I like to think I'm a patient man. I'm hard to anger, my coworkers say they haven't seen me angry in the 2 years they've known me. I have firm boundaries and as long as you don't cross any of them I can let anything go.
One of my boundaries is: don't fuck with my cat.
This story is about 2 of my coworkers and me, and happened the winter of 2013.
So I worked at a veterinary hospital as a vet tech/kennel attendant, and coworker 1 is a kennel attendant(KA) coworker 2 is the kennel lead(KL). KA is the one who comes in to take care of the animals, KL is in charge of overseeing everything boarding and kennel related. They both crossed that very simple boundary.
I went away over Christmas since I lived in another state from my family, and while I was out I left my cat to board at work (one of the perks is free boarding). I trusted my coworkers would take care of him even if it was a top 2 busiest weekend of the year.
So, I set up his cage the night before I leave. He's a shy boy so I set up a tent with very distinct blankets(one is bright green, the other has rocket ships). I kiss him bye, and am on my way. I enjoy Christmas with family, candy and fudge, and other things unrelated to the story, and come back 6 days after leaving.
It's late when I get back, so the hospital is already closed and everyone has gone home. We all have a key so I swing by because I miss my cat and want to take him home.
What I am greeted by when I get to him is those same blankets, the white rocket ships now slightly tan/yellow damp with urine, old desiccated pieces of shit and smears on the wall, and a very stressed cat that smelled like pee. We're talking 6 days worth of filth. All they did was put in more food and change the litter box as far as I could tell.
I saw red.
KA, the attendant, was scheduled to take care of the animals that holiday. KL, the lead, had been there 3 different days I was gone, including the last 2. Figuring out how to destroy these people became the only thing I thought about.
I'm scheduled to work the day after I get back, and KA is there. I don't look at her all day, as it's the only way I could control my emotions. My blood is still boiling thinking about my boy who I'd had to bathe the night before(much to his chagrin). The sight of her makes that primal part of my brain reserved for beating the shit out of things starts to burn and makes my muscles tense.
(Now some important backstory here is that KA is kind of terrible at her job. We were kind of friends since she was the only one who wasn't shitty to me when I first started. Whenever I'd find something she messed up, I'd gripe to myself but I'd fix it. She did some write-upable shit on a regular basis. I never did anything because KL was already aware and working on her so I figured 'eh, none my bidness.')
I decided against violence and figured I'd let my manager handle it. At first, I just told him about the condition of my cat and kept the rest to myself. He agreed it was unacceptable and said he'd talk to her. She denied everything, said she'd changed my cats bedding every night, that he didn't get all of it in the litter box(unfortunately true, 12lb cat[not fat] aiming at a box made literally for kittens). Basically said I lied to my manager, to my managers face without batting an eye. I gave her the chance to own up to it because that would've come with punishment enough.
My manager told me what she said, and her blatant bullshittery poked the dragon that was already awake and pissed. I told him she's fucking lying, I work in the kennel too and not to mention I know my cats shit well. He believes me, and I not so subtly point out that if she pulls this shit on an employee pet, what has she been doing with the lot of random boarders? Manager thought it was a good point, and asks me to keep an eye out for mistakes and let him know what I find.
The next day, I was in the kennel alone without her, and I began to document every single thing she did incorrectly. Remember me saying how crap she was at her job? She left me a treasure trove of shit to dig up.
To name a few of these nuggets, every single animals cage was filthy, like multi-day filthy like my cats was, two dogs had had their medications switched for the whole week, there were copious amounts of shit left in the yard (big no-no, spreads parasites and disease), and not even her documentation and charges were entered correctly. It was a trainwreck that took me the whole morning to get back to an acceptable condition.
There was material here to get her enough writeups to lose her job if she had been perfect before, and she had already been disciplined a couple times for other shit she pulled. I gather it all together and bring it to my manager, who is horrified and says he's setting up a meeting with me, KA and KL, and him to discuss it all. He encourages me to hold my temper and call them on their bullshit at the meeting. Until then I hadn't even considered KL's complicity in this bullshit, but I immediately realized there were 2 people on my wrong side. KL was not as horrid at his job as KA, he was old as hell in a demanding physical labor position. I figured what he'd got coming will be enough so I could aim everything I'd got at KA.
What's the human equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel? Because this girl had already dug herself such a hole it was incredible she hadn't been fired already. She didn't do her job, she was stealing clients from the clinic by offering to petsit for cheaper instead of offering boarding (explicitly against our contract, fireable). She had been leaving 30 minutes early leaving the shit condition I'd had to deal with. And I knew all of this.
The day of the meeting rolls around, and KA and KL are blissfully unaware when manager calls us into the office together. We all sit down and manager begins to explain what the meeting is about. He was a fucking boss and we prearranged to give KA one more chance to own up to my face and leave out the rest at first. He had asked me how far I wanted to take it, I told him I had a lot of dirt. Let's let KA dig a deeper hole first so I can use it all.
She denied it all, swore up and down she had taken care of my poor cat properly.
I graciously gave her the benefit of the doubt, saying "Ok I believe you did clean like you say, but then how did you miss this dried up piece of shit?"
She said my cat must've been dehydrated.
I say "Oh, well you documented he'd been drinking well all week, why would he be dehydrated?"
She says it might have been just from the last day. She wouldn't just admit it...
So I give my manager the look, and he tells her, "Ok so you took care of the cat, what about all of this?" And he pulls out my stack of evidence I'd collected.
KA's face paled. KL had been silent up to this point and starts trying to apologize on KA's behalf, saying it was a busy week and things slip through the cracks. I called their shit, saying I had been able to handle as many animals as she had had to a higher degree of cleanliness than the 2 of them could accomplish, so busy was not a valid excuse.
We went over every single sin KA and KL had committed for the past 3 days, individually and in depth with discussion about each one before moving on. As we worked through the stack, manager wrote up KA for every single offence that warranted it. By the end of it she had 6 writeups (3 to get fired).
She was sobbing, saying she couldn't afford her kids daycare if she didn't have that job.
My manager very pointedly told her he had never seen someone with such terrible job performance in 30yrs, and if she were worried about her kids, she would have done her job better.
KL was written up and removed from his lead position, and KA was given the option to quit before she was fired.
... hah! No it isn't. This is ProRevenge, not GirlOnlyLostHerJob. Oh no, there's so much more.
Remember how she had been stealing clients from the clinic? She had built up quite a large client base, and had told me some weeks before she was about to quit her job and petsit fulltime since she hates her job sooo much. Plus when she returned her key after quitting, she made sure I knew the crying was fake and she was planning to put in 2 weeks in the next couple days.
At the clinic, we still saw all of those same clients she had skimmed all the time, and plenty of them asked what happened to KA. Manager told everyone we should tell the truth, since we had a petsitter we referred to and KA was not it.
For the next few months, we saw so many faces twisted into expressions of disgust, contempt, betrayal, worry when we told them why KA was no longer there and why they should reconsider letting her watch their pets. Literally dozens of people. Anyone who has tried to petsit or do yardwork for a living before knows how hard it is to build that client base. KA had a decent one, which we absolutely destroyed.
After a while, she texted me saying I was a piece of shit who was destroying her and her kids life and she couldn't afford daycare anymore. She went from 2 or 3 petsitting gigs a week(about 300 dollars a week) to maybe 1 a month. I told her to fuck herself and blocked her number, and haven't heard anything since. Bitch.
Don't fuck with my cat.
Edit: for those saying I'm a shit human for letting this go as long as it did: KA and KL cleaned sometimes, just not enough for my standards.
KA had only been there a few months and it was her first big girl job (yes, kidS at 20yrs old), and there's a small learning curve. I figured it'd be ok for a week and was poor as shit at the time so options were thin. Until that week, I was there constantly cleaning to my standards so didn't know how bad these 2 would really let it get.
Protocol said lead is informed of performance issues before manager, and as I mention he was aware and KA had already been written up a couple times. I was done when I realized just how far they'd let it go so i went over KLs head right to manager because they clearly weren't handling the issues at all.
Even if my cat wasn't affected, I would've done the same, he was just unfortunately there because I had to go out of town. In hindsight I wish I'd said something sooner, but workplaces have rules and I was young and tender, and didn't know it was that bad until then.
Edit 2: I'll take this opportunity to give some advice on how to pick a good kennel facility.
- Always, I mean ALWAYS, ask to take a tour before leaving your animal. Dont schedule an appointment, ask to go back randomly. If they try to say no, say you don't feel comfortable leaving your pet without an idea of where they're staying. If they still wont, and even a manager denies a tour, take your business elsewhere as they probably have something to hide.
- If you do get a tour, here are some things to look out for. Check water bowls for grime and dirt. Some pets are messy, but if a good number are dirty, it's a big red flag.
- If the kennel smells strongly of some kind of air freshener, be wary and look around for messes. A good kennel attendant will smell pee and clean and replace things until they get rid of the smell; a bad one will spray some animal odor eliminator and cover it up.
- Make sure everything looks organized, properly labeled, and has some kind of system to it. Cluttered storage and unclear labeling is where so many mistakes come from; make sure they take those little things seriously, or something big may slip through the cracks.
Finding a good clinic and good boarding facility can be difficult, but they do exist. And just like you wouldn't want you or your child going to a shitty doctor or daycare, I don't want anyone taking their pets to a shitty veterinary clinic!