Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Best Job

What's up?

First, a couple of side notes.
Oh my gosh has the weather sucked here in balmy central Florida.
95 degrees yesterday, and it was the 4th of May. I ran at 10 pm on Sunday night, and I was a mess when I got home. I was a sloppy pig. I checked the temperature, and it was 83.
One thing this weather does do is makes it easier to go swimming. It is very warm in the pool.

Last night was the Magic's first semifinal playoff game against the Hawks.
I had plans to have some fellas over for the game. But about 2 hours before the game, I got a call asking me if I wanted to go to the game.
I asked the Boss and got the okay. I called all my friends and told them the party was off and I was off to the game.
The guy who asked me is a real estate attorney, and the people that gave him the tickets were a title company.
We get there, parking pass and all, and the seats are in the THIRD row. I am talking third row from the court. I am talking "a guy goes for a loose ball and jumps in the crowd, and I am catching him" third row. I am talking $300 a ticket third row.
Yes, you heard me right...$300. That means this guy, his wife, his daughter and me for $1,200.
For one game.
I don't get it. But I sure as heck enjoyed it. And oh, the Magic won by 43 points.

My assistant asked me last week, "If every job paid the same amount of money, what would you do as a career?"

Let's mull this over together.
Now the question is NOT, "if you could do any job, what would you do?" I mean, most of us would pick a very high paying job that seemed easy to all of us.
The caveat is that all jobs pay the same.

So far I have not been able to come up with an answer.

Here is my train of thought.
I love love love doing dentistry, but it has its moments when I don't love it.
But don't you think every job has that?

I mean, don't you think being a surgeon would be cool. Yeah, except for some people dying and all.
Okay so you are not a people person. You think that being a CPA would be cool, yeah until you realize, "All I do is work with numbers and they are DRIVING ME CRAZY."
If money didn't matter, I would just love to do landscaping and make people's yards "A welcome mat for their homes." Except I wouldn't want to fight the 100-degree days and the rain and the cinch bugs.
I mean every job on the surface seems awesome (maybe except for a gastroenterologist formally known as proctologists). But I think every job has its major drawbacks.
I can't help but think that every job gets stiff after awhile. I mean, even modeling can be tiring after 6 hours of a photo shoot on the beaches of Cancun. Who would want to do this? (Can you hear my sarcasm?)

Let's take me for instance. I don't have to keep reminding you that I love teeth.
I could do fillings and cut crown preps all day and be happier than a pig in sh$t.
But it is everything else, i.e. staff, money, patients, equipment, rent, partners, outcomes, failed root canals, scheduling, did I say patients, that has a way of getting to me.
This kind of stuff can bring even the toughest/happiest of dentists to his/her knees.

So what is the answer if every job seems awesome when you get in it and every job has its draw backs?
And if you are a young dentist and you haven't gotten here yet, it is probably coming. And if you are a "mature" dentist have weathered this storm, correct me if I am wrong, but you have to do things to make your job exciting.
If all you did was drill teeth all day, I have to tell you, it can wear on you.

I haven't gotten the dulldrums really bad, but I can kind of see it coming. So in the last couple of months I have started to think of things to make this office a bit livelier.
Today, everyone brought in stuff for tacos and burritos to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.
Last week, I went and bought ice cream and root beer, and we had a little root beer float party after work.
But more than that I think it is a philosophy thing. If you have an insurance practice and you are starting to hate it...change it.
If you have a pretty nice family-oriented practice, but you are getting less and less patient with kids, then change your practice to an "adult only" practice.
I think to myself, I have 20 more years to do this (barring financial ruin), and if I am not happy doing this kind of dentistry, I think now is a good time to change.
I have a ton of options in dentistry alone.
I could do cosmetics only.
I could go back to school.
I could teach (God help those students)
I could be an associate (and let someone else run this thing).
I could sell my stuff to Heartland or someone like that.
I can do what my friend is doing and get heavy into ortho and do 25 cases a year.
Lots of possibilities.

Did I get off track there for a bit? Weren't we just talking about what I think the best job is?
What would you do?
Did you think of what that job would look like in 15 years?
Tell me, tell me, I will wait for your responses, meanwhile I have to go and fix one of the toilets in one of the bathrooms. Oh yeah, dentistry, a glory job.

Have a great Wednesday,
Don't forget tomorrow is National Day of Prayer.

Talk to you Friday,


Anonymous said...

I’ve had this conversation with friends before. I said photographer. My female friend said food critic, and my male friend said a football color analyst. But to make these jobs a dream, they would need to be in the right context. I wouldn’t want to be a school-portrait photographer. I’m sure my foodie friend wouldn’t want to criticize hospital cafeterias, and I’m sure my sports fan friend wouldn’t want to be stuck somewhere in Saskatchewan working in the Canadian football league. We’d want the top jobs in field—-National Geographic photographer, fine-dining critic, Monday Night football go-to guy. So like you said, it’s not so much what you do but what you do with what you do that will ultimately make you happy.

Anonymous said...

tomorrow i am going to pray for us in Portland to have your weather in Florida.

it snowed in higher elevations in the city. so that 83 degree thing at 10 o'clock? yeah, we'll take some :)

gatordmd said...

Okay those jobs are going to be easy to turn around.
You are a National Geographic photographer and obviously you have made it. But what about when you spend 10 days in the Amazon sweating your ass off trying to get that one picture and you finally get it and then the publisher decides to not to do the Amazon shots because there was an earthquake in Malowi.
Food critic....are you kidding. Can you say 400 lbs and cholesterol at about 310 and two heart attacks by the time you are 55.
And of course not all food is Ruth's Chris quality. And I have to be honest about sportscaster. I thought that would be a good job. But one thing that I thought about was the athletes. The higher ups continue to push you to interview the people that push the ratings. Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriquez, Tank Johnson, Chris Tucker (all a-holes) and they will never let you do the stories that mean something. They rarely do the hard workers, the hospital visitors, the philathopists (unless of course it is on Tim Tebow)

And to you Cold in Portland.
I forgot 83 degrees and 100% humidity. You do not want a piece of this.

jamie said...

Hey first Anonymous guy, what's so wrong with being stuck in Saskatchewan watching the CFL!!! Don't knock it til you try it. It might not be glamorous, but it's good darn football! Go Riders!!!

Anyhow John, i'd have to say that as far as a job goes, one thing I would change about being a dentist would be the fact that I don't get to see sunshine very often, and miss the nicest parts of the day. My first choice would certainly be to consider a career with some worktime outside in the sun. Really good question tho, I must say.


toothdoc said...

Figurehead dictator of a small island nation in polynesia.

or a Shepherd.

Anonymous said...

A film director, second director, special effects whiz or something creative, different and fun everyday. I would love to be part of storytelling


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