March, a call came in from the Monterey Bay Dental Society secretary that a doctor was looking to sell due to health problems. We had looked at two practices in Monterey a few months back but both just weren't the right fit. We were kind of on the fence about going up there to investigate it. Mainly because I was OVER it. Eric did anyway. Turns out the doc was recently diagnosed with liver cancer and needed to find a buyer pretty quick. Eric met with the doc and the broker all while suffering from the flu. He had to add an extra day to his hotel reservation because he was too sick to drive. Oh and the practice was solid. Uh oh.
A week or so later we drove the kids up to see for ourselves. A week or so after that we were securing funding. A week or so after that we were negotiating the purchase price. And a few weeks after that we were in escrow. All of this happened by the first week in April. Unfortunately, we were on the doctors closing schedule because he needed to start cancer treatments ASAP. This meant that Eric would need to commute for a couple months until the kids finished school. So, it left us with a couple weeks to secure a place to live and get partially moved in. We started boxing up the things that could sustain Eric until we all got to town. Eric and I took a trip up to look at rentals. The search was frustrating. We wanted to live in Carmel because of the schools and the ward. However, Carmel is filled with a multitude of vacation rentals but only a few long term rentals. Our search turned then to Pacific Grove, the town between Monterey and Carmel. We found an amazing house close to the beach and our search ended.
The week of our move to get us to Eric's first day, May 2nd, started on Monday, April 25th. Eric was in town to meet his new staff and sign on the dotted line. The staff seemed solid. They were all comfortable (or so they made it seem) with Eric and excited for him to start. They were definitely in shock about Dr. Sato's diagnosis. Wednesday, April 27th, I turned 34 and picked up a moving truck. Thursday the 28th, we packed up the truck with our stuff from Grandma Bishop's garage, etc. Friday, Ethan's baseball game at Tijeras Creek, under the lights. Walking to the field Eric gets an email. An email. Dear Dr. Brown, blah blah blah, I am truly sorry, blah blah blah, have decided not to make the transition with you, blah blah blah, I have worked for Dr. Sato for 20 years and have decided to retire as well, blah blah blah, I wish you the best of luck. BLAH BLAH FREAKING BLAH.
INSERT PANIC HERE.
20 years the front office manager had worked for Dr. Sato. You can't buy that kind of security, knowledge, or patient familiarity. Ummmm.... stress. Saturday, we hit the road with Ed and Diane in tow. Molly and KC were already in Monterey hanging out with some friends so they came over to help us unpack the truck. It was a sunny day in Pacific Grove, and it was appreciated. Eric was quiet throughout the unloading. I think we were all a little freaked.
Sunday, May 1st we unpacked boxes, ran errands, and checked out the office. 2:00pm, a second email. Dear Dr. Brown, blah blah blah, my shoulder has really been starting to bother me, blah blah blah, I think I might take this time to go back to school, blah blah blah, therefore, I won't be seeing you TOMORROW. BLAH BLAH FREAKING BLAH.
PASS THE XANAX
Wow. That's half the staff. Via email. Eric starts in 16 hours. PANIC ATTACK.
Solution: Ed and Diane take the kids home Monday morning and I stay and work the office with Eric. Not ideal but we'll make it work. We placed two ads on Craigslist for an assistant and a front office manager. Luckily, the hygienist and second assistant stayed on. So we showed up bright and early Monday morning for Eric's first day. What a surreal ordeal. Not only were we short handed, sick to our stomachs, and totally unaware of the office systems, but Eric had to walk into every room and greet unknowing patients. Because the sale happened so quickly a lot of the scheduled patients had no idea they were showing up to see a different doctor so Eric had to explain the situation to every patient he treated, silently hoping they stayed seated in his treatment chair. And wouldn't ya know, he won them over one by one. It was seriously impressive.
The first ten days passed in a blur. Our hiring efforts were thwarted with idiot, flaky people who followed suit with the first two office quitters by sending Eric text messages at the last minute - quitting before they even started. Each time it brought me back to the office and away from my boys. It killed me because our problems created problems for our amazing family members that pitched in and picked up the slack for us. Diane, Ed and Anne were all-stars. Their support and amazing care for the boys is the only thing that got us through this and allowed me to stay with Eric. Not having to worry about if the boys were ok was such a relief. Seriously, so lucky.
By the last week in May we had filled both positions with people we were excited about. We didn't settle. They were set to start in June, and this time, we had a guarantee that they, under no circumstances, would bail at the last minute!! What's most telling about the staff that bailed on Eric in the beginning is that they tried to claim unemployment. They tried to claim that they had been fired by Dr. Sato (which technically is sort of true) and that they had no job to come back to because he was retiring. Such a load of crap. Dr. Sato fought the claims - in between his chemo treatments no less - and he won. Awesome. In the end, even after all the stress and uncertainty that they caused us, I can honestly say I am so glad that they didn't come back to work for Eric. It would have been a disaster with them running his office. And I can only say that because I worked it for a month and witnessed the crazy.
Quickly, a little too quickly if you ask me, Ethan's school year came to a close. This meant it was time for another moving truck, more packing, and lots of goodbyes. Ethan finished school on a Thursday and we left RSM the next day around 1pm. Can you tell how anxious Eric was for us to get up there and keep him company? We pulled in around the boys bedtime on Friday and decided to tackle the truck the next day. What a relief it was when six elder's quorum members show up and did all the unloading for us!! I was on the verge of tears I was so happy that Eric and I didn't have to do it all ourselves. It was amazing how quickly they had everything off the truck and ready for me to unpack. Cortney drove over from Fresno the next day to help out. Surprisingly, we got a lot accomplished! For the most part we are pretty settled. We've had visitors every weekend since we've been here and have more to come this weekend. We love it! The boys look forward to it all week. I still drive around town thinking I am on vacation. It hasn't sunk in yet that I live in Monterey. As in, I changed my address and everything. So weird. Seriously, so weird.