Surprise: You Are Out of a Job

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Even with hygienists in high demand, practices do close and staff can be caught off guard, so whenever possible, management should show respect and do its best to provide some warning.

I received “the email” last week…and it wasn’t good news. My dental job is ending. Our office is closing September 31 with less than a month’s notice. Is that even legal? I work for a very robust corporation. There has been no offer to move us to another location. Not even a severance package to help us till we find something. We are just speechless!

We had no way of knowing this was going to happen. There was no change in staffing or decline in patients being cared for. But now, we are all jumping as fast as we can to get out of Dodge City. No one wants to be left behind. Every day, I watch my colleagues take calls from recruiters during the workday. Before this announcement, we would be written up for pulling our cell phone out. They were strict about the phone policy. But now it is a free-for-all.

Everyone…but me. I am not rushing. The patients still need us, and my doctor is staying to the bitter end. She is not American and will have trouble transferring her VISA to a new position, so she is trying to earn as much as possible until our doors close. She knows she will be without an income for a while. I made the grown-up decision to stick it out with her. After all, it is about the patients as well as the staff. Right? Remember, they are also casualties being left in the lurch as well.


I can’t begin to tell you how this all feels. So many of us were hired on in the last year and now…we must find new employment. The problem that really irks me is how they notified us. An email? Really? Whatever happened to human compassion? Are they afraid of meeting with staff face-to-face to give us this life changing news? Some of us are so strapped financially that we are living paycheck to paycheck. There is no cushion. We are in survival mode. I can’t judge my friends for jumping ship. They must take care of themselves and their family.

So why stay? Maybe it is denial or wanting to delay the job search again. A recruiter told me how bad the staffing shortage is. She told me that there are tons of jobs for me and that I should go to Facebook and join all the dental groups. I can post that I am looking for a job and what I want. Then, she said the vultures will attack.

I am not trying to bad-mouth the competition, but let’s face it. Rarely on those FB groups do you see someone looking for work. It is always practices posting jobs that no one responds to. I have been watching this for 15 months now. Maybe 3 people moved to Cleveland and were looking for work. That is, it. Yet, no one is telling us how we are in demand. Maybe it is a bad move on my part to trust this recruiter. But I am a gambler at heart. If a shortage is as bad as the say…then I will find something that makes me happy. My mom thinks I am an idiot. But I don’t think I am.

The thing is that I feel betrayed. They had to have known that this could happen. Yet we were never told this. We just kept doing business as usual. I feel bad for the ones who just got hired. Where was the concern for them? We are just cogs in a machine. Somewhere along the way, they forgot to treat us with respect and care about what this would mean to our families. Please hear our voices if you are in management and must make the tough decisions to close a practice. Remember us. This is why I am angry. Wouldn’t you be?

Have you had an experience like this? If so, email me at and share your story.