For the last few weeks, COVID-19 has changed a lot of the ways we do business. At our animal clinic, we are doing curbside appointments, where we obtain the history from the owners in the car, then take the animal into the clinic for whatever needs to be done. The pet is returned to the owner in the parking lot after examination and treatment. This has created some humorous and frustrating scenarios. To capitalize on these scenarios (and add a bit of levity to our stressful days), a couple of our employees came up with Curbside Bingo. I think they got the idea off the internet and added their own touches, but nevertheless, it has been fun to see how many squares we can cross off our bingo cards. Here are some examples (along with my input):
- You trip in the parking lot.
- Owner just wants the exam done in the car.
- You step in dog poop.
- Owner tailgates in the parking lot.
- Owner moves car from the time you take the pet into the clinic and you return it, leaving you to search the parking lot for the right car.
- Cat is not in a cat carrier.
- Owners are out of their cars having a social gathering in the parking lot.
- It is raining.
- Owner doesn’t answer their cellphone.
- Cat pees in the cat carrier.
- Owner asks you to collect a “sample” from the car.
- The dog repeatedly jumps from the front seat to the back while you try to catch it.
- Owner tries to give you their life story in the parking lot. (Extra points if this is under the blazing sun, at noon, while you’re wearing full protective gear.)
- Owner will only crack the window to talk to you.
- Owner wants curbside service from now on.
- Owner honks the horn instead of calling from their cellphone to tell you they’ve arrived.
- Owner is gone when you take pet back to the parking lot. (Extra points if they don’t answer their cellphone when you try to call them.)
- Owner parks as far away as possible.
- Big dog defending his “car territory” tries to eat your face off when you approach.
- Owner wearing full PPE and refuses to touch anything you bring to their car.
- While talking to an owner in their car, another owner flags you down because their pet hasn’t been seen yet. (Extra points if they are 30 minutes early for their appointment.)
- Dog pees or poops on the way into the clinic. (Extra points if you needed a urine sample.)
- Owner bangs on the locked door instead of reading the BIG SIGN posted on the door to CALL when they arrive.
- Owner waits until the appointment is finished to mention an important piece of information, such as the pet hasn’t eaten for the last five days. (Extra points if the veterinarian who saw the patient just went to lunch.)
- And last, but not least, my personal favorite—owner gives you a tip. This hasn’t happened yet (to me, anyway), but we did have one owner who showed up with a gift bag full of CORONA beer, a fruit bowl, and truffles. Can’t beat that!
In all seriousness, we greatly appreciate the tremendous patience and cooperation of our wonderful clients during this topsy-turvy time. You are the best!
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