Since I submitted my last whiny post (which of the many?) on the very sad loss of my favorite tech—and yet another decrying the sad state of affairs in hiring decent employees—I’ve had occasion to reconsider and reaffirm both positions on the subject.

I’ll get the depressing one out of the way first: One of our new workers is a disaster. Hard as I work, personally, to train her to be a better worker, I can’t seem to forge past the obvious memory and spelling issues (one and the same?) as well as the attitude thing (overwhelming her leads to crankiness with clients and coworkers, alike). Six weeks have gone by and I’m at my wit’s end.

The problem is that our hospital lost one great employee and one not-so-great, but competent, employee at the very same time. Although we can boast to a remarkably low turnover for our local industry (we keep most of our [typically young] employees for years, in spite of our below-average pay), finding good new ones seems to be getting more difficult with each new hire.

But sometimes you just get lucky. While the one above needs to go (and soon!) our newest staff addition is surprisingly competent. Fresh into her vet-tech certification program (and super-young!), this girl’s got what it takes to be a great tech.

Seldom have I seen such a hard worker, a fast-learner and a positive attitude. I’m in love! Sometimes you just get lucky. It makes me wonder: how is it that we can’t get more like her. But mostly, I’m overjoyed to see a fresh-faced talent enter the world of vet medicine.

She could easily parlay her talents into doctor-dom, yet she’s so ecstatic just to be around animals that I can easily understand why her goal is to be a great vet tech. It reaffirms my love for the profession to observe how polite (if shy) she is with clients and how effusive she gets with the pets. She obviously loves them—and I couldn’t be happier.

Today I resolved to tell her how much I appreciate her—for both her nascent skills and her great disposition. I wanted to tell her how much she reminds me of myself when I was her age, and how pleasant it’s been to work with her, so far. But the hectic busyness of a Saturday precluded my speech.

She’s so good, though, that I couldn’t help thinking—omigod, when is the other shoe going to drop?—we couldn’t possibly be this lucky. She even gets along with our head tech (not easy, let me say) and with our cranky back-room tech (perhaps even more impressive).

But I also worry that she kisses and hugs the pets so much that she might get bitten or scratched badly (today I saw a Band-Aid on here neck), but that’s a risk for all of us—yet I’m certain that with proper guidance (and maybe a few close calls) she’ll learn a little more discretion.

Could it possibly be that I’ve found my dream girl?

(Don’t worry—neither of our two new hires knows this blog exists. I’ve made sure of that. I certainly wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and I anticipated mentioning them in a post at some point, hence the caution.)

While it’s always hard to find someone to take the place of other, more vet-savvy employees, it makes it all worthwhile to know that pet-loving talent is out there perfectly ripe for the picking—if you just have some faith in humanity…and the drawing power of the creatures we care for.