Walk a mile in the wifes shoes

I am a dental hygienist with 20 years` experience in private practice - 11 years in practice with my dentist-husband. I have always asked my husband to treat me as any other employee, and this has sometimes been difficult for him as he tends to expect more from me. Yes, I am the employee who scrubs mud from the carpet on my hands and knees, cleans fingerprints from windows and mirrors, cuts dead leaves off of plants, makes the phone calls to insurance companies about the difficult claim rejectio

May 1st, 1998

Dear RDH:

I am a dental hygienist with 20 years` experience in private practice - 11 years in practice with my dentist-husband. I have always asked my husband to treat me as any other employee, and this has sometimes been difficult for him as he tends to expect more from me. Yes, I am the employee who scrubs mud from the carpet on my hands and knees, cleans fingerprints from windows and mirrors, cuts dead leaves off of plants, makes the phone calls to insurance companies about the difficult claim rejections, sat through a tax audit, worried about how we would make a $3,000- a-month mortgage payment in those early years, not to mention the work, as well as take home payroll, taxes, supply orders, and letters to patients.

We have always had a wonderful staff of employees, but they are still just employees. No matter how dedicated they are to their job, it is just a job. After reading the responses about wives in the office, I can only say I`m glad my husband has expected more from me because I would not want to be any of the disgruntled employees who responded. They will never know the worry, headache, or pride in being a business owner.

I also take offense with RDH for your presentation of the responses. "Hard-Hearted Woman," "The Bitch is Back," and "Witchy Woman" titles above the responses only seem to fuel the fire. Granted, there may be some wives who really have no place in the office, but do not judge me until you have walked a mile in my shoes.

Sarah Blake, RDH, BS

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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