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"On the job" Bobbi Ray, RVT

Article

On an ordinary day a few months ago, I watched a cartoon with my toddler about seeds of discontent.

Bobbi Ray, RVTTechnicianAnimal Clinic of Platte CountyParkville, Mo.

Bobbi Ray

On an ordinary day a few months ago, I watched a cartoon with my toddler about seeds of discontent. As the cartoon played out, I experienced a life-changing epiphany: I was a seed of discontent at my practice.

I knew the symptoms: unhappy, ungrateful, negative, either pushing people away or recruiting them in their efforts, negatively influencing their work and home environments.

"Sure, I complain a little, but I'm not the only one. Sometimes a person just needs to vent," I thought. But when Monday rolled around, one grievance turned into an all-out complaint session. I blamed others for my frustrations and for driving me to act that way. I swore it wasn't my normal behavior and told myself it was an off day.

Then I noticed each day played out much the same way, and I felt ashamed. Every little thing bugged me and I complained to others rather than trying to resolve my problems.

Now, I address each frustration head-on. I'm firm but gentle when I explain why I'm upset. When I want to complain, I think positively instead. When I fall back into old ways, I stop to think how I could have handled the situation better. I've also enlisted my co-workers to help by holding me accountable for my words and actions.

I've realized one person can dampen the entire team. As the only full-time team member and a team leader at my practice, it's my job to set a positive example. It's a tough road, but each day, I'm closer to my goal: to be a seed of contentment.

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