The term “growing pains” can refer to a variety of things. It can be applied to a teething baby, a rambunctious teenager, or, in my case, an office expansion and relocation. I had been stuck in a box. My box was small and dated, with low visibility and low traffic. When the opportunity arose to convert an old home on the main drag through town into a dental facility, I pounced on it.
Change can be stressful for many of us, myself included. Having never experienced the building of anything, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. What followed was two different trips to dental equipment manufacturers, mountains of paperwork with the bank, a few lunches with design teams, countless conversations with contractors and subcontractors, many more visits to furniture manufacturers, and daily trips to the new location to monitor the progress (or lack thereof). Coordinating and communicating with so many different people was a daunting task. And let’s not forget there was a business to run with patients to treat in the meantime.
The experience was humbling. I was reminded that no matter how on top of things I was, there was a good chance that someone else along the line would be falling behind. After all, a group can only move together as fast as the slowest person can travel. Another old adage came to mind: “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” The seven-week project turned into ten weeks, and it still wasn’t as complete as I wanted it to be. Being a self-described type A, left brain, driven individual brings its benefits and pitfalls.
We have been in the new location for more than a month now. I am pleased with the overall result, but it seems as though the project will never be over. There are constant tweaks to be made. Finishing touches are never really finished. What did I sign up for? Patients have been wowed by the bright, new office. The comfortable, massaging dental chairs with TVs and personal sound systems make it worth it.
As frustrating as this endeavor has been, myself and my staff are proud and happy to be in this facility. But, if you are considering a similar move, be warned: patience is a virtue.
Jason Petkevis, DMD