Last year I celebrated 30 years in dentistry. I take pride in what my practice has become over those three decades. A large part of that pride is in the teams I have assembled over the years. I have learned that you can only be as good as those around you. In my case, I am often carried by my incredible team. I tell people that I work for 13 awesome women. The truth is I depend on each of them to keep our days running smooth, our time profitable and our environment enjoyable.
I was especially proud and thankful this year when we got to celebrate the fifth employee to reach a 20 year anniversary with our practice. To have 5 employees stay with me for over 20 years is incredibly humbling. The loyalty and dedication of every team member shines through in each patient encounter and every team interaction. I am so very proud of my team!
Now I am on the flip side. One of my 20 year employees is leaving. Jeannette is retiring this week. I hired Jeannette away from my wife’s business (at her suggestion) in the spring of 1995. I already knew Jet at that time, but this gave me the chance to know her better. She became a good friend. Her kids have babysat my kids. We have spent time at her house and even visited her in the Keys where she goes for several months every winter.
The fact that I let her leave for 3-4 months every year still amazes me. It’s a testament to the rest of the team that we can pick up the slack and allow her that time with her retired husband. It’s a testament to Jeannette that she works hard enough that I have continued to take her back every spring. And, it’s a testament to me for being such an incredibly nice guy!
Many employees have left over the years. Some left for better opportunities, some for family reasons, some moved to other places and some left because they couldn’t meet our standards. One left for health reasons and one recently retired because of health issues. This is my first employee to leave just because it was time to hang it up. This makes me feel old, because she is my age!
Jeannette and I have been through many changes, personally and professionally. The practice has grown in terms of space, employees and patients. Jeanette has been there growing with us. Looking back, my memories are mostly about having fun as a team. Sharing the last 20 years with Jet has been an honor and a joy. I appreciate the hard work she has given me as well as her insight and input into changes and growth. I will miss seeing her every week. I’m just going to pretend she is still in the Keys and will return some day.
In the mean time, I have to prepare myself. There may be other friends and co-workers who will get to retire before me.
Thanks for reading,