It is the end of the month again (already?!), so that means I have had to pin down (with much struggle) another member of the Ashman Jones team for another five-minute interview. This one wasn't quite as slick as last time as the phone went off halfway through but we managed in the end. Also included are what is going on next week and a dog's perspective on behaviour training.
5 minutes with...Philippa Ashman
Pip is one part of the Ashman Jones Partnership and, as you all know, one of the founding members (hence why her name is in the Company brand). She graduated from Bristol Vet School in the same year as the members of the docu-soap 'Vet School' and if you manage to get a copy of it, you may spot a familiar face being interviewed. Since graduating, Pip joined the army before returning to the South West and practising across the area. As well as becoming an established diagnostician and surgeon (in which she has a particular interest), Pip has earned herself the reputation of being extremely reliable and caring, and is also one of the most genuine people you will meet.
Why did you want to be a vet?
I've always wanted to be a vet, ever since I was six, and I never, ever thought anything else. Until I was in my second year at college, where I thought 'I don't wanna be a vet, I want to be a doctor', which lasted for two weeks, and then I wanted to be a vet again. That was a little mid-life crisis but it has never wavered since.
So you're our surgery queen, what aspect of surgery interests you most?
I like orthopaedic (bone) surgery AND soft tissue surgery, the bigger and the bloodier, the better, basically. But not too scary like chest surgery or adrenal surgery and things like that. I like stuff that you can easily sort out, but I don't mind big and bloody.
What is the veterinary world crying out for?
The veterinary world is crying out for men. Male, first-opinion vets, I think, yes.
What do you look for in a prospective employee?
We look for someone who is a good team member, someone who enjoys talking to people and treating animals, and wants to do the best they can. Also someone who enjoys having fun as well as working.
Why do you think the Ashman Jones partnership works so well?
I think it is because me and Murray are very similar but we are also very different. So we are similar in the way of where we want the business to end up but we are different in the way that we like to do different jobs. For instance, Murray really likes the marketing, and the interaction, and the talking to drug rep, whereas I really other parts of the business, mainly the parts which are already established just ticking over. That's why it works well, because we are never standing on each other's toes but we do want the same thing at the end of the day, and we seem to be getting there.
What would you do if you weren't a vet?
I would probably be a librarian. That's what I always say anyway. Well that, or I would be working in Tesco's, but I'm not sure I really want to be there.
Why did you join the army after vet school?
I kinda had to, in a way. Financial reasons, to start with. It is because the army provide a bursary, and the only real way to get any money as a vet student was by joining the army. Since I needed the money to run a car to and from Langford every day, I signed up. But once you have had the bursary you have to join the army, and it was the right time to do it, when I was two years into practice, and I loved it, but I was happy just to do four years, as I didn't really want to be the paperwork queen.
And what's the most unusual animal you have treated?
It might have to be here, actually. It was a fish that turned up in a bucket, and I don't even know what breed or species of fish it was. It wasn't anything common, like a carp or a goldfish or anything like that, but it had hole-in-the-head disease. And it was really cool, as the guy was sat there with a net instead of a cat basket or a dog on a lead. I thought that was brilliant, and he still had his wellies on!
10 Quick Questions
Red or White? White
Clooney or Cruise? Neither. Oh, do I have to choose? OK...er... Clooney
Beef or Chicken? Beef
Fiction or Non-Fiction? Fiction
Graham Norton or Jonathan Ross? Oh God, er, Jonathan Ross
Beachside or poolside? Beachside
Wales or Scotland? Scotland
Pepsi or Coke? COKE, every time!
Romance or horror? Romance
Snooker or darts? Oh God,...um...snooker. On the radio, anyway. Darts on the radio is awful.
And finally, what song guarantees you busting some moves on the dance floor?
Bryan Adams – Summer of '69.
As, a little side note, if you missed Murray's interview, you can find it here: http://www.ashmanjones.co.uk/blog/2014/2/28/attempting-a-new-form-of-continuity
This and next week
Well Debbie has been off for the past three days, meaning we have had the the lovely Danni in for cover. It has been a relatively quiet week for Ashman Jones in general, however there is always another thing to be doing. And we don't want to jinx it by saying the Q word too often!
Into next week there are a couple of variations as firstly it is BSAVA (British Small Animal Veterinary Association) congress, which means that Soph is off for a weekend of lectures, sales and maybe a bit of drinking. So another locum is in for the day to cover for her.
There is also a rumour that there is going to be a new person wandering around London Road and Widcombe branches soon, but that is all I am telling for now.
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And for the picture:
This is probably why you can't teach old dogs new tricks!