Thursday, June 24, 2010

Oh to be young again.

Hey guys,

Remember I was telling you how tall Rashard Lewis was yesterday?
Are you kidding me? Look at this guy. I am 5'10.

Just so you know things went a lot better at camp yesterday.
We have this mom that is bringing Luke to camp and she is a real pit bull when it comes to the well being of her kids and she went right to the director.
And it turns out the director was a real no nonsense type of guy and took care of it.
Problem solved.
This is Luke with his friend and his brother.
Now to the next camp....Oh Lord.

Let's talk teeth today shall we?

First I want to tell everyone to go to the May/June AGD's General Dentistry magazine, the one with the Pediatric Dentistry special section, and read it. As a dentist that prides himself on working on kids this was a great one. I read every article because they all spoke of what I do everyday. Good stuff. Good job Publication peeps.

I know I have told you this but in my first 3 years I worked in 3 associateships.
I only worked with my father 2 days a week for the first 4 years.

So the other day I was thinking back to my very first associateship and I wanted to tell you about it.
I know we have readers of all ages.
We have readers that are associates and we have readers that are the owners, so I think this will speak to both of you.

Lets go back to the beginning....
A month or two before I graduated I started to put my feelers out for a job. Well, when you live 2 hours from where you are trying to find a job, it becomes tough. So how do you find a job in another town?
Another problem I had was that most people knew that I had a father in the area and knew that my heart was eventually going to be in somewhere other than their office.
So I needed to find a job with a dentist that was just looking for an associate. Not looking for anyone to marry, just date for a couple of years.

Well, the first thing I did was tell my Patterson rep to keep his ears open.
Then I put an ad in the local dental society periodical and I waited.
It may have read something like this, "Associate Dentist, Just getting out of school, green as can be but thinks he knows everything. Willing to work hard and I am looking to be over paid to do it. Please call 1-407-youll be sorry.

I have to say that the lay of the land in 1995 was different than today. I think there was some jobs but not that many. I don't think it was dry by any means but I don't think it was gang busters either.
I did however get an interview.
It was a fella about 28 miles from my father's office. So there was not going to be any competing for patients. I think this guy was a fairly busy dentist and he had always had an associate that handled his overflow.
From what I understood, he had an associate just before me that had moved on.
I really didn't care at this point. I was just so excited about graduating and not having to study anymore. And I was so excited about being paid for the first time in about 9 years.

He had a nice office with about 7 rooms. 2 hygienists and about 8 staff members.

Okay from here on out I am going to talk to you about his office from a young dentist's point of view, then I will tell you my feelings about it as a more mature dentist.

I had an interview. I think I shadowed him for two half days and then we sat down to talk. We liked each other and that was that. Now when I said we "liked each other" it is not like two colleagues getting to like each other, it was like a boss and an employee.
But I was new, I was thrilled to be wanted, it was NOT dental school, I didn't have any other options at the moment so I said what the heck.
We talked about my salary/per diem and we talked about a start date and that was it. So I left from our third time meeting and we had a start date.
I came in there like I was a bad-ass. Kind of like, "Get out of my way because I am God's gift to dentistry and I have a valid license."
I was young, I was funny (if I don't say so myself), I had energy, I had moderate skills, I had 300 bucks a day, last but not least I had ZERO stress.
I mean that is the great thing about being an associate. You can do dentistry for a 9 hour day and then just walk out the door and leave it all behind.
So I was this talkative, very relational kind of guy and it would slowly be revealed to me that this dentist was not a talker. He wouldn't talk to me, he wouldn't talk to his staff, and he rarely talked to his patients.
So naturally the staff kind of gravitated toward me.
We would go out to lunch together and he would have lunch in his car (I am serious about this and he would say, "he was trying to just get away from the office for an hour")
The staff and I would totally cut up together and he would never come out of his office.
The staff and I were enjoying dentistry together and it kind of seemed that he wasn't.

I would tell them that I loved coming to work. I would tell them I liked working with them.
Man was I getting popular around the office.
At first we were talking about teeth things and when they got comfortable with me they started to tell me their issues with the practice.
So I would start to hear everyone's issues with the practice.
So being young and stupid I would join in on the talk.
I don't remember if I talked about him but I know I didn't back him up or defend him.
I was this young naive dentist that didn't really know office drama. I didn't really know the pressure that comes with being the boss.

And along with never coming out of his office I think he was a poor manager of people.
He would have staff meetings and it would not be pretty. The front desk staff would be yelling at
back staff and vise versa, while I sat there wide eyed in disbelief and he just sat there.

He took a lot of courses and he sent me to some. Sometimes we went together.
I kind of think he liked dentistry but like I know now sometimes it can get you down. It can make you not want to talk to people.

I remember there was some real drama in the office at all times. His wife, who was previously his hygienist, worked in the office. I think she came in a couple of times a week and did the books.
We got along great for about my first half of the stint there. But I must have done something to her that I wasn't aware of and for about two months she wouldn't talk to me.
And I am not talking just being busy around the office and not having any time to talk to me, I am talking I would walk by her in the hallway and say, "Hello" and she would not respond.
I thought at the beginning she must have been having a bad day, and I left it alone, but this continued to go on.
It was getting me so uncomfortable that I asked him if I could talk to him.
We went into his office and I asked if I have done anything to upset his wife. Of course, he just shrugged his shoulders and said, "I don't think so, why?"
Now you know that she was pissed at me for some reason and you know that he was hearing from her at home but all he did was shrug his shoulders.
I told him that his wife and my relationship has eroded to where she will NOT talk to me, not even pretend to talk to me.
He said he would talk to her and see.
Anyway, the next day I worked she was talking to me like nothing ever happened.
Weird stuff like this all the time.

The job was okay. I loved what I was doing. I liked the staff.
You know I did associate stuff. I worked on kids, I worked on adults that acted like kids, I worked on mean people.
Oh, one time he asked me how I like my assistant. He hired a new person to work with me on Tuesday and Thursday and she apparently worked with him on the Monday and Wednesday.
I told him that I really liked her. I told him we got along great. I thought we had a great working relationship that made patients feel at ease when they were in our chair.
Well, I came in the next day and she had been fired.

But you know, I have matured a lot since then. I have grown so much since I was that young stress free dentist.
And when I look back at this time in my life I have changed my view point of the whole thing.
And I know that it is Friday and if I tell you my present day thoughts about my asssociateship this blog would get too long. I will tell you about it on Wednesday. Oh wait!!! I am on vacation next week. I will work something out with Dr. C but I will finish this story at another time.

Have a great weekend,



1 comment:

acne treatment said...

Whoaw! Rashard is really tall.. I don't want to be near him or else he might think I'm an ant! Lol!


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