On Mondays I go to work at 2:00 pm. The owner of the clinic works 8:00 am until the surgeries are done. The associate works all day. I hardly ever see the owner on these days because he’s usually gone by the time I get there unless there is an emergency or a heavy surgery schedule.

So I drive in today and see his car still there. I think there must have been a busy schedule. I go strolling into the clinic and he is standing at a treatment table. There are lots of animals in cages. I perkily say, “Rough morning?” I get the vague impression of staff scattering to other rooms. It doesn’t register at the time.

He gives me this really weird look and says, “What do you mean?”

I say, “You’re never here when I get here unless there is some disaster.” The whole clinic breathes. He relaxes and tells me about some surgery he did. None of this really registered with me as anything other than the surface conversation I was having.

He leaves. Over the next few hours I realize that there was a huge staff blow-up this morning. The office manager and the vet got into a yelling match and the office manager walked out. She did come back after an hour and then they yelled at each other privately for another hour. It was just settling down when I came strolling in and made a comment about having a rough morning. Whoops!

I figure this summer is going to be nasty there. A lot of underground tension is going to come to a head because of a change in veterinarians. It actually has nothing to do with that but it is an excuse for things that have been boiling to erupt.