Veterinary professionals hate the holidays. It’s true. And with good reason! Between the “Seasonal Sixteen” weight gain from all of the delicious treats our grateful clients and vendors bring us this time of year, and the generalized craziness and rudeness that everyone in a service industry experiences this time of year, veterinary professionals also have to deal with a dramatic uptick in the number of euthanasias we have to perform. I’m not going to belabor those points in this blog: there are plenty of other places to read about that. What I want to talk about is the amazing things that happen at my practice around the holidays.
This year, our hospital is collecting donations for the Humane Society Silicon Valley’s Pet Pantry. The Pet Pantry provides pet food and treats for people in California’s Silicon Valley that cannot afford to feed their furry family members. For many people, the Pet Pantry is the difference between being able to keep their pets with them or having to surrender them to the shelter. So it’s a great cause and one close to all of our hearts. We put out bins in the public areas of the hospital to encourage our clients to donate as well, helping to raise awareness of this vital resource.
But our management had the brilliant idea to add a competitive edge to the donation drive, pitting department against department in our hospital. The department who donates the largest amount by weight (per person, as some departments are smaller than others) gets a prize. No one is sure yet what the prize will be, but you can be sure that we’re all keeping a close eye on the departmental tally to make sure that our department stays ahead of the others!
Additionally, each person who brings in food or treats for donation receives raffle tickets – 1 per pound of food donated. What are the raffle tickets for? Prizes!! Every year our practice holds a Holiday Party for the staff and their families. Last year there were Vegas-style gambling tables, a photo booth, a DJ and dancing, and there’s always a delicious buffet dinner (and, of course, a no-host bar). At the Holiday Party every year, Adobe Animal Hospital has raffled off prizes that our management has collected through the year. These have included things like TVs, iPads, cameras, you name it!
Usually they will raffle off a free paid day off, too. Some of the prizes are donated by vendors, and some come from points our practice receives by purchasing drugs, food, and supplies (kinda like credit card points). As you can see from the photo, staff can put their raffle tickets in as few or as many buckets as they like and have a great chance of winning a prize at the Holiday Party.
Also at our annual Holiday Party, Adobe annually awards anniversary bonuses to those staff members who have been working with us for a long time. If you work at Adobe for 10 years, you receive a $ bonus. Work 15 years and it’s $$, 20 years earns you $$$ and if you make it to 25 years at Adobe, the hospital pays to send you on a trip to a fantastic location! We’ve already sent three employees on trips in the eight years I’ve worked there.
So, while the holidays can be a terrible time to work in a veterinary hospital, I consider myself pretty lucky to be working at Adobe Animal Hospital. I hope you consider yourself lucky too. Look around: you work with amazing people and you have an incredible job doing what (I hope) you love. Happy Holidays!! See you next year!