Friday, December 27, 2013

Office Closed: Helping Santa at North Pole

This time of year, dental offices decide if they are going to remain open between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Many patients are off work that week and ask to be scheduled during that time. During my early years as a practice owner, I would work that week. These days, I opt to close down and head up north to help Santa after his Christmas busy season. Oral surgeons in my area remain open because kids are home from school and want to have their wisdom teeth taken out while they are on a school break.

I like to have everyone in my office take their vacations at the same time. It is less disruptive to office flow if we are all gone at the same time. So, at the beginning of each year, we pick a week in August for our week-long break. This allows staff with children to travel during summer breaks. Our second vacation week is at the end of December. Again, everyone likes to be home during this time and the kids are off.

When we did keep the office open between Christmas and New Year’s Day, we had no problem booking appointments. In fact, the schedule was quite full. The problem was when the actual day arrived. Early in the morning, the phones would ring off the hook with people rescheduling their appointments. Or people would just not show up. I understand that the intention was there for a dental appointment. However, last minute invitations or store sales kept everyone away from my office.

After awhile, I learned that if I was going to spend that week surfing the Web, I would much rather do it at home in my pajamas.

Of course, I’m available for emergency calls during this time. I rarely get called into the office. However, I will drive to the office if needed. When I do go up to the North Pole to help Santa out, I will have a colleague take my calls. Mostly, though, I’m the one taking their calls to I repay the favors they’ve done for me during the year.

You’ll have to excuse me for this short blog. I hear Santa calling for me. Someone needs to clean up after the reindeer. Guess whose turn it is…

Andy Alas, DDS

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