How Low Can You Go?

Over the past two weeks we’ve been discussing the workplace relations situations revolving around having your dental office team members working as a team and playing as a team.

And I shared with you an incident where two senior team members had deliberately and wilfully gone out of their way to set up a newer team member for failure.

While writing that article, a memory of another unacceptable incident in my office came into my mind.

People can be so mean at times

Here are the details of this other incident:

I had a new addition come to work at my dental office.

She was a very good worker.

She was efficient, systematic and proud of her work.

She was younger than some of my other team members, and because of her heritage, she spoke with an accent and followed a different God to other team members.

She was my dental assistant and was very loyal.

But for some reason, my other team members did not like her.

Now, there was one particular occasion where the newer girl went out of her way to bring cakes and chips and food to work to celebrate the birthdays of two of the other team members.

The newer girl prepared our staff room at the end of the day with a wonderful spread of party food, and invited the birthday girls and all the other team members to stay after work to celebrate these birthdays.

But nobody stayed back.

I felt so disappointed for the newer girl who had gone above and beyond to prepare this wonderful presentation.

The deliberate avoidance of a workplace celebration by the other team members was noticed and mentioned to them as being an inappropriate response in this situation.

I felt embarrassed for those who went out of their way to make the newer girl feel uncomfortable and rejected.

But this sort of stuff happens all the time in dental practices.

Your staff can act very immaturely towards each other and they can also behave and talk inappropriately about the people who pay their wages and salaries…

And that’s the customers, clients and patients of your practice.

Have you ever heard your staff speaking poorly about the “odd” habits and behaviours of different patients?

It’s totally inappropriate.

Even way back in my first job as a shop assistant in a news agency, I was horrified when I heard the owners joking amongst themselves about idiosyncrasies of regular customers of the news agency.

Comments of a derogatory nature are best kept as thoughts [at worst] rather than becoming poor attempts at humour, or gossip.

Those are unacceptable and are inappropriate.


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