The 'Elephant in the Exam Room' - The Money Thing ... Again!
This, of course, got me to thinking about my most recent deadbeat client, whom I’ll call Mr. Pay-tomorrow, so as not to embarrass him in public. Which is more than he deserves seeing as ...
1. I performed vital, life-saving services on his dog,
2. they involved expensive drugs, supplies and resources,
3. I spent more than an hour putting off other patients to offer this patient the dedicated attention his dire condition deserved,
4. I recruited the assistance of area specialists in helping him arrive at a decision as to how this dog was best managed, and
5. I did a damn good job.
So was it my fault Mr. Pay-tomorrow decided to euthanize his dog? (Not that I blame him, given the advanced cardiac condition we were dealing with.) When he called me, obviously in tears, he said he was unable to come in to pay. He was bereft, he claimed (or really didn’t have to given the choke in his voice), and would come in tomorrow to settle up — not that I’d pressed him on it or anything.)
So now a month has gone by and Mr. Pay-tomorrow continues to promise to come by and pay tomorrow every time he’s been called (about once a week). Which is why our office manager took me aside last week and asked me whether I’d consider calling him personally.
Hmmm ... a personal phone call? To settle a bill on a dead dog? Ouch –– that hurts!
It’s the last thing I want to do but ... fair’s fair. He knew what he was getting into (every step of the way, I was prepared with estimates). So there’s no earthly reason to stiff me. And the fact that he can get away with it because I was willing to euthanize his dog in his absence irks me to no end.
But still ...
What say you?
Dr. Patty Khuly