will do spreadsheets for dogs
I really like my work, some of the time. I'm pretty good at it, and, as I've previously mentioned, I have a bit of a workahol problem. But sometimes I get a little existential about it and wonder what the point of it is. The truth is, my whole job is made up. My work is hard and I work hard at it and I provide a necessary and valuable service, but in the grand scheme of things, I mostly just make spreadsheets and follow directions. When the zombies come, or Jesus, I don't know that I will have many useful skills. Jesus is a zombie, sort of? I've gotten distracted.
I guess what I want to say is that I want to use at least some of my time doing something meaningful. So I have been looking for a long time for a way to use my skills in a way that will make a real difference in the world.
In the meantime, I also have Trevor, who has to have some sort of unexplainable veterinary emergency once a year plus some minor problems in between crises. I also have Dixie, who is just old, and Calvin, who is...well he's a moron. I love him, but he doesn't make good choices. So between the three of them, I spend an above-average amount of time visiting my friend the veterinarian.
I've come to realize that I'm very passionate about dogs (and cats, too) and I would love to be able to help more of them, but I can't keep getting hounds because I don't want to be on Animal Hoarders and the vet is already sick of me and also Ally said no.
So I started looking for an organization that helped dogs that I could volunteer for. I got about half-way through the volunteer application for The Animal Foundation in Las Vegas (the main shelter here, and also the place I got Ally and Calvin), but I realized they needed a regular time commitment from me and I couldn't give that (stupid taxes). Most of the other animal-type organizations I could find were a little more...extreme...than I wanted. I'm actually ok with calling the area the pitchers use to warm up in a baseball game a bullpen rather than an arm barn. Arm barn is fun too. Let's do both.
I figured out that I wanted to help dogs and I also figured out that I can't be the person who actually helps the dogs because I can't handle them suffering and also the inside part should really stay inside. Plus its illegal to shoot humans even when those people hurt their dogs. And, guys, dogs do not care about spreadsheets. I've tried.
As I have gone on my quest to be the favorite client at my vet's office (i need them. i can't keep Trevor alive without them), I have attempted to educate myself both on how to take care of my pets but also how to be a good client of the vet office. I listened to their podcasts and read their articles and learned what not to do when I go in. In the course of my self-education, I also learned about the many difficulties that face people working in the veterinary field. I learned about high suicide rates, high burnout, low pay, and rude clients.
It seems to me that one of the best things I could do to help dogs is to help the humans that know how to help the dogs. So I started learning about organizations that set out to do just that. I reached out to NOMV.org and asked if they could use me. They said yes, but then didn't. I hope they can find a place for me eventually, but in the meantime I was still looking.
In the course of my search, I came across a new group that was just starting last year around the holidays. A group of people who work in the veterinary field got together and realized that, because 2020, many people in the veterinary industry were going through it. But, just as many were searching, like I was, for a way to give back and to help where they can. So they put together a Facebook group and asked if anyone would be interested in donating gift cards and then they would direct those gift cards towards someone in the field that needed help that holiday season. They were very successful, and decided to keep it going.
I reached out to them and asked if they needed any spreadsheets done, and they said yes, so hopefully I can be useful. While I hope I can be of use to this group, I haven't done much yet other than evangelize in my small circle.
In a time that, for me, has been sort of lacking in direction, giving gifts and being kind and finding a passion to direct my focus has been a huge help. I know people think I'm strange because I'm so invested in an industry that I don't even work in, but involving myself makes me feel like I'm making a difference to a group of people who made a huge difference to me.
At the end of the day, its a selfish gesture. I do it to make me feel good. I do it to find my purpose. #humblebrag I guess, but I don't mean it that way.
I guess I wanted to describe where I am in my own search for meaning in this post. The search is always ongoing, but this is where I'm finding meaning right now. I think finding purpose in my work is helping me on my mental health journey.
Also, I want to evangelize for the group to my ones of followers here.
And, finally, to say there are good people in the world who go out of their way to help each other. Strangers whose only commonality is that they work in the same field will send cash to a stranger on the Internet and just trust that it will go where it should go. And it did! Amazing!
If you want to help people who help dogs, check out veterinarygivingtree.com and change your amazon smile account to them if you don't already have an organization you care about.