How I chose my Orthodontist.

As many of you know, I have friendship cards that I like to hand out. As you might remember, on one side, they say “Let’s be friends. Every day is an adventure.”

Often, when I meet someone and give them that token of friendship, they might say “Oh, that’s so cute!”

Yes. Cute is exactly what I was going for. :-/

Adventures really do happen, folks. Let me give you two examples.

On Wednesday, I hopped on the Caltrain and went to the orthodontists in Burlingame. (It’s one of those cities south of San Francisco but still far away from Palo Alto). The dentist looked at my teeth, solemnly told me that I was indeed a candidate for Invisalign, and plopped me not a very nice room with the receptionist to talk logistics.

“Hey,” I said. “This place is kind of in the middle of nowhere for me. And I don’t have a car. What’s a way of getting enough work done here to be polite and say thank you, but get the bulk of my visits and treatment from a dentist who lives near my new pad?”

Cathy (that was her name) then launched into a quiet and impassioned speech about how great Dr. Lee is, how he really cares for his patients, how their practice charges sliding scale fees for those that can afford them, and how the old orthodontist waited years for someone worth to take over his practice.

“Okay! On the strength of your recommendation, I’m convinced!”

Cathy walks away. Comes back. “Okay, you have to go to the lab. Bad news is they’re closing in 30 minutes, and they say they’ll only take you if you show up in the next 10 minutes. I know you don’t want to make an extra trip some other day, and it’ll take too long for you to get a taxi. So here are keys to my car. Drive to the lab, get x-rays, then drive back and we’ll take molds of your teeth. It’s fully insured, so don’t worry, just go!” :-)

Story 2: I’m moving soon, and worried about how I might move all my stuff, etc. (Thanks Derek Friend, Alexander Micklewright, and Sam Peters for volunteering to help!)

There’s a team at my work who help with this sort of thing. So I asked their advice. Izzy says: “well, here’s a nonprofit that will get you movers from people who need the work.”


“But you need a truck. You can rent a uhaul here for $X. Or just borrow my pickup, man. I’ll charge a nominal fee.”

What a world. People just trust me with their cars, I suppose. I wonder why.

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