I just got a terrible google review. One star. Complaining about my customer service. How terrible my staff was to her. And how awfully she was treated. And Google won’t remove the review. My lawyer says it’s not worth the aggravation to send her a letter to remove it. I emailed asking her to remove it; let’s talk, I said. But no, Karen won’t budge. And the best part: she is not even a patient. She tried to be one, but when asked to fill out forms, she refused, threw a fit, and filled out a completely bulls$%t review. Nothing I can do about it.

Karen is out there. Most of you have met her. No matter how good you are, or how thorough you are, or how kind you are. If you don’t give it away for free or are not willing to do whatever they want, even if illegal, they are there. My teenage daughter says that the kids call these people “Karen”. Karen is the one that bitches when asked to wear a mask when it’s mandated, throws a fit when the poor minimum wage cashier doesn’t know the code for some item she picked off the shelf, and well, files a crappy google review when all you did was try to manage the best you can through the changes during COVID.

So what do you do? Well, I was going to sue her for defamation. My lawyer, after reviewing all the emails back and forth said I had a solid case. Or I could just let it go. I value my reputation and my self-worth too much. Or I could reply to the review with as much detail as possible. I did. Still, something wasn’t right. And then two days later, she sends me an email. “An olive branch” she calls it, wanting to come back to my practice as a patient and will take the review off if…. If what??? Doesn’t even matter. People like that exist. When they don’t get what they want, they freak out, blame, throw temper tantrums, do a ton of damage, then, when the dust settles and they realize they want you or need you, they give you an ultimatum. If this then that. How do you feel when your relationship is a transaction? Not very good. Especially when you know this person will turn around and f$%k you later on when they don’t get their way again.

So I didn’t reply. I allowed the review to stay because ultimately, the review, one bad one among 50 great ones, is easier to swallow than being “married” to a Karen. Sometimes, we just have to let it go. We have to swallow what’s happening because, for some reason, nobody has any empathy for dentists. Between our non-dental friends, our patients who think we are rolling in money, and our governing body who just never ever sees how hard we try to help people and it still bites us in the a$$. Sometimes, nobody has our back. Sometimes, we have to realize that we are utterly alone.

And then we search a simple keyword and come to a place called “Why I hate being a dentist” and read about the stories that we can relate to. And then, for a brief moment, we are no longer so utterly alone. And maybe, just maybe, we don’t hate being a dentist as much anymore.