Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Since three weeks it was repeating. I could no longer contain my feelings. Tried to teach, tried to do it myself, tried to explain and tried patience. It did not work. If you are wondering what it is, it was my ordeal with my dental assistant.

My patients and I would be waiting long for her to set up the instruments and set right the things needed her to. After beginning work, I had to constantly ask her for missing instruments. She would search and search in spite of clear instructions to organize. During tooth colored fillings, where there has to be utmost moisture control there would be a pool of saliva. She would be standing there suctioning air and looking somewhere. I had to take a deep breath and redo the whole thing.

Whenever cement needed to be mixed, it would make me nervous. I knew disaster was on the way. Cement not be mixed on glass slab was mixed right on it! I had to abandon my patient and remove my gloves to do the needful. If she by chance mixed it properly on paper, there would be issue with consistency of the cement.

Shooting an x-ray, tell me about it. She would stand there forgetting to switch the button on. After few seconds, I would ask what happened. She would calmly go and switch on the button. Sometimes it looked like she wanted to drive me crazy purposefully. My work was suffering. I could no longer compromise on my work. Quality was essential essence of my dentistry.

Enough was enough! After the patient walked out, I called her. I addressed her to not work in the dental department anymore. She was a nurse and she was best working in the medical department. She looked at me and asked ‘Why madam?’

I told that it was getting difficult for me. To my irritation she told, the other had no problem.

‘Please speak to the director that this job is difficult for you to learn. She nodded and walked out. After few minutes she came inside and asked whether I can speak to the director. I said 'I will come in few minutes.' After a while I went there, she was standing there outside the director’s room with tears in her eyes. What a strategy to make me a victim I thought to myself. We went in and the director asked, yes doctor? I was still thinking what to say. I spoke “Sir, please let the other assistants work for me.” From the corner of the eye I saw her shedding tears. The director eyes were looking at her with full sympathy and when he looked at me, he spoke. “She can always learn, teach her.” I blurted out ‘I tried to teach her, she makes no efforts to grasp it.’ Oops I was blunt. The director paused and said he will look into it. We walked out. As I turned my back and started walking, I could hear other nurse ‘Don’t cry, it’s going to be fine’

I walked into my room exasperated. That evening after work I did not see her. Next day she had taken leave. The day after I saw her in the reception, she pretended not to see me. Normally it would be a good morning wish from her. God alone knows what she has spoken to other nurses they started behaving strangely with me. It was a little tense environment at work. I concluded that failure was taken in the most negative way.

My mind strangely connected me with a similar memory during my school years. I had failed in my regional language paper consecutively twice in my monthly tests. The teacher had walked up to me and spoke to me sternly, ‘If you continue like this, this red mark will be there in your final exam and that means you have say bye to your classmates. I returned home and showed it to my father, second red mark with the saddest face on planet earth. I dared not show it to my mother.

My father looked at me and the marks card. He spoke seriously ‘Oho, why you failed? This is not good, next time onwards this should not happen. We both will make chits for you.’   I smiled and then we both burst into laughter. It lit up my face and failure had vanished. My father had the beautiful gift of humor. He told me to work hard next time and it was not the end of the world.

I decided to work on it everyday, asked for help from friends, took tuitions. After the next result came, I had passed. The month after I was doing well and another month passed. Voila! I had scored second highest in the subject. I remember the moment when the teacher made my classmates applaud at me for my achievement. It was a special moment and it made me feel special. It was for the first time that made me realize, that failure can be changed.

We all know failure is tough. It is hard on our self esteem and self confidence. A point where we feel most vulnerable and sad. Biggest failures in life can be huge financial losses in businesses, Marriages ending in divorces, Rejection from the person you love, Failing in examinations and losing job.
Nobody is immune to it! Nobody can escape it. It is inevitable part of our lives. Below are the seven steps to help an individual cope better with it.
  1. Remain calm- Emotions can be over powering. Don’t get angry or pull yourself down into depression. Don’t compare yourself with somebody else. It is very important to accept the situation as real rather than fighting hard. No point dragging yourself down. If you don’t keep yourself down a long time, nobody else will.
  2. Humor- The ability to laugh at oneself and appreciate humor can have good psychological effect on the body. Laugh and make others laugh. Studies have proven that if they worked for someone who is humor oriented, they have greater job satisfaction.
  3. Building Resilience- It is not about being blindly positive but being realistically optimist. Pick the little opportunities for growth and learning. Avoid focus on hassles and complaints. Take criticism to build what you lack.
  4. Planning- Sit down in a calm place and write down what was the reason? How can you improve? What choices I need to make? Do I need to try it again? If yes, put every ounce of passion and determination to succeed. Plan what strategies and steps need to be taken.
  5. Motivate yourself- Stay with positive people, people who care for you. Don’t care about negative people. The people who really care about you will not say hurtful things to you, especially aimed at your failure.
  6. Quit- yes! Quit! It is not losing. If it is not working after your 100 percent, then quit. Sometimes we have to quit to find something better. No need to be perfect, some goals turn out to be unrealistic. Sometimes it is not your fault, the team may be responsible, your partner may be the one or your friend did not co operate.
  7. Move on- Forgive, forget and move on. Learn from your experience and please share it with others, so that somebody in a similar situation can avoid the mistake you made.
Failure is just a judgment of an event, someone has said. It is just the way you analyze the situation. In a society obsessed with success, failing can be testing and made into a big issue. We just have to realize that failure is a big teacher about will power, persistence and about valuing hardwork. I would like to end my post by quoting Winston Churchill- Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.

So dear friends lets not fail- let us learn!

Much love, until next time keep smiling