Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What's he got that I ain't got?

I am in the park of my neighborhood playing with my kids on Monday.
Our subdivision has 500 homes in it. So some people can walk to the park and others can drive. Now up pulls this sweet brand new Infinity SUV. I don't know anything about Infinitys but this one was big. It looked like a souped up Armada.
Out walks Dr.So and Sos wife with her 7 year old. She is the wife of a dentist and they live in the neighborhood.
I don't really care if someone has a nice car. I think it is a depreciating assest but if you have money to burn, and you think it is cool, go ahead.
The problem I am having is that she has got her house on wheels and he drives a Hummer. They have a third car which is a Jeep Wrangler for weekend drives if they want to put the top down. They live in the biggest house in the neighborhood and ON A LAKE. They have a screened in pool. They have a huge yard with a batting cage in the back yard.
His three kids all go to private school.
I remember talking to him and he bought his son a truck, no problem right?
Well his son was only 15.
Before I forget. I really like this guy. He is nice as all.
But what the heck.

For me it is week to week. I know I make a lot of money and I try to spend it wisely. I budget, I tithe, I save, and I am truly cash poor.
Let me back up. "I budget". Maybe that is a stretch. Sometimes I feel like if you have money it is hard to budget. Some people budget so they can afford to live. We budget because we want to get out of our house debt faster. So, because of this, budgeting in our family is don't spend more than you make. It is hard when the wife is beat from running around after the kids all day and doesn't want to cook and says lets go out. "No problem honey."
We really want to get the house and office debt monkey off our backs, because it really hangs over you. But...

Have you ever read The Millionaire Next Door? Well this book talks about the habits of millionaires. It talks about how they all budget, they all save, they all tithe (as a whole), they give alot to there kids college and they are all cash poor.
I totally buy into there way of thinking.
But I don't always do it. I like to spend every once in awhile. I like taking my wife out to a fancy dinner that cost way too much because it is fun. I like taking a vacation for no reason because I need a break. So I retire a little at a time. I don't understand the mentality of working your ass off and then being so tired at 65 that have to retire.
I take 5 weeks off a year. I work 4 days a week. I have got the life.
Which brings me back to the dentist in the neighborhood.
My assistant says, "why don't you go over there and see how he does it."
I thought about how he might do it. If it is legit, I mean, no stealing off the top, paying all your taxes, no insurance fraud. (I am not saying everyone who makes more than me is illegit).
If someone is going to make that kind of money, does he or she run 3 chairs at a time? Maybe stick an emergency rct, post and core and crown in the middle of a busy day. So this maybe means working through lunch and running an hour late at the end of the day. I have no problems with someone else doing it this way, but I can't do it. Do they pay their staff well? Are they running their staff into the ground? Always having to deal with staff turnover?

I thought about it awhile and said, "No."
I don't care how he does it. I like the way things are going here. We are totally relaxed all day. We never go without eating. We stay after work about 10 minutes about once a week. I have got enough problems (mostly self induced) and time issues (see two blogs ago), that I don't need anything else.

I have been to the lectures that say, "I numb up patient number one, go numb up patient number two, prep a crown on patient number one while number two gets numb."
He claims that if you are taking more than 5 minutes to prep a tooth you are wasting time. So this guy produces more in the first hour of his day than I do in one day.
I don't roll like that. I have 15 minutes of BS time with each patient. There is no pressure, no running around, you have relationships with you patients and they come back.
So I don't have all the stuff he has. So what.
I get to spend alot of time with my family. I am content. Why would I ever want what he has when I have what I have.

Talk to you Friday.

5 comments:

Ethan Pitsch said...

I swear this blog gets better post by post. You had me at hello. I'm a reader of yours for life!

Buckeyedental said...

John
This kinda goes back to your Is it me or am I crazy post you seem to have gotten a balance in life. In America it is all about who has the most. But if you have not seen the ofter guys balance book he may be over his head. But regardless contentment is what you feel. We all know the difference between needs, desires, and want. This stuff gets me down at times also, but look at were we as professionals are were are in the top 5-10%. I and my older brother were the first in my family to go to college. I have had two houses in the last 18 years both nicer than any thing I grew up in. Yes if I had an extra 80 or 90 thousand I would get a new BMW. But that is not the priority for now. Spending time with the family is. By the way I drive a 97 Avalon with 170,000 miles gets me from her to there runs great never breaks down hope to get it to 250,000. Before I get another used car. Keep your eyes on the prize which are your wife and children.

PS you said it was Dr. So and So's wife at the park were was Dr. So? Priority
God Bless Kim Shaw

Aly Sergie said...

What happened to the Dental Office Parties post. I was going to send it to a friend who has had a low day. Please bring it back. Thanks

Aly Sergie DDS

gatordmd said...

Aly,
In effort to be funny and laugh at a situation that we might all identify with I have hurt my staff. I took out the Christmas party blog so that my feelings for them are not misinterpreted. I can mess with them and play with them but when I do it in front of the whole world it steps over the line. I could embarrass them and it is not honoring.
I will try to be funny in the future but not at my staffs expense. Maybe my kids but not my staff.
Thanks for reading,
john

Anonymous said...

This is an old post...but what a delight it is to read that as a dental patient. Multiple chair/production line dentistry is not a positive development. It seems to be rare in the USA these days to see 'one patient at a time'....it is still the norm in Europe and Australasia.
You are invading people's space as a dentist and blocking their oral cavity ..so it helps to have a 'friendly relationship'...how else do you build trust? Patients who like and trust their dentist don't tend to develop dental fear.
Moderator of www.dentalfearcentral.org

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