Once I arrive in front of the location of the first of typically 6-10 offices, it's a task trying to find parking. In Queens you have to be especially mindful of the parking rules, regulations and signs. Them mofo's out there are watching!!!! In Brooklyn, there is lots of free parking but it's usually occupied. In Manhattan, you have to make sure you have money for a garage just in case and on Long Island well it's relatively easy to park. On the hard to find a spot days, I can find myself driving around and around for 30 minutes, when this happen I tend to give up and go to the next office. If i'm lucky enough to get a spot, I'll park pull out fliers from my trusty file bin along with some samples and make my way into the office. Usually before I open the door or when I ring the bell, I say a quick prayer of strength. Good or bad, I always need extra strength.
Day in and day out i'm confronted by front office personnel who recoil at the site of me. There are some who before I can utter a hello, proclaim "the doctors busy". The thing that many don't realize is that I don't always need to see the doctor. Sometimes, I actually come there to see them or others employees. But, in those moments they don't care and it makes me wish I never entered the practice. Not all personnel treat me that way. Some are actually very inviting and say hello as well as ask about my well being. Some offer to get the doctor without me even having to ask. Some even realize that my goal isn't always to sell them something, but to show them and the doctor how the practice can be run more efficiently and produce more revenue.
The days that I get to see the doctor can be great and at times stressful. I've been in practices where the Dr never addresses me but proceeds to spurt out all of the problems that my company is causing him or her. I've been in offices where the doctor has kicked me out without allowing me to introduce myself all because an order someone else did went wrong 5 years ago or they didn't like that they had to pay freight for something when they were assigned to someone else. It's funny because most people don't go into the supermarket and yell at the cashier because the price of eggs and milk went up. Most people don't yell at the Target personnel over the fact that they aren't offering the same discount as Walmart. Crazy! There are some doctors who are under the impression that the prices being charged by my company are my fault. Many doctors don't even realize I work on commission, drive a beat up 2001 Honda CRV with 264,000 miles (yes 264k), have a part time job, and struggle to make ends meet. Not that any of that matters. I just think that the perception doesn't match reality and it's unfortunate for them and for me. When I get to have face time with the Dr which isn't as often as my company expects of their employees, my goal is always to uncover ways that we can be helpful in growing their practice. I really don't make any money off of selling them toothpaste and cotton rolls. And ordering 2-5k from me a year doesn't equal you buying all of your supplies from me. My supervisors want me to educate the Dr on insurance coding, equipment and technology advances, business practices and the like. Unfortunately many of the Drs see Willie Loman on my forehead.
Between offices, it's pretty much the same routine. By 2pm, I need a nap haha. Driving home, especially on the highways, can be brutal. Sitting for hours on end trying to get home takes a lot out of you. There have been days where a 40 minute drive took 3 hours. If the commute is looking bad I pull over around 3:30 to check emails and enter in orders to ensure offices will get them the next day. Sometimes, I'll stop at Starbucks and treat myself to chocolate milk on ice. Anything I can do to get comfortable in my car, I'm willing to try. Charlamagne, Mike and Mike, Cowherd, Lupica, Stephen A. and Ryan and Don and Michael have become the friends in my head. I swear, I know more about sports and entertainment gossip than I thought could ever be possible. I mean I've been watching the Rangers playoff run for goodness sake.
So yeah life on the road can be very lonely. Thankfully, I have my mom who from time to time will stay on the phone with me on when I have a long commute home and start feeling drowsy. Her telling me about her day and what's going on keeps me awake. Thankfully, I chat trhoughout the day with my best friend who happens to also be my co worker. Bouncing ideas off of one another as well as talking about things not pertaining to dental keeps me sane. Thankfully, I have some offices who I enjoy visiting and make me feel welcomed when I arrive. Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking for a red carpet. A simple hello how are you is a gift to a dental rep who spends the majority of their day confined to their car. If you're a hygienist, office manager, receptionist, assistant, doctor, billing personnel, whomever maybe take a moment to think before you dismiss that sales rep. We, us, me have a job to do too and honestly what's 1-5 minutes of your time? Just saying!!