Articles by Shawn McVey, MA, MSW - Firstline
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Shawn McVey, MA, MSW

Shawn McVey, MA, MSW

Ask Shawn: When your rule maker's a rule breaker
June 30, 2014

Smart policies are good for the veterinary clinic--even for those who make them.

Ask Shawn: Sick of a sales pitch from a veterinary team member
May 1, 2014

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

How to juggle a veterinary job and training
December 1, 2013

I'm a receptionist, but I also do a lot of assisting the doctor and technicians. My biggest frustration is trying to learn tasks at the back of the clinic that would make me more helpful while always being interrupted by the phone and walk-ins. How do I balance the work?—Not dropping the ball

Our veterinary team is broken
November 1, 2013

Every person at our practice has an important job to keep this business running smoothly. But our reception, kennel and lab team members don't always get along. I wish all areas could be more understanding of each other's jobs. But sometimes it feels like we're considered expendable. How can we bring our group together as a team?—Feeling expendable

I'm fed up with the manager at my veterinary clinic
September 1, 2013

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!

Ticked at a texting veterinary team member
July 1, 2013

Q: A team member hangs out in the kennel area on her phone and spends all her work time texting her boyfriend and Facebooking with friends. Some of the other team members and I end up working harder to pick up the slack. How can I tell the manager without sounding like I'm tattling?—Tempted to tattle

Heal your fractured veterinary team
April 1, 2013

Constant conflict creates a wedge between you and your co-workers and shatters teamwork. Learn to fill in the crevices you've created and repair your broken team.

Must we guard our speech at work?
March 1, 2013

A team member at our veterinary practice has controversial decorations on her car, and our practice manager is worried that the materials will offend clients when they see the car parked in front of the veterinary practice. Does it violate the employee's right to freedom of speech if the manager asks her to remove the potentially offensive material?—Caught in the Middle

A Cinderella story
February 1, 2013

Our veterinary practice has a list of duties all team members are responsible for, but not everyone helps out. A few of us always get stuck doing all the work and staying late, and the manager chooses to ignore the issue because the team members who don't help are her cronies who always suck up and tell her she's right. There are many reasons I love my practice, and changing jobs just isn't an option right now. What can I do? —Cinderella


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