Friday, August 28, 2009


Hi all,
I hope you are having a better week than I am.
I have to tell you this week at the office has been torture. I am going to be very translucent today.
This is the first week of school and that along with the economy (I guess) it was like a ghost town in here. Three of the four days I worked this week could have been put into one day. This week was so slow.
I haven't talked about my office much because I get into trouble when I do this.
But I think it is important to talk about this stuff because if you are going through it I don't want you to feel alone.
Since February we have had to "lay-off" three staff members. It has not been pretty around here. And I have talked to some of my friends and they all have had to do lay-offs.
For us, we hate it, and we have tried to keep an open line of communication with the staff at all times. For example six months before a move we would say, "If things remain slow we are going to have to make some changes." Then again in three months. Then we may sit an individual down and tell them that change is going to be YOU. So we are trying to be as human as possible, knowing we are getting rid of one of the family.

I talked to an endodontist yesterday and he said, "I talk to dentists everyday and I can tell you that EVERYONE is feeling the same pain you are."
I don't know if that is suppose to make me feel any better or not. I am a sensitive kind of guy and when I am not busy I start with, "What did I do?" Are people just not liking the product that I am delivering?" Is it me? Is it me?
But he preempted his talk by saying, "John, I know you are the that kind of guy, IT IS NOT YOU." (am I that predictable?)
I have done all my letters. I have called everyone I needed to call. I have filled out all my charts. Now I just sit.
I don't know what else to do....maybe stand out on the street in a tooth fairy outfit and wave a wand (Please no comments on this).
There was a Chamber of Commerce Business "after hours" thing last night and I just couldn't bring myself to going. It was not because I didn't want to but I left the office at 4 and it was at 6. It was either wait at the office for two hours or go home and come back and that was not going to happen.
I was talking to the president of a large dental company (again, don't think I am all that because I throw names around. The guys kids go to my kid's school) and he said it is bad out there.
He says people are not doing dentistry. But he said the people who are advertising are worse off because they are not doing dentistry and on top of that paying for the ads.

Last thing, I get a 5 page list of everyone that owes us money. The front staff look over list and mark it up for me. People who owe us anywhere $2 to $2000. Each individual is marked telling what is being done. Most people have a check by there name telling me it is under control.
Some are marked 30 days, some are marked 60 days, and some are marked 90 days or sent to collections. Now collecting money has never been an issue here. I think we collect something like 98% but I think this is important, to be on top of this. But I noticed on this list more 30 and 60 days people. And people who you would never think would be on this list.
Just a sign of the times I think.

Now for some I have brought you down and for some I have made you feel a little better. The title of the blog is that for a little dose of reality.

But lets talk about the company REALITY.
If you are brand new to the blog, on Wednesday, I talked about how the company called REALITY. REALITY is a company that reviews dental products for a service. But sometimes there is a product out there that I want to get (well not now...I am not making any money so I ain't buying anything) and I look up the product on the REALITY website and it is not there. It has not been evaluated yet.
Well, apparently how they run things over there is that they wait until the manufacturer send them the product for them to evaluate.
Then upon probing the owner he said that companies are hurting and not likely to send out their products for evaluation. Because things are tight.
Well this is where I have a problem.
I wanted to know what he thought about electric toothbrushes. He hadn't evaluated any of them.
So are you telling me Sonicaire doesn't have 5 extra brushes to get evaluated?
Are you telling me Colgate doesn't? Yeah, Oral B is so tight that they don't have 5 brushes to spare.
Okay so REALITY would say that electric toothbrushes are a consumer product and not the main kind of thing they do.
But you see this is something people ask me about all the time. What do I think the best electric toothbrush is? Well, I say, "This is what I THINK."
So back to the companies being tight. Are you saying Kurray doesn't have a couple of bottles of SE Bond laying around?
So maybe that is not what he is talking about. Maybe it is the big ticket items that the companies are having a hard time giving up.
So lets say Patterson doesn't want to send over five brand new Cerec machines to REALITY. I can buy that. But what about lending them some used units and then getting them back. This is not rocket science. The consumer, the dentist (me and you, in particular), need this.
Here is another great example. I was reading the REALITY Now newsletter. This is a newsletter that if they have evaluated something they get it out right away.
So this month they are evaluating two curing lights. The DEMI and the Fusion.
In talking about the DEMI one of the sections is the tips for the light.
They talk about how all Demitron tips don't fit the DEMI light. But they claim that there are tips, 2mm and 4mm, specifically made for the DEMI but here is the kicker, "We did not receive
these new tips for testing."
See this is frustrating to me. See I have owned the DEMI light for over six months now and the literature is coming out this week. I can see that if you have a bunch of evaluators it takes time to get them the product then it takes time to get all the evaluators to get in their opinions. Then it takes time to put all the information together. But over six months.

Don't get me wrong. I love REALITY and I am totally on board with what they do. I understand this is not a perfect system. This is like an "in house" discussion. I am like a family member telling my brother that his Mohawk does not look good.
But if product has been out and I am using it and I think it is great and a year later the evaluation comes out and says that the product stinks....hmmm.
We are the tech age where we want things faster and better. We want it now.
This I think is no exception.

Okay I have beaten that dead horse pretty good.
Have a great weekend,
If you need me, I will be sitting at my desk doing NOTHING.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You should know by now nothing is free and everyone is all about making a buck. So you really can't blame Reality for not wanting to fork over cash to buy something they are going to only evaluate. Especially if they wait long enough they can get it for free to try. I am sure you have gone to the dental conventions and tried to get a free tooth brush or anything free. It is like pulling teeth, all the companies are tight. This was even before the economy crashed and is also why I have not been to the FNDC since it moevd to Gaylord.

The economy is tough on everyone right now. There was a lot of over staffing and frivolous spending by everyone. Now "Reality" ( no pun intended) has set in and people are just doing what they need to do. Which is basically not waste money and trim unnecessary over head and spending. Unfortunately dentistry has been put in the not needed pile unless it hurts for most people righ now.


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