How do you treat your dentist?
With Suspicion? Fear? Anger?
I can’t say I have a great relationship with my dentist. I think I am a dental conspiracy theorist.
I only go and see him when my teeth hurt. Or when one of them breaks. Or I get some painful infection.
So, it is usually an emergency and I’m in a bad mood. I’m in pain and I have to pay way more than I want. Also, I get a few lectures from the hygienist and the dental assistant whenever I’m there… “you need to floss and brush more. You don’t come in for cleaning often enough.” Ya, ya. I know. But I’m fine.
My dentist tells me I should be proactive. The more I take care of my teeth in advance, the fewer emergencies I’ll have. Catch issues early and prevent larger problems, larger bills, larger pain.
I usually ignore him and do what I’ve always done.
So, about a month ago, while eating a hearty breakfast (a trail-mix bar) I noticed a tooth that felt a bit strange. A chunk of granola was stuck between my teeth, I was sure. A quick inspection with my tongue revealed a sharp edge, a big gap, and a shiver of pain. Crap…
As the dentist told me I needed a crown, I was also reminded I hadn’t been in for a checkup and cleaning for over 3 years. Ya, so…?
I do admit my teeth are pretty important. I use them all day every day. I need them to eat…and thus to stay alive. I like the way I look when I have all my teeth… and they even help me speak properly. When they hurt, my whole day is ruined.
So why do I neglect them?
Because I am dumb. And because I think the dentist is trying to get me to floss and brush because these just cause more problems and then I have to go see him more and pay more. Yes, I’m a dental conspiracy theorist.
That being said…I got a crown, I had a cleaning completed, I’m brushing and flossing regularly, and I have an appointment scheduled to start taking care of my 5 new cavities. And I am going to keep up with my appointments. I’m getting old and so are my teeth. I know I need preventative maintenance in order to reduce future pain and inconvenience. Life is better when my teeth work and I have to think about them each time I bite into my meal.
Does this sound anything like your teeth and your relationship with your dentist?
What now if I flip this around and say – is this how you also treat your computer systems in your business?
Over the past 5 years in IT and network management, I have observed the following: many business owners love their technology, just like I love my teeth. But they don’t see the value of preventative maintenance. They wait until there is pain, an infection, a break. Then they run around screaming and get it fixed. After a few days of pain, things are “back to normal” and life goes on. Eventually, the cycle repeats itself. These issues generally get more regular, more painful, and come with more and more expense as systems get older.
But, just like teeth, life is so much better when business computer systems just work and staff can go about their business. They don’t have to cringe every time they turn on the system or try to open a file. Things feel better, look better, sound better. But owners and managers need to be willing to put the resources into prevention. Just like good healthy teeth don’t “just happen”, neither do solid reliable computer systems.
We put all sorts of food and beverages, sugar and nuts, salts and acids, into our mouths each day. We also have all sorts of corrosive materials touching our computer systems each day. Does your business have a plan to keep your systems cleaned, monitored, and strengthened? Are you willing to spend the time and money on prevention?
Understandably, this conversation is about as exciting to business owners and managers as my dentist talking to me about my flossing and check-up routine. But as he plunges his needle into my gums to inject freezing and numb my pain, I know he is right.
So, I am going to improve my dental maintenance, start trusting my dentist a little more, and spend the necessary time/money to keep my teeth working. I want to reduce broken tooth emergencies and reduce my pain. I have another appointment scheduled for next week. Oh, and I’ll also stop reading all those dental conspiracy blogs.
If you have experienced similar dental pains as me, I encourage you to talk to your dentist.
Or if I’ve got you thinking about your business IT strategy (and/or pain), call Bralin and find out how we can help with your computer system hygiene and maintenance.