"You didn't reply to my sms," the pet shop lady said. "So, I phoned your surgery and made an appointment for vaccination and micro-chipping."
"I was taking the real estate examination," I replied. "In any case, there is a vet available for you."
"Is she pretty?" she asked. "I did not see her as I sent my staff to your surgery. She has a sweet voice as she was the one answering my phone call."
We had known each other for years through my extension visits to her pet shops. She had agonised over competition from one Mediacorps starlet. "Don't worry," I said. "The starlet is famous but you are as good looking as her." Well, she got her man and that was what counted in love. I asked to attend her baby's first month and she invited me. Still I was much surprised by her question about whether my associate vet is eye candy or not.
"Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder," I said. "In my real estate class (my REA exams were in May 25, 26, 27, 2011), there were said to be four pretty ones according to one classmate. Another one said it was the girl with hair on her shoulders. Another said the thin one who could have been an air stewardess. Another who came to class with a different handbag every time.
Looks are still important in veterinary medicine and human medicine. We inherit our looks but we can make first impressions count. Once I went to a Development Bank of Singapore-appointed lawyer to sign some legal documents. The young lady lawyer in the HDB Hub office was wearing sandals to meet me. Was that good first impressions? I don't think so.
Once, my receptionist James and my assistant Mr Saw wore slippers while at work on a Saturday, knowing that I would not be on duty. I reprimanded them as my associate vet on duty did not think it was a big deal.
Many young adult professionals, in my observations of two young vets, seem to think that they can wear sandals to work since they are the boss in the practice. Their assistants and interns adopt similar footwear. It is time to change such mindset as "branding" of a corporation and positioning in the minds of the consumer are now much more important in this highly competitive world.
A vet may be a good one but if he or she can't be bothered to present a good first impressions, there evokes a doubt in some clients as to whether he or she can be meticulous in veterinary surgery.