Friday, May 13, 2011


I have not been in the best of moods lately. I get in these funks where I start comparing myself to other people doing great and I get down.

I am walking with the family around the neighborhood and I see that a piece of property, on the lake, that has been sitting empty for a couple years has now been cleared and surveyed. Noah was thrilled to watch the heavy equipment in action. The piece of property is one of the nicest pieces in the whole neighborhood. I don't know what it sold for, but a couple of years back this property was going for close to a cool million. I got to talking to the contractor and he said the house that they are building was going to be 8000 square feet. Then I found out that the guy who owns this property was in the year under me at my high school. Damn.

I have an informant at another local dental office. She tells me that this dentist, that has only been in town for 3 years or so, is hitting all her daily goals. I have been in this office and the feel is totally different than here. Like, they are not even competition. Yet, they are meeting goals and we are not. In fact, I meet a daily goal about once in two weeks. Oh and by the way, her daily goal is higher than mine. And she drives an S Class Mercedes. May I remind you that I drive an 11 year old truck? Kick me when I am down, why don't you?

Last one, just in case the first two didn't make you upset. One of my assistants has a daughter how is in dental assisting school. Part of their schooling is to work at different offices around town. One of the places in town that she shadowed at she really likes (and I think they really like her). They asked her to come back and basically work there when she gets out of school in a month. She, of course, jumped at that. Her last rotation was back at that office, so, through the grapevine, I get to hear about this office.

The other day I heard about something that happened at their office. First, the office has 4 dentists and 5 hygienists. At one of their morning huddles, the doctors put on this "I love to work and we have a great team" show. The dentist brought in a boom box and started playing a song. He got up and started dancing around with the boom box on his shoulder. Then another one of the dentists took the boom box from him and then the two started dancing around. They said that everyone was belly laughing at the end of show.

Team-building, laughing, meeting goals... Why can't I laugh more? Meet my goals daily? Dance around with a boom box?

I really don't have it bad. In fact, I have it really good. And to be totally honest with you, even if everything was awesome, I wouldn't dance at a morning huddle. Wait a minute. If I was meeting my daily goals, everyday, I think I might dance around. I might even do it in a thong, I would be so happy.

I have it good, but not because of money and not because I have tons of patients. I just have it good and I have to stop comparing myself to people that might have it better than me (and drive an S Class Mercedes). I get that, but this week I must not be thinking very clearly.

To top this week off right, I just finished a book that was terrible (Rough Country by John Sanders) and I watched a movie that stunk ("Love and Other Drugs").

Have a great weekend.


Anonymous said...

The appearance can be deceptive. How do you know she isn't renting the car... maybe she has this huge mortgage on a house she can't afford. Her kids may not go to a private school... On the outside she looks like she has it good... but it may not be true.

Debby Sutton said...

And who's to say she's got any friends? And who's to say dance-a-lot actually has a family? And who's to say any of them have any real fun outside of their job?

Live it up, my friend - you've got a lot. Remember, even in denistry, it's not about you ...

Anonymous said...

I know exactly how you feel. I graduated a year ago and was at the top of my class. A year later, I have a failed associateship under my belt, produced only $50k, brought home less money than I would have if I had a full time entry-level job that didn't require a college degree, let alone the debt associated with college, grad school, and dental school. Meanwhile some of my classmates have easily cleared the ADA's average new dentist take home pay of $123k.

It's a bummer, but what are you going to do? My wife is good at helping me refocus on the important things, those that I can do something about. But letting go of the things I can't affect, that's the hard part.

Anonymous said...

Having just openned my new practice this year, I find myself thinking about goals and new patient numbers quite often. Every marketer wants me to buy, buy, buy their space or coupon...Blah!!! One thing that I have started to do is turn to my faith and spend more time at church or in prayer. I don't want to sound all "holy" and stuff. But, if your main goal is to get to heaven, then all this "stuff" can't go with us. Cheer up, friend. Life is more than just things. This was a great read, because I know that I feel the same way quite often. Then, I pick myself up and keep going to work. Have a great week, John!

Anonymous said...

Things are not always at they seem. I remember being jealous of a couple who seemed to have it all---great jobs, great home, great cars, etc. Dig a little further you find a nasty ex-wife and 3 kids---one a dropout, another on drugs, and the 3rd in medical school. Guess which child you heard about? My spouse was feeling like an employee was just a young, struggling woman with a family...only to find out that her father retired at 42 and has houses all over the world...think she's really struggling? We've seen couples who sent outlandishly happy christmas cards year after year, then the cards abruptly stop and you hear through the grapevine that things weren't all that rosy after all. We know folks who should be able to live comfortably, but they just can't seem to live within their means, and eventually things catch up with them.

Yes, appearances can be deceiving. After a few years, you will have that wisdom.

Anderson said...

I can totally relate to this post. I have asked myself the same question you asked "Why can't I laugh more" & "dance around with a boom box?" Recently, we took our staff out for a fun day which included a "old-timey" group photo dressed as frontiersmen and saloon girls (which we later posted on our Facebook page). I think we should all get used to this laughing thing - especially when it comes to laughing at ourselves.


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