I'm fed up with the manager at my veterinary clinic


I love my job but our office manager is a big problem. She's very unprofessional and rude. She has given a tongue lashing to many clients and driven them away. I and my other team members suspect that she's stolen money, and we're sick of her attitude, the disrespect to others and her laziness. We confronted the owner about our concerns. He will have brief chats with her, but it only does good for a couple of hours. Help!

Dear Dusty Resumé:

Wow! Get that resumé ready. I've heard of discomfort with confrontation, but this owner really needs to step up and be the leader the practice needs. I'll tell you all of the right things to do, but it sounds like you've tried some of them and still have received no help from the owner.

In this case the owner is the key. I always tell my employees I can protect them from everyone but me, the owner. Everyone else can be expected to change, but if the owner won't change, then there's no system that will make him different.

In general, people have to be in enough pain to change. If everything you've confronted the owner with is not enough pain, apparently the owner is perfectly happy with the way things are. Given that you have already tried professional confrontation, going over the manager's head and every other trick under the sun, I think it might be time to look elsewhere for work.

Good luck! There are may great practices who are looking for someone with your attitude of ownership, and I hope you find one.


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 Chicago. Email your questions for him to firstline@advanstar.com, then visit dvm360.com/mcvey to read McVey's advice on other hot topics. And catch Shawn live Oct. 31 at CVC San Diego. Visit thecvc.com to learn more.

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