Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I had a bad weekend

I am going to get right to it. The office was robbed this weekend. I can't tell you how upset I am.

You see, they stole my laptop. My laptop was my whole life. Everything that is important to me is on that laptop: all my lectures, all my dental photos, all my family photos from the last 5 years. And no, I didn't have it backed up. I had some of it backed up on discs and I kept the discs in one of those DVD boxes. They stole that too. I am so depressed.

Let me go back. For the last 4 weekends, we were trying to arrange a time to redo the flooring in my operatories. One weekend the flooring people couldn't do it. One weekend the fish tank people couldn't do it. But this past weekend the stars aligned and we scheduled everyone.

Before I left on Friday afternoon, there were 5 people still in the office. The fish tanks were getting emptied and were going to be moved. The guys were moving the chairs out of the rooms and the floor guy was beginning to remove the old flooring.

I want to backtrack and tell you that the big supply company that I use is the company I usually use to repair my dental stuff. I assumed I was going to use them to move the chairs. I am talking moving 4 chairs out of the rooms and into the hallway. They estimated 2 guys for 5 hours for a total of $1,500. I had one of the floor guys help me move the chairs myself.

Anyway the general contractor, a friend of mine, asked what I wanted to do about the alarm. I told him to just lock up the place and leave the alarm off. This was a fatal mistake.

Apparently after the guys left the office at midnight, he kind of noticed out of the corner of his eye, people watching him from across the street (from a parking lot). He said he noticed it thought he should have called the cops (another mistake). When he left, thieves broke a window and had a run of the place.

I know what you are thinking. The flooring guys did it. Well, I obviously talked to my general contractor friend and he said he trusts this guy. It was a guy and his wife. He said he has worked with him for over 10 years and has always been very honest.

There really isn't much to take in here. We don't have any controlled substances here. We don't have much cash and the cash we do have is in the safe. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you — they stole the safe. It was not bolted down (another mistake). I walk by these things every day and don’t think about it. Like who would think that thieves would steal a safe? I have never moved it or lifted it in 15 years. I had assumed that it was too heavy to move.

It had a grand total of $450 cash in it. We didn't go to the bank on Friday (because we get lazy,) so there was two days worth of personal and insurance checks in there equal to about $4,500. We back up our office computers with an external hard drive and put them in the safe, so these thieves have our back-ups.

Doesn't this just make you sick? I should have been more prepared. They stole an accordion file that had some old x-rays in and stuff (weird). They stole an old camera (probably 16 years old) too. They stole my laptop (ouch, it still hurts to say that) and the case with all my discs in it. That was it.

They left my new camera. There was a lens sitting on the counter top that is definitely pawnable, just sitting there. They left the 42' TV on the wall (possibly because I bolted it to the wall after the last robbery). There were 5 Dell desktops in the hall way, standing on their own because they were removed from the room. They left them.

Back to the laptop. I didn't write the serial numbers down because, well, I didn't ever really find a need to. I really never thought this would happen to me. This has opened my eyes to so many things.

This whole thing would have been nothing if I would have just backed up my computer. They could have the 4 year old laptop. They could have the safe (I already bought another one for $320) and the other stuff. If I had just set the alarm. If I had just brought my laptop home or put it somewhere.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. Now that it is stolen I don't have the serial numbers of my computer to tell the police (so they can look at pawn shops). I feel like such an idiot on so many fronts.

I have to get back to my hunt for the serial numbers. I bought the laptop in '07. I am going through all my credit card receipts. Once I find out the exact date, I am going to call DELL and try to get the serial number that way.

So use this as a reminder. Back-up your laptop, family pix and all. Bolt your safe to something. Always set your alarm. And write down all your serial numbers.

Have good day (it has got to be better than mine).


P.S. One good thing about the blog is that it saves all my photos. The only evidence that I have been a dentist is on the blog. If you go to my lectures and all you see are the same photos from the blog, ow you know why.


Cynthia Becker DDS MAGD said...

We go one step further...We have 2 backups. One goes home with the office manager. The other one goes home with me. Call me paranoid, but we had issues with software many years ago and realized the extreme pain caused by losing the electronic schedule...all calls from that day etc. (we are all electronic, including clinical records) We have had robbery attempts, thwarted by alarm, where the only things they got were the riding mower and landscape tools, but it increased our awareness. Best to have at least one off-site backup and rotate in the new ones to offsite. That way if there is a tornado, flood or fire you are reasonably protected. Oh, can you say truly paranoid? We have last years backup in a safe deposit box.....Cynthia Schubbe Becker DDS MAGD

Anonymous said...

Sorry to her about that. I feel your pain. I take my laptop back and forth from the office and home everyday. Was going to start leaving it at the office because I am getting tired of carrying it around.
Guess I won't be doing that now.

D. Donald said...

Uggghhh!! That makes my head hurt just thinking about the headache that this whole situation has caused you. I guess the police weren't any help? I'll take this as a lesson for myself. Sorry about the robbery...I'll by you an adult drink, sounds like you need one. Later, Baby Tooth Filler

drtomas said...

inside job. it happened to a doc i know.

Kallie said...

ugh. i am so sorry, dr. john! however, i am backing up my laptop as i type...

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear that. I know it's easy to see all the mistakes now and it won't bring your data back, but I want to recommend backing up your laptop with Crashplan. It's just $50 a year to be assured that all of your work from a year ago or an hour ago has been backed up to a commercial data center…or for free you could automatically copy your backup drive to an external drive at home and never worry about forgetting it at the office.

tar said...

I'm so sorry to hear that happened to you. I, too, had my laptop stolen once. It's a terrible feeling. Don't kick yourself when you're already down by thinking about the "shoulda, coulda, woulda's". It won't make you feel any better.


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