Tag Archives: insurance

End of the Dental Drama

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Remember this post, all about how messed up my teeth (supposedly) are?

Well, this week I got all of that sorted out, hurrah!  Thanks to getting back on my dad’s insurance I was able to go see a different dentist.  He was much less pushy/salesman-like.  He basically said that I DON’T need a nightguard because he doesn’t see ANY signs of me wearing my teeth down by grinding, and that getting an electric toothbrush is up to my personal preference.  Take that 2nd opinion, money-grubbing first dentist!!!!  Unfortunately, I did have to get those 3 cavities filled, so I did that yesterday.  But you guys, guess what?  I SURVIVED!!!  It was over an hour in the chair and the 2 novicaine shots were definitely not pleasant but once I was numb I was NUMB, yo.  I actually found it quite amusing how fat and puffy my whole face felt and was able to just focus on how weird it was instead of focusing on them DRILLING my teeth.  Soon enough it was over and you better believe it, I am a lifelong hardcore flosser from  now on!!!!!  Oh, and my dad’s insurance is so much better, I didn’t pay a thing!  Woot!

My face took so long to stop being numb!  I met Zach for lunch and he laughed at my lopsided smile so much.  I looked like a stroke victim.  Also, it is hard to eat sushi when you can’t feel your upper lip.  Thankfully by the time I went to work last night my smile was *almost* normal again.  I think it was still a little droopy but everyone was busy drinking margarita after margarita for Cinco de Mayo that hopefully they didn’t notice.

And hopefully no more cavities ever!!!!

Serving is awesome because…

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I recently started my new job.  I worked two weekends “in training” before getting the go-ahead to give my 2 weeks notice at my receptionist job.  So now I’m in the midst of my last 2 weeks here AND working weekends at my new job.  It’s crazy exhausting but I LOVE my new job and can’t wait to be there full time.  I’m working at Criollo Latin Kitchen as a server.

 

I hate it when people judge me because I’m a college-grad who’s still serving tables.  I got one particularly condescending response from a current co-worker when I told her I was leaving.  Of course she didn’t say it to my face, but to my friend Matt, who in turn told me.  She flat out told him I was “stupid to leave a job with benefits” and should “stay and advance my career.”  Totally sounds like me, right?

So now, I present to you, my list of reasons why I ACTUALLY LOVE restaurant work.

1. Travel is my priority right now.  I don’t want to start a career and get tied down to it.  I don’t want to have a job I will feel particularly bad about leaving if I decide I want to say, go backpack through South America for a year.  Restaurants are used to high employee turnover rates and are usually full of cool people who will encourage my adventures and are often planning their own.  For me right now, work is a means to end to support my travel habit and independent filmmaking, and not much more than that.

2. Tips tips tips.  I can make SO MUCH MORE $$$$ than I can working at a desk job, or even an entry-level film job.  At my old restaurant, Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers, I averaged $20/hr in JUST TIPS on a bad night.  Criollo is going to be even better.  With $30 steaks and $150 bottles of wine on the menu, I’ll hopefully average about $30/hr just tips for dinner shifts.

3. Benefits are not an issue.  Obama’s health care reform included an awesome idea to make parents’ health insurance cover their children until age 26.  So I get to go back on my dad’s health, dental, and vision, and it’s all WAY BETTER than my $3000-deductible insurance from my current job.  Yay Obama-care!!!!!!!

4. Flexible schedule.  I can work different days each week, pick up shifts when I need some extra cash, and request days off whenever I need them.  None of this “you have 10 vacation days a year” nonsense.  If I NEED a few days off, whether I’m getting sick or I’m going to Mexico, I can get a few days off.  I get paid for the days I work and don’t get paid when I don’t. Makes sense to me.

5. No desks!!!!  I HATE sitting at a desk all day!!!  How utterly unhealthy!!!  Of course serving is the exact opposite…you NEVER get to sit down and are running around the restaurant for up to 12 hours a day.  But being active, busy, and up talking to people all day is just so much more fun than sitting at a desk staring at a screen until your eyeballs burn out of your head and you turn into a big fat blob of mashed potatoes.  Ick.  Moving makes the time go faster AND burns more calories.  Hurrah!  Plus, I swear my back hurts more now just from being in the same position all day than any of my muscles ever hurt when I was serving.

6. Learning opportunities.  At Mellow Mushroom I learned all about microbrews and now I can say I really understand and enjoy good beer.  Criolllo is much classier and thus is all about fine wine and liquor.  So now I’m going to get to learn all about that stuff.  And in the interest of “learning” all of Criollo’s servers get to do a mandatory weekly wine tasting.  Hoo-yeah!  Last week we tasted tequilas rather than wine.  Did you know that expensive tequila actually tastes good to sip?  Shocker!

7. Future.  Zach and I definitely have nomadic tendencies.  He now has tons of experience as an electrician and I have tons as a server.  With these skills we can find jobs anywhere.  Criollo is definitely gonna class me up and hopefully after this I’ll be able to find work as a fine-dining server or bartender.  Mucho peso, baby.  Plus, I could see myself being happy as a restaurant manager if it was at a cool place like Criollo.  And Zach and I have been known to dream about “our bar on the beach” in some expat-friendly area of some developing country.  So I AM developing skills for my future.  And that future, hopefully, will never involve a boring desk job again.

What do you think?  Am I extremely naive and shortsighted?  Or can you see where I’m coming from?

TMI about my teeth

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I really want to cry right now.  I just had the worst dentist appointment of my LIFE.  I seriously feel like this is some sort of cruel joke because everything I just got told came out of NOWHERE!!!!

I have a real job with benefits (even though I hate it and am quitting in two weeks).   So yeah, I figured “I’ve got insurance, I’m’a go to the dentist to get my teeth nice and purrdy!”  It’s been exactly a year since I had my post-Peace Corps dental check and x-rays.  Everything was declared “a-ok, lookin’ good” at that time.  And I’ve NEVER had a cavity in my life.  Ever.  So I went to a new dentist in Flagstaff today just expecting a routine cleaning and to ask about a possible retainer for a teeeeeny little overlap two teeth are doing.

Oh boy, was I unprepared for what was coming.  I got x-rays done and then immediately got worried when the dentist looked at them and started telling the hygenist to take notes of all these dental mumbojumbo things.  Dr. Happyface then gleefully translated to me that I have THREE cavities.  The jig is up.  Effffffff.

But that’s just the beginning.  He proceeded to stab all my teeth with the poker thing in order to reveal that I now have sensitivity problems and I need to start brushing with Sensodyne and using flouride mouthwash.  Cha-ching.  I’m sure that stuff’s not twice the price of Crest or anything.

Oh, and the nighttime teethgrinding I’ve been known to do but never had result in any problems?  It’s definitely worn down my teeth and he “highly recommends” a nightguard.  Of course, this costs $400 and my insurance won’t pay for it.  But it will save me bazillions down the road so it’s totally worth it, he assures me.

Oh, that little overlap?  I could maybe get Invisalign but I also have some issues with my molars aligning so I should probably just get braces again.  Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  WTF was all that orthodontia I had as a kid worth if everything is coming to this??????

Of course that’s not the end.  The hygenist proceeds to measure my “gum pockets” and of course those are also all effed up also.  I definitely need to start using a Sonicare electric toothbrush to prevent further problems.  “How much are those?”  I ask warily, defeat in my voice.  “Oh, about $120.  But it’s totally worth it.  Most people who switch to them never go back.”  Yeah, buddy, that’s awesome.  I definitely want to cart an electric toothbrush around the world with me on all my life’s adventures.  And she proceeds to give me the same lecture and demonstration about how to floss they give you every freakin’ time that makes you feel like a two year old or like you’re wearing a “World’s Worst Flosser” t-shirt.  Except this time it’s even worse because I can almost read her thoughts as she judges that obviously all the dental debacles I am having are due to my own hygenic negligence.  I want to yell at her “I lived in Africa for a year and came back with no teeth problems whatsoever so all this junk going on now is not my fault!”

Good God, can I just get out of this place?  I was already half an hour late getting back to work.  (I *thought* I could easily fit this appointment into my lunch break, judging based on all my previous easy-peasy dental checkups.)  I was already holding back tears, voice wavering, as I stopped at the front to schedule my fillings.  I told Judgemental Hygenist I had never had fillings before, thankyouvermuch, so could she please explain what all was entailed/could I go to work after/what drugs would they give me (aka PLEASEEEEEE say you’ll give me laughing gas or knock me out or something cause I HATE PAIN!!!!!)?  No dice.  All I got the pleasure of scheduling for next Wednesday was a time to come in to get a novacaine shot in my mouth (probably two because the three cavities are spread on both sides) and then AN HOUR AND HALF of torture.  Omg.  I seriously wanted to cry.  And the kicker?  I asked if my insurance would cover all of this, seeing as it is supposedly medically neccessary , and of course I have a deductible and sliding scale and all that crap.  So what do I get to PAY for an hour and a half of torture?  $150.  Thanks for that final slap in the face, receptionist.  Thanks a billion.

Seriously guys, I’m horrified.  I do not understand at all how I went from having totally fine teeth to having this grab-bag of problems in ONLY ONE YEAR!!!  WTF???  It either makes me think that my Ohio dentist was a total slacker, or that this dentist is a golddigging torturous monster.  (Which does not seem like it should be possible since he is actually really attractive.)  So what should I do???  I’m seriously terrified to get these fillings and I CAN’T AFFORD all this other crap!  My day just went from happy to crappy.

Has anyone who’s had fillings tell me it’s not that bad????  Or is it really that bad??