Monday, May 3, 2010

Is that a party I smell?

You have to believe me when I tell you that John Gammicia and I are not just pseudonyms for anonymous bloggers.

We are real people who live in very different parts of the country.

I have talked to John a couple of times on the phone but never met him in person.

OK, so now that I think of it, I can't vouch for John being a real person - maybe he is an AGD cyborg or a teleblogger located in India??

What I can vouch for is that I am a real person - although those Matrix movies really messed me up on that "what is real" issue.

Anyway, my point is that even though we have never met; the real-or-imagined John Gammicia and I have remarkably similar lives. Our kids are similar ages, dads are in the dental field, small-business owners, "runners", Christians, strikingly handsome, excellent clinicians, married to incredible women who clearly settled for us, etc. . . You get the picture.

Actually, now that I read that, and as I recall the excellent cinematic thriller The 6th Day, starring the Governator, I wonder if perhaps I am merely a clone of John that was sent to the Midwest so that we didn't run into each other and expose the biological bastardization of humanity??

OK, so back to my point - merely minutes after reading John's post on Friday (no comment on my surgical experience during my senior year of dental school - "hey what did you do during spring break"), I got in the car with my family to travel to Topeka, Kan., for a soccer tournament. Not to try to outduel John for funniest line by a male offspring, but my 9-year-old son Brennan may have taken the prize this week. We are not more than 10 minutes from the house when I hear from the back of the car - "oh, Dad, what is that smell."

Now, that comment in and of itself is not rare in my household. "oh Dad, what is that smell" is almost an alternate way of saying, "hey, Dad is in the car" or "when was Grandpa here" or "mom told you not to eat popcorn at the movie theater". . .you get the idea.

On this occasion, however, neither my wife nor I could understand to what he was referring. Nothing in the car that we could smell, nothing outside that would cause an odor. No recent intestinal misadventures. So I had to ask him, "Brennan, what does it smell like?" He responds without hesitation - "it smells like confetti".

What the. . .????? Did you say it smells like CoNFetTi? The tinsely, shiny paper?

OK, simmer on that one for a second.


"You mean the paper that falls from the ceiling at parties?"

Yep, "confetti".

Busted, you caught me son, I went to Hobby Lobby today and just went nuts on the confetti aisle. You know that smell, right. You know it kind of smells like the color blue but with a little sticky note mixed in.

Love that child but that will be a story I will be telling at his wedding (which will also smell of confetti). I need to go see the ENT and get an odor test because I was not aware that confetti had a smell.

Great weekend. Lots of fun with Kayla's soccer team and the parents. The girls played their hearts out, getting 2nd place in the Kansas Governors cup. They won their semi-final game in overtime and then lost in the finals (1 hour later) to a team they had beaten in the earlier round. They were just dead tired after the 3rd game of the day (and 5th game in 2 days) in the heat. Regardless, Kayla had a very proud papa & mama and brother and sister.

No dental drama this week, just a little insight into the mind of this small-business owner.

I don't know how your office does it, but in my office I enter in the deposits at the end of the day, print the deposit slip, and take the deposits to the bank. I don't mean I enter the checks into the system throughout the day - I have staff that do that (I can do it but I don't). What I do is take the checks, cash, chickens, suckling pigs, bushels of wheat that we have received that day as payment for services and enter them into Quickbooks, print out a deposit slip, and go to the bank (that tends to define a good end to a day - money going to the bank).

Now, I have been doing this for nearly 4 years, and I have a quirky habit about it. See, it is the end of the day. Hopefully, I am a little tired from having worked hard. I have seen my staff here all day, and I have a general idea about what it has cost me to run the office that day. So at the end of the day, check entering becomes kind of a game. If any of you use Quickbooks or a similar software, you know that it totals the deposit as you enter each check into the system and this running total is at the bottom of the screen. Now, if, like me, you enter lots of smaller denomination checks into the system it can get a little discouraging to see the total creep up in small amounts. Thus, I have developed this ability to enter in the individual checks without seeing the total at the bottom of the screen.

Yep, I'm really that weird.

But this way, it is like Christmas every evening. Instead of seeing a $50 check and a $100 check and a $6 check (total $156). I get to enter in all the checks and then peek at the bottom and - wow - $2000. Surprise!! What a great day.

If I have learned one thing in 4 years of business ownership it is this - do whatever you need to do to keep yourself sane and laughing. Whether it is being addicted to the NYT Crossword puzzle or playing stupid games with the deposit slip, you gotta find the joy somewhere.

Have a great week!


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