Mark Hartley, Editor
An Amtrak sleeper en route to Buffalo in some wee hour of the morning is my only exposure to Indiana. I remember waking up in South Bend thinking, "Notre Dame is somewhere close to here." That`s it. I went back to sleep. In case I ever show up at your house pretending to be an expert on Hoosiers, don`t buy the smooth talking. But the truth is, I`ve never met anyone from Indiana I didn`t like. Maybe crossing the border into other states turns them into nice folks. The empirical facts also suggest to me that, after almost 43 years on the planet, I can`t recall anyone ever saying anything negative about Indiana. Maybe the rest of us should cross the border into Indiana.
So what`s wrong with Indiana?
I`m looking at the salary survey on pages XX-XX. Salaries and benefits appear to be so-so - not dismal, but, you know, the kind of numbers you stifle a yawn over. This is based on my very kind and generous interpretation of the numbers arriving from Indiana. Yet hygienists in Indiana appear to be as happy as sadomasochists in Anne Rice novels. You`d think Hoosiers are gluttonous for punishment.
Should we cancel all flights to Indiana? No. I`ll keep on believing what I`ve heard through the grapevine all these years: Indiana is a great place to live and work.
Sometimes surveys don`t make sense. Something about the statistics in Indiana indicates a happy-go-lucky environment where it doesn`t seem to fit just right. Go figure.
Here`s another one I don`t understand. Maybe some readers who have enough time to write me a letter or e-mail will help me figure it out. Benefits in the dental hygiene profession appear to be mediocre at best. Understandably, hygienists are lukewarm about saying they are satisfied with the benefits they receive from dental employers.
But I scratch my head when I study the statistics further. Hygienists who work a full 40-hour work week generally get benefits - good benefits too. It`s almost like Ray Liotta`s in the background whispering, "Go to work (more often, say, a few extra hours each day) and the benefits will come." What`s keeping you from putting in the full forty and getting the benefits you desire?
Overall, though, the survey was fun to compile and analyze. I hope you find it to be helpful, as well as entertaining. My thought right now is to not publish a salary survey in 1998. It`s a lot of work to ask readers to fill out the questionnaire that appears in the May issue and send it in to us. We`re not complaining, but it`s a lot of work for us too, sorting through the large volume of responses. My thought is that we`ll do it again in 1999. But if enough readers would like RDH to do it again next year...? Let us know.