Bobbi Ray, RVT
Animal Clinic of Platte County
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.