Friday, June 4, 2010


Sorry if you got two blog alerts today. You have to understand that with BLOGGER if you just press a wrong button while you are trying to type, the next thing you know you have just published a anyway, here is the real one.

Happy Friday all. How the heck are you?

Things have been a bit busier this week. Tuesday was very slow, but the last three days have been gang busters. But it was not the kind of day that occurs when you come in and find that the schedule is packed; it is the kind of day that occurs when some comes in for an emergency and the next thing you know he is coming back in your 2 pm opening for the next 3 hours.

At home, it was our first week of summer. Noah had soccer camp and is loving it, and the other two are just loving having time to sleep in, read when they want, call a friend, swim, swim, and swim (because it is 94 degrees here).

We, as a family, are going on vacation in the mountains of North Carolina the week of June 20th. I will tell you how this came about. I was asked by someone at my church if I would help out this one young woman who was in pain. I, of course, said yes.
Well, what started as a root canal then led to a bunch of fillings (that were going to be root canals if I didn't do the fillings, and I knew I would probably being doing that too, so I went ahead and did them).

Well, she had an aunt second removed that was the one that went to my church. She came up to me and thanked me profusely and said, "Is there anything we can do to repay you."
I said, "Well, do you have a mountain home?" you know just throwing it out there.
And she said, "YES". Next thing you know we are going for a week in the mountains (and the week between Christmas and New Years, REAL NICE).

Enough about me...

We all have staff members. We all need to communicate with each other. I want to talk about how we communicate with each other, first me then us, as dentists and small business owners.

Let's talk about me first. I like communication. But the problem is that communication has gotten away from me a bit.
Face to face
Voice mail
Smoke signals
There are so many choices that you have to pick one that is going to be the most effective.

To your employees...How are we communicating in our boss/employee relationship? I think this is a face to face kind of thing.

To your spouse...I am feeling kind of frisky, how about tonight?
This could be done in so many ways. Face to face, e-mail, texting (better known as sexting) is all acceptable, to me.

Don't forget to pick up the dry cleaning on the way home. I mean this stuff is easy. Face to face, email, texting, FB, Twitter.

If I have to be told to do something at the office, like don't forget to call a certain patient, then go ahead and leave me a voice mail. If you need to tell me "I am going to be off next week, don't forget," then I actually prefer you to shoot me an email. One, because I read it when I am relaxed, and second, if I don't remember you have proof. Most work it, voice mail, is all okay.

But lately we, as a staff, have been doing a lot of text messaging. And let me tell you, I am a master texter. I have a blackberry and can type a text with the best of them. But just don't know about all of this. I don't know if it has a whole lot of business in the work place.

I mean, is a text to me saying, "I am going to be an hour late for work" okay? How about, "I am not feeling well today, so I am going to have to miss today. I will call you later"?

To me this is not okay.

I have had two of my staff out because of pregnancy for months, and we did a lot of communication, other than face to face or the phone. I have to tell you that it was kind of a game. Now, I am not picking on these particular people, but it is what it is.
I try to be hip and send them a text message and not get a return text for a day or two. I would send an email and have it go unanswered.

Now I am pretty old school, but I know everyone is getting EVERY text and they are reading EVERY e-mail. Now maybe someone might not get to their emails every day, but you can be sure that they are reading it within a day or two (I say this knowing that everyone under the age of about 40 is checking their emails EVERY day). And for something that I send out to go unanswered?

What about if you are out for a while, and the day you are supposed to come back is in a couple of weeks. You do not have reliable transportation, but you are in the process of buying a new car, which means you need to move your return date. Doesn't this seem like a phone call is warranted?

Now to me, if someone writes an email in this case they are trying to avoid a phone call. Texting and e-mailing in lieu of a phone call is a total cop out. It is a "I know I have to talk to you, and it is going to be tough so instead of being honest with you and talking to you like a grown-up I will text you" type of thing.

Okay, here are my thoughts on this.
It is my fault. Yes, I said is my fault. At my next staff meeting I will talk to my staff about how they should communication with me. I will tell them, I don't care how you communicate with anyone else, I just want to talk to you about how I NEED to be communicated with. I NEED to be communicated with face to face or on the telephone.
I want you all to think of what people used to do in the "old days". This is how I need to be communicated with. If we are talking important work stuff, I, from now on, require a phone call. Any other method means that you don't think your job is important. Any other method means you that don't consider me the boss. You kind of consider me one of your Facebook friends or an acquaintance. You don't consider me the guy who signs the checks.

I admit I haven't had this talk with my people. But it will happen. I don't know if young people have just been texting so much of their lives or it has become such a huge part of people's lives that they have forgotten what should be done.

I just don't know, so this is why I am going to talk about it to my staff, old (more mature) ones and young ones.

Have you had any experience with this?

I think before something happens to you that you should map out what is acceptable and what is not. Because if you don't, technology will jump up and bite you right between the browser. Or you might be like me and get an E-MAIL from an employee telling you that they won't be returning to work.

Have a great weekend,


Anonymous said...

I love how you always seem to leave out the actual facts to a story. How convenient for you. It would give me great satisfaction to put my response on the WORLD WIDE WEB but feel that would be unprofessional. So I will send my comments to you directly you know rather than have other people tell you that it is out there.

Anonymous said...

Obviously the concept of maternity leave has been lost on you!


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