I've been working as a stablehand for some years now and am looking for a change. I believe I would love the work of a vet tech...I have the dedication to the horses--nearly gone crazy and broke and maxed out on caffeine in consistently understaffed barns to do my best for them. But I've pored over these discussions and other internet-provided statements from vet techs, and noticed a thread of discontent...well, several, but one I'm particularly concerned about.
Since I graduated college (with a completely unmarketable degree, hence the stablehanding), I haven't had any day of the weekend off, rarely had two consecutive days off in a week, sometimes had only one day off and for one memorable stint no days whatsoever. I think the fewest hours I've ever worked in a week was 50; more often somewhere between 60-80, sometimes paid for overtime and sometimes not. The hours have been erratic and all over the place; I've often been more or less 'on-call' and essentially not allowed to stray too far from the premises or take vacation time (it was there, theoretically, but I couldn't take it because there was no one to fill in). This together with the barely-minimum-wage pay has made it damn near impossible to have either a social life or any life outside of work whatsoever. And this, I've decided, is not okay.
So. I know the pay isn't great, I've heard stories about mean vets treating people like dirt (...wouldn't handle that very well but I'm aware this can happen in any job), I know there's mess (right now I have doxycycline paste smeared across my boob, hay in my bra, poop on my sock and I'm probably not going to bother taking a shower)and blood (I've already seen gross punctures and witnessed a surgery and thought it was super cool) and all that...but what really matters to me is, can you guys have hobbies and a social life outside of work? Vacations even? I need a life badly...sanity's already slipping :)