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 Here is a poem from my yet unpublished book, Embracing Your Inner Cheerleader.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)
One thought on “My 38th Year in Dentistry and Commentary on Women in the Workforce”
Awesome Joan.. I know so many women that would love the poem especially.. thanks for your writings…