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Can you trust anyone these days?

May 4th, 2011 at 04:54 am

A lot of you have heard reports of bank robberies and a rise in petty crime during this recession. But small-time criminals aren't the only ones seeking to enrich themselves at someone else's expense. Sad but true.

Three recent examples:

1. Many, many people, myself included, seem to have a blind faith in the trustfulness of their doctors. But really, people who happen to be physicians surely face the same temptations to increase their income in less than honest ways, if given the opportunity.

My father saw a dermatologist who told him he had a melanoma on his ear. He asked the doctor, is it going to kill me? She said no, so he said, just let it be. The doctor made careful notations in my father's file regarding the location and size of the melanoma.

My father went to another dermatologist and asked that one to look at his ear. They said there was no evidence of any melanoma there.

My father's convinced the first doctor was simply trying to pad her income with an unnecessary surgery.

2. I went to my dentist 6 months ago. The hygienist cleaned my teeth, as per usual, and then the dentist came in to take a look. He noted that I had 2 small cavities in 2 opposing wisdom teeth that would need to be filled. I was upset about that, because I'm not working and don't need another expense.

After he left the room, the hygienist, who I've seen for years, said why don't you spend a little extra time brushing in the area of those 2 cavities and maybe you can get rid of them. Now, look, I always figured a cavity is a cavity, you either have one or you don't. I didn't think that extra brushing after the fact would make any difference, but it is true that all the dentist did was poke around my teeth with that pointed metal instrument, and when they find a sticky spot, it seems they pronounce there's a cavity.

So I took my hygienist's advice and remembered her words every day when I was brushing. Last week, I went back for my next 6-month cleaning and and was anxious to learn whether or not I still had my "cavities." My hygienist say, hey, let's not say anything about the cavities to Dr. so-and-so, let's just see if he notices them again, or not. So after my cleaning, the dentist came in and asked me if i was having any problems, and I said no. Then he looked at my mouth and pronounced that everything was fine. No mention of any cavities!!! What the (*&^^>>>>??????

Either a. The dentist is not very thorough and simply missed something he saw 6 months ago, or b. I never had 2 cavities to begin with! Which do you think it is?

3. The other day i got a call from a recruiter about a possible contract job. As we talked on the phone about it, she asked me how much money I wanted. I said around $40 an hour, and after a delay, I added, maybe $35 an hour. (I didn't want to price myself out of the job.) The recruiter started responding as I finished saying $40 an hour and she said good, that's right in our range, you realize you can't really negotiate the wages since the employer pretty much tells us what they're prepared to pay, etc. This particular recruiter, I must say, comes off very cold and unfriendly on the phone. Ugh.

Remember, the recruiter started to talk after I'd said around $40 an hour, I added "maybe $35 an hour" after a small pause. So in the paperwork, the recruiter put down the pay was $35 an hour...of course....

I'm pretty sure that yes, the employer says what they want to pay, but it's still up to the recruiter how to divvy up that pay between themselves and the employee. So the less they can pay the employee, the more is left for the recruiter. I realize this is business and they need to earn money, but I just got the strong impression throughout this little scenario that the recruiter could care less about me and that they're just trying to maximize their take.

No matter what you're doing in life, it just seems harder and harder to find truly honest people who aren't driven by a willingness to rip off others for their own gain. I mean, it is possible to earn income in an ethical manner, though if you do, you'll never get to the head of the pack, apparently.

The bottom line: Never trust ANYONE to look out for your best interests. That's your responsibility.

6 Responses to “Can you trust anyone these days?”

  1. CampFrugal Says:

    We ended up changing our dentist because he gave me a treatment plan that I thought was kind of bogus. I ended up taking my children to a different dentist (a family member) to get a second opinion without telling him of the first treatment plan. Our treatment plan was less than that of the first dentist.

    When I showed him the treatment plan of the first dentist, he was appalled and said I should file a complaint, because I held the proof in my hands. The first dentist didn't want to give me the treatment plans until I mentioned that it was illegal to keep it from me, so I ended up with them.

    The first dentist also said that both of my children had cavaties behind their front teeth. After the second dentist did an exam and x-rays, he found no cavaties in those area. The first dentist actually showed me x-rays of those cavaties. I am convinced that he was showing me someone elses x-rays to enhance his treatment plan.

    The first dentist just completely renovated his whole building and I believe he has been enhancing, probably everyone's, treatment plans, just to pay for all the new equipment and such.

    I have always found that if you feel something is not right, get a second opinion, or third.

    On the otherhand, it took us going through three specialists to find treatment for my oldest son's colon. The first two completely missed my son's problem and told him there was nothing wrong. The third doctor found my son's problem and has been treating him and my son is getting better every day.

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    I've seen a lot of scammy dentists - so I don't have much high opinion on the profession.

    As far as medical things, I think everyone has a different opinion and a different specialty/experiences. I don't think necessarily the intent is malicious, but who knows. In your father's case, I'd likely get a third opinion. To get two opposite opinions is just confusing. I wouldn't necessarily trust Doctor #2 better just because I liked the diagnosis better.

  3. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Incredible, PatientSaver!

  4. MonkeyMama Says:

    P.S. I think it's good to understand that everyone else is out for a buck and only you can look out for you. This may sound harsh, but I think understanding this makes life so much easier. When you find good/honest people you hang on and appreciate them. They exist - they are just NOT the norm. But when you approach everything with a skeptical eye, you save yourself a lot of heart ache (& money!)

    Interestingly, last I interviewed I Was offered a job. One of the questions on the application was, "What is the least you would accept for salary?" Of course I rounded up when I answered. I lied. & then the employer offered me that amount. & you know what? IT annoyed me. I just thought it was a bad sign to work for someone who would pay you the least they could. & would be OPEN About that. The employer I went with treated me as a much more valuable commodity. I think you can just tell a lot about people in these kind of instances. I went with the employer who clearly seemed more appreciative and willing to pay me a better wage. & that has definitely paid off in the long run with feeling appreciated, paid well, etc. So yeah, that recruiter would just annoy me - no doubt!

  5. Ima saver Says:

    I get references from everyone that my dh builds houses for. In their letters, they all mention how completely honest my husband is. If he builds you for a hour's work, he works the entire hour. No smoke breaks or eating breaks, he just works. I track their money to the penny and treat it like it was my money.
    One customer even said, if he ever had another house built, he would just give us his checkbook and say "build it"!

  6. jewels3 Says:

    I think the medical profession is like any other: you have to use your judgment. Years ago my husband's doctor told him he had sleep apnea and needed to go through a sleep study, when it turned out he was diabetic, and was close to a diabetic coma. How can you totally miss that?

    And a couple of years ago my daughter had a small earring back go into her ear, I had 2 doctors tell me it wasn't in her ear, even though I knew it was (you could feel it in there), and finally doctor #3 got it out.

    This is one thing I'm hesitant about with our move to Florida. We are established with our doctors here, and we trust them. Now we have to do it all over :-(

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