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Bad Ass of the week: Cori Runyon

CORI (2)

This bad ass doesn’t try to do anything. She pursues her goals in life and succeeds at every one of them. Having already graduated college with a bachelor’s in Philosophy, she is also an overly qualified, vet receptionist who has learned how to assist the Veterinarians working both the “front” and “back of the house”. Last, but sure as shit not least, Cori is a certified mechanic. Yeah, dude.

Man, where to start? I don’t know about everyone else, but I’d like to hear about the animals in your life first…

“Since I was a wee child I’ve been drawn to animals, even today I’ll greet an animal before I talk to their person. It may sound silly but I feel like I relate to animals more than I can or care to try to understand people. So, I’d say I’ve always been inspired to work with animals. I did want to be a veterinarian when I was younger but working with doctors and witnessing how high stress and demanding their job is pretty much turned me off of that idea real quick. Despite loving what I do, I enjoy the luxury of leaving work at work when I go home for the day. It’s really important for me to have a healthy balance between work and home life. I want to always HAVE a life. (haha) Currently I guess my “official” title would be receptionist, but I’ve been fortunate enough to work with doctors who encouraged learning and showed me how to perform and assist with things like placing IV’s and catheters or assisting with medication.”

Hey man, that’s fair! I can only imagine how rewarding, yet challenging this field must be in any capacity. How long have you been helping our animals in the bay area?

Going on 7 years now, whoa!! I had a friend that worked at a nearby clinic and she was my foot in the door, which I will always appreciate. Not sure at this point if I want to stay in the field forever, but for now it rules.”

Of course I have to ask the obvious; what would you say is the most fulfilling part of working with animals and the education that you’ve received in the process?

Gosh, so many things. Having a patient come in for multiple visits and witnessing their progress and healing and knowing you helped make that happen. I feel like I make new friends every day! Being exposed to the unique personality of each animal that comes in the door is priceless; you learn so much about them and sometimes even yourself. I am CONSTANTLY learning something new. Every day I come away with some bit of medical/anatomical knowledge and that shit is so exciting and valuable to me. It’s also been so awesome being able to share that knowledge with friends and giving advice to people who can’t afford to take their dog to a vet.”

So, with all that time invested in helping the animal kingdom, what inspired you to become a certified mechanic?

“Not wanting to rely on other people to fix my car and if I did have to take it in, wanting to know what the hell mechanics were talking about when telling me what was wrong/broken. Why pay a stranger a shit ton of money to do something that I am fully capable of doing myself? It also seems like basic knowledge everyone should have that I, and probably a lot of other ladies, unfortunately were not taught growing up.”

Fuckin’ A man, good for you! I really respect your thirst for knowledge and desire for true independence. That being said, I’m curious if as a woman you ever felt treated differently when working in the field outside of the educational environment in school?

Working in the field, I definitely was not treated the same as everyone else and that’s mostly what pushed me out of working with cars as a profession. I know how to hang with dudes but I definitely always felt on guard at work and felt like there was always someone looking at me…that made me feel uncomfortable.”

What a fucking shame, I’m sorry to hear that your learning experience was tainted by douche bags. While we all strive to power ahead, it’s fair and honest to say when you’ve had enough. I salute you for doin’ the damn thing, getting certified and trying something completely new. Even if in the end it wasn’t the long term career for you. I salute you, dude!

You certainly seem to be dedicated to a “life of learning”, working towards intellectual goals. What keeps you going and interested in the world around you?

“Good question! I’m starting to lose motivation! (haha) After “growing up” in school, getting a bachelor’s degree then an automotive engine repair certification right after that, I’m a little over it but I know the desire to go back to school will come back. They say the jack of all trades is master of none but fuck that! I want to know how to do a lot of things. I never want to have one career or one job FOREVER. Committing yourself to one path in life sounds daunting…and boring. I always want to have something to fall back on in terms of work and I definitely want to know how to do most things myself so I can minimize the amount to dependency I have on society. That’s what will keep me wanting to learn more.”

Wow. “…want to know how to do most things myself so I can minimize the amount to dependency I have on society.” Good for you man, may you never lose that spirit! Personally, I find that statement to be quite profound in a world of people who seem to solely depend on others to fix their problems and their lives. Stay golden Pony girl, may you never change and continue soaking up the knowledge life has to offer, ruling one intellectual challenge after the next!


Below are links to find out how YOU can donate or volunteer at a local animal hospital near you!