Ask Shawn: Sick of a sales pitch from a veterinary team member


One of our coworkers started a side business selling merchandise. She invited the whole team to her party, and we attended as a friendly gesture. But we felt pressured to buy from her so a few of us placed small orders. Now she's pressuring us to buy more, sending us emails about new products and bringing us catalogs. How do we politely say "No thanks" without making her angry and ruining our work relationship?-Sold out

Dear Sold out:

While we all want to get along with and support our coworkers' endeavors outside of work, it is this scenario that makes it difficult. My suggestion is that you create a no-solicitation policy in your hospital.


In many states, this type of interaction with other employees falls under the category of hassling or a hostile work environment because coworkers feel pressure to conform or contribute. I would sit the team down and explain that you would like to be accommodating but there are more pitfalls than positives to supporting individual campaigns. So to make it fair you will have a no-solicitation policy.

Good luck!


Got a question? Ask Shawn.

Maybe you're tired of babysitting your team members. Perhaps you're looking for strategies to beat a bully. Shawn can help. Shawn McVey, MA, MSW, is a member of the Firstline and Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory boards and CEO of McVey Management Solutions in Austin, Texas.

Email your questions for him to, then visit to read McVey's advice on other hot topics.

Recent Videos
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.