You wouldn't believe how many times I have heard someone say that either they, or their son or daughter, want to become a veterinarian because they prefer animals to people. There are even many individuals who have made it into my profession who have the same opinion. I've touched on this topic before, but I feel as I get older, I'm starting to prefer even the most vicious chihuahua or feral cat over the rude person. And for anyone who thinks that being a veterinarian is for those of us who don't like people, don't do it. Being a veterinarian is a mix between being a doctor, a retail sales person and a psychotherapist. It's not for the faint of heart or those who don't like people and for those of us who do like people, it makes me want to be able to prescribe valium for everyone in the room sometimes...
I'm going to risk sounding like an old curmudgeon, but I do feel that as our society changes and becomes more focused on our phones and gizmos, we are less focused on relationships with others. Look at the latest Pokemon craze, or how many relationships are carried out on Facebook. Our society and dependence on technology is moving us to not become as cognizant of our everyday reactions.
Last week, I had two experiences that put me on the edge of wanting to go back to a time before the cell phone, maybe even back to the Edwardian era (as long as I can be in a Downton Abbey- type family).
It started with being in an exam room with a woman who was frustrated with her dog's medical condition and wanted him to be better ASAP. I understood her frustration and as I was explaining to her the treatment plan, she picked up her phone and began talking to her husband's coworker. After I heard her telling the coworker that he needed to get her husband to pay attention to her e-mails, I left the room horrified. How rude! I wanted to tell her to go ahead and make another appointment at a time that wouldn't interfere with her schedule. She went to the front desk and then asked what she was supposed to do next and to see the doctor again. Instead of saying what I wanted to, I pulled up all the patience I could muster. I then said, "I'm sorry if I'm redundant, I understand you had an important phone call and I will repeat what we were talking about."
The next day, we went to a baseball game and when I was beckoned to come to the cashier to place my order, she kept looking at her cell phone, I had to repeat my order and then the cashier walked off. I stood for over 5 minutes until someone figured out what was going on and reached under the cashier's station for my $6 hot dog.
It was kind of like two smacks in the face. Do you think our society is becoming rude or are we just talking about it more? Please leave comments on your opinion. Sorry for the complaints today, but even though I deal with rude people fairly regularly it seems like its starting to hit a new low.