Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Baby-Handed Hygienist BLOW OFF

I was referred to my dentist by a co-worker who told me that Dr. L was a great dentist.  She told me I had to be sure on my visit to check out two things: the albino frog in the tank in the waiting room; and Barry, the hygienist with the softest hands she’s ever felt.  On my first visit, I check out the frog while I wait for my cleaning (creepy) and then I meet Barry (creepier).  My co-worker did not exaggerate.  Barry had the softest hands of any adult I had ever met.  I never felt hands so soft on anyone over the age of 1 year.  I remarked on it, and we had a laugh.  Yes, everyone tells him that.  No, he doesn’t do anything in particular to keep them that soft.  They are just naturally that way.

During my cleaning, Barry praises my dental hygiene.  I pull a pack of floss out of my pocket to prove to him that I do indeed have floss on me at all times.  He tells me I’m the perfect woman.  I laugh it off, awkwardly, as he’s in the middle of cleaning my teeth and I also don’t really want any non-dental compliments from Barry.

Once the cleaning is done and Dr. L examines me and I am at reception checking out, Barry comes up to me and asks if I’d like to go get a cup of coffee.  Ugh.  No.  I so don’t want to go get a cup of coffee with Barry and his freakishly soft hands.  But this is awkward.  I thought I was in a safe zone, where I could touch a man’s hands and show him my floss and not have him read anything more into it.  But there he is, eagerly smiling at me, and I relent.  My office is only two blocks away, and there is a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on the block between Dr. L’s office and mine.  Barry asks how he can get in touch with me.  You have my number, don’t you? I reply.  He offers me a freakishly soft hand to shake and I depart.

Sure enough, the following day Barry calls me.  How about that coffee?  He wants to know.  Oh yeah, well I’m pretty busy this week but next week we can go to the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf down the block one morning.  But Barry has another idea.  He wants to take me to a different coffee place, one a few miles away that has a fire pit and outdoor seating.  Oh no, I tell him.  I don’t go west of the 405.  The one down the block is much better for me.  OK, he says.  He can’t go in the mornings because he has to work and I can’t go after work because I don’t want to.  I end it all with a “I’ll call you when I get less busy” line and that’s that.  Blow off complete.

But I started to stew a bit afterwards.  How unprofessional of him to put me in that position, I think.  Did he really interpret my fascination at his freakishly soft hands as some sort of come-on?  He was in the same category as the albino frog, couldn’t he see that?  And what would Dr. L say?  She undoubtedly wouldn’t appreciate him chasing off the clientele.  I liked Dr. L, she accepted my insurance and her office was extremely conveniently located.  I didn’t want Barry putting those baby soft hands on me or in my mouth ever again, damn him!  Solution: I called Dr. L’s office and asked that from now on, Barry not perform my cleanings.  No problem, the receptionist said.  She'll put a note in my file.  No questions asked.  I got the feeling she’s heard that request before.

1 comment:

  1. You are brave! I would probably have wimped out and found a different dentist. good for you for not letting creepy baby hands damper your good teeth!

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