I don’t recall exactly what I was doing at the time, but somehow I noticed a stain on the back wall of one of the exam rooms. It was a big brown splotch on the wall paper.
A really big brown splotch.
Dr. Sharp is our resident incredibly anal retentive neat freak. No smell is left unsmelled. No corner fur-balls unswept. No baseboard unscrubbed.
He. Notices. Everything.
When you compliment us on how our clinic doesn’t smell like a vet clinic, it’s because Dr. Sharp sees to it that the place is kept impeccable. My clinic (if I were ever to own one, which I never will, in case you were wondering) would definitely smell like a vet clinic and I’m not quite so adept at cleanliness.
Anyhow, the fact that I noticed this large stain before Dr. Sharp did is remarkable.
Of course, since I have a million things going through my mind at any given time, the mystery stain took pretty low priority in my world.
Until I saw mystery stain #2.
It looked exactly like stain #1, same place, same appearance, same size. Only in a different exam room.
Ok, now this is freaky. I went into the third exam room, and (cue the scary climactic music) it was there too!
The stain was on the back wall of each exam room, about two feet off the floor, close to the sink.
At this point, the work day is over and I gather my illustrious staff of co-sleuths to ferret out the origin of these stains. We were stumped. Could somebody be hitting the wall with their hand when they open the adjacent cabinet door? That just didn’t make any sense.
We were getting a little creeped out. Like it was some kind of haunted stain or Biblical thing.
Dr. Rogers popped her head in and shrieked: REDRUM!!!!
We laughed nervously.
Then our head technician, Kim, wandered in to see what the hubub was about. She took one look and said: “I know exactly where that stain comes from”.
By this point the whole staff is gathered, expectantly waiting for the mystery to be solved….
She looks straight at me!
My heart skips a beat! I am the one defiling the clinic? It can’t be!
But it is.
Turns out, after I examine a pet, I lean against the wall and prop my foot up on the wall at just the spot where the stain is. Over the last 8 years or so since we got that wallpaper my shoe grime has accumulated there to its current grimy state.
I am both relieved that we don’t have some kind of stigmata forming and highly embarassed that I was the cause of the problem.
After some amount of good natured ribbing at my expense, everybody heads for home.
I sheepishly head to the back to get some wash rags and, under cover of dusk and emergency hallway lights, soap-and-watered away the evidence of my shoe-wall- indescretion.
I still catch myself leaning my foot on the wall, but I’m trying hard to break the habit.
Otherwise, I’ll just maintain periodic wash rag vigilance as needed.