Professionalism is something that does not require a special suit, or a certain ‘class’ of job. It can be anywhere and everywhere – or nonexistent. Take for example pet breeding. We have had a number of purebred animals, and in every case we went through a selection process to find the right breeder and environment. But there is no standard code of conduct, although ‘certified’ breeders will go on about uncertified breeders. In the end it is about the professionalism of the individual.

Our latest cat was acquired from a woman who breeds them as a hobby, not a ‘professional’ cattery, and it worked out great. After much reading, we decided that we really need two cats so that when we are not around, they have a playmate. The net is filled with reasons why two is better than one. So we spent a few agonizing weekends searching and finally settled on a kitten. He was to arrive on Saturday.

Then all of a sudden the breeder went silent. No return calls. But we did get an email Sunday saying that she had just lost one of her other cats, and is now considering keeping him. A clarifying email sent back (because she would not pick up the phone) with a response that actually, she had found another home that would let her breed him and would pay more money so he was off.

During our conversations with her prior to the verbal agreement, she had spent many minutes telling us about how you must select a ‘reputable breeder’ and one that you can trust. Ironic and unprofessional.

Made me reflect. In the end, we must all look at our conduct and our statements and decide if we measure up or are held wanting. And in the end, what comes around goes around ….. so treat people like you want to be treated.

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