In a few weeks the team and I are headed to speak in London. I am very much looking forward to this event. The O-Lab is our sponsor and it already looks like we will have at least a hundred or so people attending the conference. Dr. Stack has been busy getting his powerpoint ready for the 3 ½ hours he will be speaking. I only get an hour since I am more of the new kid on the block, but I don’t mind. I am just plain honored to speak alongside such an icon in the industry!
One of the things I plan on bringing up in London is that what we do is not very easy because we are dealing with human beings. Let me explain. I deal with patients who have sometimes been in pain for decades and because of their issues, they may not be very easy to deal with. Just yesterday I delivered an appliance for a woman who has been trying to get migraine relief for 25 years. She was irritable, could not sleep, and of course her flights were delayed coming here so she took it out on me. And then there was the mom who was furious with me because her son’s ALF appliances were not delivered correctly from the lab (the lab basically messed up on the design and I was not happy so I did not deliver the devices). Basically – we had to re-scan the teeth. The mother went ballistic on us…turns out they flew 3000 miles to get here. I treat everyone the same whether they live down the street or come here from another country. If the appliances are not right, we redo them, bottom line. Most people appreciate my attention to the details, but not this lady. The funny thing is that I am sure I can help the child, I can probably help the child tremendously, but it’s the management of the mother that would not work. So I gave them back their money and wished them well. I truly hate it when things like this happen, but I understand. The family needed help for their child and wanted it right now. My lab screwup would have delayed them another three weeks. Unfortunately, the lab screwup cost this child the chance to get better. This was what I would call a failure- and I have no idea how to fix it.
I would have to say that 90% of our patients are truly great to work with and I love what I do, but some days it is difficult to handle when I do best, try to be honest and ethical, and it just plain backfires. As they say: “Them’s the breaks”