Ask for what you want

One character quality of a successful person is the ability to ask for what you want. I had an opportunity to do this earlier this summer when I went to my dentist.

I really like the dentist I go to, but I previously had a bad experience with one of the dental hygienists there a couple years ago, and then again this past summer.

The incident a couple years ago happened when a certain hygienist was injecting Novocaine into my mouth so I could get a crown. She was really aggressive with the needle, and when I said something about it, she said “Oh, you’re just sensitive.” I said “No…three other people in this office have done this procedure without hurting me, and YOU are hurting me.” Then I was shocked to hear her ask, “So do you want me to STOP?” I said “Well, no, because I need this.” Her attitude was really sarcastic and completely unprofessional. When the appointment was over, I expressed a preference to never have this person work on me again.

This request was honored until this past summer. While I was waiting in the lobby and saw her appear through the door, I was not happy. In fact, I was surprised she still had a job there. The experience was generally unpleasant, and was capped off with an argument over when my next appointment was going to be. She wanted to book me for 4 months from that day. I told her I didn’t have insurance, so I preferred to wait until January. Then she tried to hard-sell me on why I needed the appointment sooner. Again, I told her I wanted to wait because I didn’t have insurance. Then she wanted to argue about what day and time she wanted me to come back.

At the end of the appointment, I told the front desk staff that I was upset that I had this girl work with me instead of my regular hygienist, and I described both of my bad experiences in detail. I said if I have to work with this girl again, I would stop coming to this dental office. The lady at the front desk promised I would have my regular person from that point forward, and if anything came up they would re-book me to a time when she was available. I was very impressed.

I share this simply because as professionals we should both render and receive quality service. If someone doesn’t give you what you want, then someone else certainly will. Many people would just walk away and not have the courage to share their bad experience, and be afraid to ask for what they really want.

Don’t be that person. Facing an uncomfortable situation will only make you a stronger person.

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