Monday, January 23, 2012

Separation of Church and Dentistry

I went to a new dentist today. This is the third new dentist I've been to in 3 years. I'm such a dentist whore.

Dentist 1: gave a free electronic toothbrush for switching
Dentist 2: gave a $50 gift card to Trader Joe's for switching + they have massage chairs and TVs
Dentist 3: gave a $50 Visa gift card for switching.

I know I'm a dentist whore. Is it my problem that there's a glut of dentists and they have aggressive marketing strategies? Hey, at least I go to the dentist.

Dentist 3 (today) was kind of a different experience.

As soon as I walk in the door, the receptionist announces my name without me saying anything and then says, "I know you!"

Really? I don't know you, and I remember everyone that I interact with. I realized just how awkward it is for the person who doesn't remember in situations like these although I am 99% confident that I don't know her. There is only one other time that I've been on the receiving side of such awkwardness. A girl I know was introducing me to her new boyfriend, and he said that he knew me. I didn't know him, and I was fearful that the girl was thinking that something had gone on between me and him even though I didn't know him. Yeah, it's just awkward when you're on the receiving end of it. I only try to announce my stalker-like tendencies for remembering things from 1987 only after I have re-met the person. No need to be pre-emptively creepy.

Then she asks me what church I go to. Which is kind of awkward because we're at the dentist's office...Anyway, we come to the conclusion that we don't go to the same church (not that I was thinking that's where she knew me from).

I get called to the back relatively quickly. They have a virtual fish tank instead of a real fish tank, which is kind of easier to deal with logistically but, given that they serve kids, I'm not sure kids accept virtual fish tanks as well as adults.

The music station Spirit 105.3 is being funneled through the intercom. It's only taken me 17 years of my 20 years living here to realize that Spirit 105.3 is the local Christian radio station. I don't listen to Christian music. More power to you if you do. But I just don't think Christian radio should be played at a public place. The dental hygienist is nice and chatty. She also asks what church I go to.

2 church inquiries + being forced to listen to Christian music = suspicion

Dental hygienist starts singing along to Christian music.

Dental assistant comes in. Asks me if I'm related to a church pastor with my same last name. We're up to 3 church-related inquiries.

Dentist comes in and asks if I'm related to the same church pastor the dental assistant asked about. Up to 4.

I was there for an hour and a half. I still have to come back for a cleaning. It was x-rays, church-related inquiries, taking my blood pressure (which I've never had done at the dentist's office before), taking measurements, blah blah blah.

The dentist was highly irritating because he called me "honey" at least 20 times. It was so grating on me. I don't know why. No one ever calls me that, and definitely not a guy who was born after 1960.

On the upside, he seemed thorough and did a good job explaining things. Most times the dentist spends 2 minutes with me and the hygienist spends the other 58 minutes.

On the downside, multiple church interrogations + Christian music sing-a-longs + the condescending sounding "honey."

I think I'm going to continue to be a dental whore.

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