My 38th Year in Dentistry and Commentary on Women in the Workforce

Please note that the following is an opinion of this author, and does not mean that the entire profession treats it’s employees this way. Thank you.

Valentine’s Day marked the 38th anniversary of working in dental offices.  It was a day that went by relatively unnoticed.  I was aware of it, and the thought did nothing to comfort me.

I worked my way up in the dental business.  I applied for a part-time receptionist job in an office in 1974; the dentist made me an assistant the first week that I was there.

It was a school of hard knocks.  I learned to dental assist; I was also the subject of attacks of anger or guilt when things did not go well–and he was an excellent teacher that first dentist boss of mine.  I had low self-esteem so I stayed for 2 1/2 years.

After that I began to glean some self-esteem.  It took many years, and conscious decisions to speak up when unfairly treated.  It was extremely difficult for me, I was shy and did not have good communication skills, but, I never went back to  being that punching bag.

Obviously, my personal life was riddled with self-doubt and low self-esteem, poor skill in communicating in relationships.  I was a mess.  So, these steps that I took toward speaking up helped shape who I became.

Over the years, I have worked in many dental offices.  I have seen the treatment of staff by dentists, and much of it would be considered verbal abuse.  Unfortunately, since dentistry is slow, workers with low self-esteem tend to stay in whatever job they can get, and many of these women are yelled at and criticized daily, told that they are useless, and stupid, and worse.

I am sure that this sort of behavior goes on in a multitude of small businesses across the country, and across the world.  I have a very heavy heart about the way women ave been treated historically, and still are treated this way.

This is a sad commentary on the rights of women.  Many women have worked so hard for us, and we seem to be back-sliding.

Please say a prayer for women, that we may not fail, not give up, and respect ourselves.  Here is  a poem from my yet unpublished book, Embracing Your Inner Cheerleader.



View From Below
What have you done to deserve this?
You say, not expecting an answer
We have all asked this, at one time
Or another, when we are hurt, or
Under attack on some unexpected front
We usually do not see the “blow”, or
Brick falling on our head, until it hits us
Then BAM it strikes us to the heart
And soul of our being, we are floored, pinned
Unable to move and uncertain of what to do
Eventually, we get up and limp along
We try to get that “stiff upper lip” thing
Going on; moving through the motions
Until some sense of normalcy eventually
Creeps in and healing takes place
As women, we need be strong enough
To survive these affronts
We HAVE to, if we want to continue
To grow and compete in this world
And we WILL do it, too!
We will believe and achieve all
That we must do
We will do this together, you and I

Make a promise today to help your sisters
When they are down, raise them up
Raise them up, and believe in them!
And they WILL succeed
You go girls!

(Photo Courtesy of Clip Art

Februay Ramblings and New Guest Interview on The Joan-Zone!

Carolyn Flannery–See Our Guest Interview On The Joan-Zone!

Greetings!  It’s been an interesting couple of weeks.  My husband has been in NC, and Maggie and I are holding down the fort in Florida.  
Since I rarely sleep well when Rob is out of town, I’ve been a little sleep deprived.  As a result of this, I found myself brushing with the dog’s toothbrush the other night.  This was followed by much rinsing with Listerine!  Supposedly dog’s mouths are cleaner than humans and it was Maggies’ brush, after all, so it wasn’t really freaky.

The days have come and gone alternating with work, dog love, and some great girlfriend fun.  I had a visit last weekend from one of my “girl gang” from South Florida.  We had a nice visit, lunch out, followed by a little shopping.

Yesterday I experienced a hematoma in my right foot while I was bathing.  Apparently from the anti-inflammatory medication I’ve been taken and the hot bath water.  So, I am forced to goof off in my recliner with my faithful dog companion!  I guess I can suck it up!

Have a wonderful week!


Mourning Our Youth

I’m Cracking Up!

I read an interesting article recently that I found in the February issue of More Magazine  The author, Emily Listfield,  talked about going through a period of mourning for your lost  youth. Listfield sites the book, Face It: What Women Really Feel As Their Looks Change, by Vivian Diller, PhD.  Diller’s take on letting go of wanting to look young, was you wouldn’t be able to move on and love the person you are now if you are still clinging to your youth.  She may have something there.
When I look at my journey for the last several years, I can see my “youth” slipping away from me as if I am sliding down a snowy slope in slow motion.  Slip by slip the menopause weight piles on–subtle at first, then suddenly you cannot fit into any of your clothes.  On the positive side, I really like having breasts, finally.  But, why do they seem to slip into my armpits and show themselves on my back, really?
The skin is next; it seemed to go renegade on me, starting with lines and creases, then age spots and other interesting growths.  Plus, I get pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions.  My dermatologist and I keep a close watch on my skin.
And don’t get me started on the spider veins, and other exciting blue veins!  I actually had the salt water injections in my legs twice, as I was turning 50.  This unfortunately did nothing.
Also, I’m not bringing up the aches and pains from numerous areas of my body.  I just try to keep it moving!

So how do we get used to the “self” that keeps changing?  I guess since it doesn’t happen quickly we adjust by degrees. I’m not sure that we ever really get over how we once looked in our prime.  Here’s hoping that we have lots of time to figure it out!

Ciao Babies!
Here’s a poem from my first book,  Water Running Downhill!



Here I am

In the middle
Of me

Trying to redefine
My identity
At the precipice of
Midlife, i.e.

I’ve said it
The “M” word
(Sounding the death knell
Of youthfulness, as we know it!)

Enter the curse of middle age
See . . .
Skin sag, lines deepen
Into the antithesis
Of “perky”

Zombies, recite the litany:
“I’m not getting older
I’m getting better”
The Golden Years
(Such rubbish)

Forget that tired rhetoric
News flash!  We are supposed to age
We are not Barbie dolls
We are people
Let’s not fear our natural metamorphosis
May we embrace who we are and
Who we are becoming, with fortitude
We are powerful; we are WOMEN!