Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The one about work and teeth

At times I really like my job. Especially when there is a problem and I have to research the product history to fix it. It might be my favorite part of my work. However, this rarely happens. Instead, I am given a lot of busy work, most of it totally useless and I suspect invented to keep me busy. My boss knows I don't have enough to do, and comes up with vague future projects and/or trips, her carrot to my mule. Is this to keep me there? I'm not sure. She can be the biggest flake sometimes. She's very young to be a manager (way older than me, but still relatively young), and at times I am think she might be just trying to keep her head above the water without anyone noticing the splashing.

Today's biggest drama was whether or not to create a new database, making three total, or compacting the existing database and adding to it to create one HUGE database. This is the sort of drama that is blown up into huge "problems" and talked about for weeks. I'm not kidding- there's a big meeting scheduled next week just to discuss how it would impact 3 or 4 aspects of the company. Now, don't get me wrong. I understand the concern but really: it's a database. It can be changed back with little effort or confusion. I don't want to be the one to say that to her, it might throw her for a loop.

In other news, I got an estimate for dental work that I don't strictly need yet, but will eventually. When I was 7 years old I went to ride my bike (my mother loves to remind me, without permission) and ended up losing control and flipping slap over the handle bars. I broke my arm (inconsequential) and three of my top front teeth, and since then it has been just one dental fiasco after another. When I was very little it was gold posts and bonding until my mouth stopped growing and they could put a real fix on it. This meant 11 years of carefully biting around apples and carrot sticks and forget anything sticky like Skittles or caramel. The bonding would break every couple of years and I would wander around looking homeless (according to some very kind friends) until the dentist could work me in and mold some new brittle plastic teeth for me. I had my first double root canal at 10 years old to clear the massive abcess that formed over those teeth

Nine years ago my mouth finally got to a point where it could handle crowns. One more root canal, and a lot of aggrevation, and I was ready. They looked good to me, and they've been great ever since. But lately... well, 9 years ago cosmetic whitening was for Hollywood and that was about it. Now it's no big deal to have done. If I get these crowns replaced I want my teeth whitened first (crowns do not respond to whitening procedures, they are what they are and that's the end of it). Of course insurance does not cover whitening.

And apparently since my teeth are perfectly functional and showing no signs of decay or breakage, insurance will not cover having them replaced either, despite a darkening of the gumline and some weird little specs imbedded in the porcelain. The total cost for new crowns alone? $2300!!!!!!! Whitening would be another $500 on top of that! Too bad my money tree hasn't taken root yet and the diamond mine has yet to be discovered.... I just shake my head at the finances sometimes and wonder where the heck I went wrong. Was it not majoring in engineering? Was it not working that one semester of college? Was it the love I have for good (and as a result not very cheap) cooking? Do I have too much stuff? Can I cut back any more? I don't think so! Oh well, maybe by next year the insurance will take pity on me and then my limit will be low enough to actually cover the measly 50% they are kind enough to bestow on me. Yeah, I'm lucky to have insurance, but I'm also bitter at how meager it is.

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