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A Half Filled Glass Isn’t Enough

Around fifteen years ago in a parking lot in Kilkenny, Ireland, I saw this stencilled onto the toilet block wall of a restaurant.

This bit of street art has always stayed with me. It’s front and centre in my mind when I’m faced with any decision that involves both money and ethics, and I’m pretty sure I’ve made some major life decisions influenced in no small measure by this snippet of vandalistic wisdom.

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Defining the Small Stuff

I was sixteen or seventeen. It was late on a Saturday night, and I was lazily flicking through channels like only a teenager can when I stumbled upon an interesting looking movie. I never did catch the title and I’ve long forgotten the plot, but it featured a young boy of about 13 years on a road trip of sorts with a wise old American Indian. What I do distinctly remember is a scene where the kid is upset over something that has happened. He’s crying and exasperated when his travel companion tells him that there are only two rules in life:

Rule number one: don’t sweat the small stuff.

Rule two: everything is small stuff.

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Dear Anonymous Vet

Somewhere in an old diary of mine, wedged in between ‘phone blood results for Spotty Jones’ and ‘book ute for a service’ on my to-do-list these words are scribbled:

“If not this, then what the fuck?!?!?!?!”

I suspect this pretty much sums up what you feel? Like you, and like so many countless other vets, and plumbers, and doctors, teachers, poets, office workers, dive instructors, travellers… (you get the picture), I’ve stared down the long dark barrel of that question for a substantial amount of time. And it’s not an easy one.

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The Value Of Your Art: Reframing Perceptions

How often do you feel guilty for charging for a service? Have you done things and not charged for them, because they were ‘easy’ jobs, or ‘only took a minute’? I have to confess that during my working life I would have done hundreds of procedures for free, or for a fraction of what they should have cost, and in the process lost my employee, and later myself once I started my own business, tens of thousands of dollars.

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Vet Long And Prosper

Google tells me that the edge of the universe is expanding outwards at 68 kilometres per second per megaparsec. To clarify: a parsec equals 3.26 million light years, and a megaparsec equals a million parsecs. Get it? Me neither, but suffice to say that it’s faster than the speed of light.

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Dealing with mistakes: Part 1

It’s the weekend. You’ve had a challenging week at work, but you coped, and it’s over. You’re sitting in the sun with a few friends at your local pub relaxing with a drink when your phone lights up: work calling. A small crack appears on the edge of your previously contented state of mind. Maybe it’s nothing… You pick up the phone and leave the table. It’s the boss: “You know that cat that had the surgery on Thursday…” “Yes…” “There’s been a problem…”

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Hacking Client Communication

You can spend a lifetime learning about communication. Countless books, online resources, coaches and entire university degrees are readily available to educate and inform. Unfortunately most of us don’t have spare lifetimes to commit to this, meaning that the active improvement of communication skills often get relegated to ‘something I’ll do later.’ Yet the positive impact that improved client communication can have on how effectively you ‘re able to do your job and how much enjoyment you can get from veterinary science cannot be overstated.

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When it hits the fan: Dealing With Mistakes Part 2

In a previous post, we looked at how to think about making mistakes, and how to not let the fear of mistakes stop us from extending ourselves. But what do we do when what we fear has happened? When you’ve done something, or didn’t do something, and the outcome for your patient has not been good.

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Technology: Tool or Distraction?

Earlier this year, I went to Indonesia with my family. On arrival in the airport on Lombok, I turned my phone on and received the reassuring message from my provider to tell me that I could use my phone as per usual for an extra 5 bucks per day. And then, as our taxi drove out of the airport gates, my phone inexplicably lost signal, and did not reconnect again until we arrived back at the airport 2 weeks later.

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