren’t coming out and weren’t going to tell me either.  By the way, my account is paid in full.  I don’t have an outstanding account balance except for the bill in question.  I actually usually pay them when they come out to the farm or within 3 days of recieving the bill in the mail.

Are we two years old or are we professional animal doctors who are professional business owners?  If you are going to charge me $100 an hour then you’ll actually have to work for that entire hour.  Not chit chat with me about goat cheese, living in Tioga County, my red hair color, and the Lebanon County Fair.  If you are going to charge me for that then you should let me know up front.  I can’t afford to teach you all about Valbazen, it’s uses, the risks, and give you tips on making goat cheese if you are going to charge me $100 to do so.

Honestly, I think they overcharged us, were caught, and it pissed them off.  If they would have just said, “sorry about that”, I would have written a check and everything would have been fine.  Or, if they felt this was an honest bill, then I would have said “ok”, written a check, and did a little price shopping withother vets for the future.  Instead I got a rude and nasty vet on the line withthe “How dare you” attitude who was offended by me asking questions and then drops me as a client.  Guess he figured I was just a dumb farmer and thought he could get away with it.  I wanted to reach through the phone and smack him around a little but I just let it go. 

Am I being ridiculous?  Is it not ok to review your bills and ask questions?  Are you just supposed to say “ok” and write a check?  I’m sorry but I review my charges…on everything…Cell phone, utilites, medical bills, and I even count my change when you give it to me.  No offense, really, it’s just me making every penny count.  You would be surprised at how many times something rings up wrong, a clerical mistake is made, or they forgot to credit your account.  I may just be a dumb goat farmer but I did graduate 5th in my class and I can add.  I am also pretty good a spotting a cheat and a scam since I worked for years as a Correctional Officer.

I just don’t get it.  I don’t get rude and mean people.  What happened to customer service?  What happened to “thank you”, “please”, “sorry”, etc.  What happened to a smile and a hand shake?  Why does everyone walk around with a chip on their shoulder and a bad attitude trying rip you off?

So I’m done with the Green Dragon and Agricultural Veterinarian Associates.  I’ll stick to selling my soaps at craft fairs and I’ve already found a new Vet.  I guess I won’t be going to the goat show tomorrow though as it is too late to get a vet to come out and sign off on the animals I was showing.  It’s not the end of the world but I will admit I’m pretty disappointed.

I think the Vet could be related to Mr. Personality from the Green Dragon.  What do you think?

About asciotti

Please keep in mind that I never grew up on a farm, lived in the city or its suburbs all my life. Many farmers out there will find this blog a hoot as I stumble through the every day life of running a farm (most of the time...all by myself).
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6 Responses to I don’t get it?!?!?!

  1. Michelle says:

    I have never heard of a vet acting like that, and I worked for one vet in college and have been married to another one for 25 years! Unbelievable! My husband is carrying thousands of dollars in bad debt, and still he doesn’t fire clients. (It would probably be good to find a middle ground….)

    • marie says:

      Unfortunately, I have had similar problems with our vet, our former vet. He piddled around, didn’t come when he was called, every animal he looked at died, etc. etc. The topper was when he gave me a price of $75 + farm call to set broken leg on kid. He actually charged $125 and by the time he added on everything else the bill was an astounding $475!! Then his wife/bookkeeper calls a couple days later and says she sending out a bill for something he forgot. That something was bending on, feeling the swollen knee of an old doe and saying that there was nothing he could do. That was worth $22 is his mind.

      I can’t complain about his civility or lack of it. He’s always been very nice, just trying to milk every farmer in the area for whatever he can get out of them. In the goat farmer case it’s always as much as the goat is worth and generally the goat dies anyway.

      Our horse got a gash and we carefully sewed it up and gave her penn for a couple weeks. Another man we know, had his horse get a big gash on her face, $900 to get it sewed up. You can get a pretty nice horse on CraigsList these days for less than $900.

      I’m not saying veterinarians aren’t every bit as competent as physicians, but considering the clientele and our ability to pay it’s just ridiculous.

      Btw, during that +$450 visit. I was charged $75 per health certificate and I filled them out while he did other things. He just signed!!

      Sorry so long, I guess I just got carried away.

  2. shawna says:

    Some people take great pride in being rude and nasty and I have had to deal with some of them as well. We were at a craft show in April and guess what? The people beside us sold many things and soy candles were on their table as well. My daughter makes wax candles, we were not happy. The idiots next to us were rude, hateful and didn’t care if we heard them telling people that their candles were much better than Amanda’s and that their glycerine soaps were much better than my goatsmils soaps. In the end of the 3 days we put up with that crap, we figured we outsold them hands down, we were nicer to deal with and our products were all handmade and looked nice where as their stuff was OLD and looked like crap.

    Have you thought of billing the vet for YOUR time you spent teaching her?

  3. susan says:

    I’m with Shawna…BILL THEM!!! I am serious! Its been done by others.

    You do have one consolation coming Amy, as the economy plummets down, the number of ‘nicer’ is growing. Going to be too late for quite a few though! They have made their mess and will have to not make a dime from it.


  4. Bonnie Borasky says:

    Your are right on all counts Amy!! The older I am getting the more disgusted I have becomed with the lack of courtesy I encounter. Here in Philly rudeness is like a virus. I blame parents too lazy and self absorbed to teach their children how to say please/thank you and just let their kids get away with everything. I see more and more of it all the time. It’s depressing. I agree that the vet dropped you out of embarressment of being called on their mistake. F him. Your money is better spent elsewhere.

  5. Bambi says:

    I’m with you, Amy. I get very annoyed with rude behavior, whether it’s the clerk at the store not saying “thank you” after I’ve spent big bucks there or the driver who tailgates, passes me, and then makes me slam on the brakes to avoid him as he turns right in front of me. Unfortunately, it seems that for every polite person there are five rude ones.

    There’s a pretty big farmer’s market in Lewisburg every Wednesday where you might be able to sell stuff, although it’s not exactly close to your new home.

    Sounds like the Green Dragon has become a glorified flea market, what a shame!

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