February 17, 2011
Yesterday, Feb 16, 2011 Michelle came to work late again for the 2nd time. This was despite being warned the day before! It was incredible. She behaved as if she was indispensable and was a top vet, a prima donna whom the practice revolved around. Without her, the practice would be shut down!
"Does your Victoria Junior College teachers teach you punctuality at work?" I asked her. She had been warned and yet she did it again, thereby flirting with danger of being dismissed from internship. Her mother sent her to work everyday and her father or mother picked her home unlike Nat who had to take a bus and get to work himself. Her teacher had imparted her the values of punctuality but she chose to flirt with danger. "So, what's your excuse?" I asked her as I sat down in a room to interview her. "The traffic was heavy," she said. "This is a common excuse," I said. "It is not acceptable. If you don't value your internship, don't do it. You have been warned twice now. The third time will mean termination of your internship." There are other interns whom I can't accept due to lack of space and if Michelle behaves as if her mother owns the practice, she has better go. A rotten apple spoils the whole barrel.
Nat had not been late during the past 4 days despite having to take a bus to work. He bothered to wake up early and ensure he was a bit early. In fact, Nat asked to work from 8.30 am to 10 pm. Michelle had been a clock watcher and was hoping to be just-in-time at work from 10 am to 7 pm. Both are not paid.
"Obviously, you are doing work attachment or internship because you want a testimonial," I said. "If you don't work hard, you will get a mediocre testimonial - satisfactory performance but not punctual. Is that what you want?" I do spend time teaching them some cases of veterinary medicine and if an intern persists in behaving as if the world owes her a living, she is better off staying at home.
"As for your mum driving you to work late, you will need to ensure that she wakes up early to do so," I told Michelle. In the first place, there is no need for an intelligent lady to be told in this way. Treating internship like a holiday camp or vacation or like your father's office is not tolerated. Parents who feel the need to drive their children to internship need to be alert and impart values of punctuality and be a role model for the young ones.
One more time, Michelle will be asked to go. She is setting a bad example for my staff and Nat and the rot will be like a cancer, affecting the behaviour of all employees.
I noted that the vet's dog was no longer present in the Surgery to create fears and worries in clients. There is much relief on my part. There are vets whose dogs and cats are well loved by clients if they behave responsibly. Just like interns, those who don't behave as expected will create tension and are best banned from the practice.
It is the responsibility of the Clinic Manager who is myself if there are any complaints. Every day, there are new incidents and many issues are needed to be regulated and to prevent possible litigation in this fast-paced society. Bad eggs are best asked to go. No more blind loyalty. Employees and vets that don't perform at work are best let go despite their years of work for the practice. Once they lose their interest in the practice, it is best that they work somewhere else.
I will be on leave from Feb 17 to 22, 2011 and I hope nothing unusual will happen in Toa Payoh Vets. I will be visiting a primary school built by Future Foundation and its volunteers and see whether I can be of help in the education of the children. There is a need for the building of a secondary school in this village and sponsors must be found. Some pictures of the Primary School are at: