Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Just another day at the office

So as you may remember, I work in two offices... one of which has tried my already tried and tired patience until just about the last drop has been squeezed out of my impatient little head. Now most of the time I walk around angry and frustrated while I'm at work.
Today for example, I came to work a little early so that I could catch up on paperwork. No need to do that it seems, as the parking lot is still gated and locked shut. I wait for 15 minutes for the custodian to open it up. No problem really, I sort of expected this. Not mad yet.
I come in, its 15 minutes before the start of the first appointment. We have no one at the front desk to check in the patients. She doesn't come until almost 10 minutes into the first appointment time. My first patient is checked in at 9:10 am, for a 30 minute appointment. This means 1/3 of the appointment time was hypothetically spent in the receptionist's car as she makes her way to work. This is not unusual, but I do find this frustrating. And so it begins. My patient does not speak English, which again, is typical, and does not make me angry. I do have to go looking around the office for my assistant who is sitting in the lab, fanning herself, and the frustration increases just a titch. When I tell her we have a patient, she snaps, "I'm feeling faint so you're just going to have to give me a second with the fan." A second assistant hurriedly plugs in the fan. I offer to get her water. She says she wants her own water from the fridge. I bring it, she tells me its the wrong one, but she'll drink it anyway. And so here we have it. I haven't even started the day and I'm already ready to walk out the door.
I find another assistant to translate for me, and finish the appointment by myself.
Why not insist she come in and help, and by help I mean, do her job? Well my friends, because believe it or not, it isn't worth it. This particular assistant loves a good fight, and its only 9:30 in the morning by this point. I leave the room for her to clean, and she comes in and explains that she has anxiety related to childcare. Oh yeah, that makes sense. I guess if ever we get anxious about something we should anticipate a complete inability to perform our jobs. Good thing no one else has any problems, this place would have to totally shut down.
I know I need to be patient, but I don't need to be a doormat. I'm getting tired of trying to lead by example, and I'm not their boss so I can't really do anything about their behavior. Nevermind the million other reasons this is really annoying, like being in school for 100 years and how I might as well get paid in pennies to be at this clinic.
So... why do I work here? It used to be that I really loved the community and I felt like I was doing something of value. Well, I've since learned that the services ain't any less valuable at my other office because hard-working people pay for them. And now... I don't know. I still like the community, but I'm burning out. One of my coworkers here is the best, and our director is so amazing. Plus he gave me a job right out of my residency when no one else wanted to hire me. The rest of the dentists were trained elsewhere and its difficult for me to communicate with them and be on the same page regarding patient care... and the day to day seems to be getting harder and harder. Guess we'll have to see if it gets better in the next few months. I hope so.

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