I just broke up with my dentist of over 10 years.
He’s a good dentist — my teeth are in great shape. Plus, he’s got all the latest toys, including an HDTV you can watch while he’s drilling. But over the years, I got more and more turned off by his business practices. (I won’t bore you with the details.) Last night I decided that I was going to call my dentist this morning to cancel my appointment next week, and to ask for a return of the advance fee that I had paid by credit card.
The thought of calling his office to end our relationship sent me into a near panic:
What if he asks me why? How much of a reason is he entitled to? How much of a reason am I prepared to give him? What if he won’t return my advance payment? What if he returns the payment, but charges an administrative fee? What’s going to happen with my dental records? What if he blacklists me with all the other dentists?
But deep down, I knew that the real problem was one that IMHO is fairly common among geeky Asians — in dealing with other people, I’m a doormat. I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t say anything and hopes things will get better by themselves.
Well, to be more precise, I’m a doormat most of the time. Then, when the anger and resentment reaches a certain point, I become a flaming a**hole. I’ve got almost nothing in between.
After all of the anxiety, the call to the dentist’s office turned out to be a non-event. The office assistant who answered the phone said that my advance payment would be returned via credit card. And she didn’t express the slightest bit of curiosity as to why I wanted to change dentists.
I have to confess that I’m experiencing something akin to disappointment. Is it possible that part of me enjoys being a flaming a**hole? I’ll have to get back to you on that one…