Just like all of us do, I had to square away a lot of financial planning during the past weeks. The documents and seemingly endless signatures needed may seem daunting at first, but filtering through the piles of paperwork gets easier and easier. At this point, I am a firm believer that interpreting official documents is a skill just like reading scientific papers. Practice makes perfect.
Eventually, I had to check on the status of documents with a state office. I tried calling, and after going back and forth with the directory and robotic voices on the line, I threw in the towel and drove to the office. What happened next further confirmed my beliefs on human connection within a community. The people at the office were very receptive to my questions and truly wanted to take the time to talk to me. It was the polar opposite of my experience over the phone with its automated messages and endless labyrinth of extensions. Being someone that feels more comfortable in hiking boots and shorts than professional attire, I was relieved that this professional office could be so warm and welcoming. To add to the situation, I had just returned inland after camping in Acadia National Park with friends. After spending days in the woods, I felt a little out place in this office with its locking doors, spotless floors, and security cameras.
So often, we tend to consult electronics (phone, email, etc.) because it appears to be the easier route. In terms of time and gasoline, it actually may be the more simple way. But when communicating with people, addressing their needs, and establishing a connection with a community member, nothing beats face-to-face conversation. More often than not, the response that you will receive from people by opting for in-person conversation rather than an electronic pathway will prove beneficial in the veterinary profession.