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 Here is a poem from my yet unpublished book, Embracing Your Inner Cheerleader.
(Photo Courtesy of Clip Art uthsc.edu)