Monday, May 14, 2012

Quirky Answers I

Sometimes the answers are better than the questions. This was the case when a potential client called with questions about neutering her dog. A young and somewhat inexperienced but bright and competent assistant answered the phone. The conversation began:

Client: "So, like, how much to get my dog, like neutered or um, spaded, or whatever?"

(Please note that males are usually neutered and females are usually spayed, one syllable, one 'd'. Neither is ever "spaded" lest we be charged with animal cruelty. Similarly, one may have met an unfortunate demise by having drowned but never drownded.)

Assistant: "Well, is he a boy or a girl?"
Client: "I dunno. He's a boy."

Buba and Boomer, Mini Schnauzers
Please note size similarities despite
vastly different coat colors.Courtesy of
Dog Breed Info Center.
Assistant: Brushing off the first part of the answer, "O.K., so how much do you think he weighs?"

This was a relevant question because anesthetic and surgical costs vary with weight.

Client: "I dunno. He's white."

At this point the look on our assistant's face was pricelessly baffled and we're still wondering to this day what coat color had to do with the dog's weight but she soldiered on.

Assistant: Becoming slightly less articulate due to confusion but nonetheless polite. "Uh, so he's white...uh, do you think he's over or under 50 pounds?"
Client: "I dunno. He's a schnauzer."

Now we were getting somewhere. Clearly this client began every answer with 'I dunno' and odds were running about even that the following sentence would be helpful if we could hang in there for it. A few more exchanges verified that the dog was in fact a miniature schnauzer and well under 50 pounds. Ever adventurous, our intrepid assistant attempted to determine if the dog was a current patient and forged ahead with further queries.

Assistant: "So, is he a patient here?"
Client: "I dunno."

We waited. Nothing. She'd thrown us a change up.

Assistant: "Well, has he ever been to a vet?"
Client: "I dunno. He's still a puppy. He doesn't get out much."

We were almost rolling on the floor. Not only has no schnauzer puppy in the history of dogdom ever exceeded 50 pounds, but the thought of him lacking a social life really tickled us. When she followed up by saying, "I think he had his tail done."
That was it. All we could think was that this poor dog was owned by a woman who didn't even know if he had a tail or not.

Several weeks passed and the "I dunno. He's white." episode faded from memory until one morning I was walking up the hall to the front desk and caught sight of a young blond woman at the counter saying, "I dunno. I think he's got an appointment to be spaded..."
And there I was, fresh out of shovels. Maybe hair color really does matter.

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