Dentistry and Ratings in the Black Mirror

I do feel bad about the review I posted about Dr. Camenzuli. I’m not a completely unfeeling asshole. I’d have far preferred not to have written it, and I wouldn’t have had even one of my visits to his office not made me feel as if I were intruding. I kept hoping it would improve. But, as I asked on social media before my last appointment there, “What does my asshole dentist have in store for me today?” I was joking at the time.

He called yesterday morning. He didn’t apologize. He did, of course, offer to chat about it. Thing is: Once I’ve been treated this way so many times, I have no inclination to talk about it any longer.

Mr. William Pate, this is Dr. Camenzuli. I wanted to touch base with you and communicate to you. I believe there’s some—definitely been some miscommunication. And some yes, definitely. [inaudible] not hearing what you’re communicating to me. But, at the same time, there are some things that we’re taking step-by-step, and so far everything’s been –  in my opinion—done well. You’ve one well, you’ve healed well. So I wanted to respond and talk with you because you had [sic] went straight to an online review, and I thought it would be professional to talk to you and to hear from you and to discuss what I’ve done for you, what I’m trying to do for you and revisit our goals.

There was plenty of time to be a professional and not treat me so poorly. I don’t know what would have made me find his message more meaningful. Maybe an apology or some acknowledgement that my experiences with him had been so negative or that, yeah, it was kind of shitty to send me away with a newly broken tooth. But, no.

Last night, we watched the first episode of this season’s Black Mirror. The main character walks around doing mostly what people do today on social media: posting pictures, commenting on and liking others’ posts and hoping to be liked back. Liking, liking and liking[1]. In fact, liking things has become very important in this world — this black mirror to our own. So important that everyone[2] has a rating.The characters use their smartphones to rate (almost) every person with which they interact. Obviously, your rating ultimately earns you a class status.

Not a 3.0 or above? Can’t work here. Sorry, this bus is for 4.5s and over only. What happens when you hit close to zero[3]?

That’s why I hate having reviewed the dentist. Because – more than just rating a business, which is bad enough – you are rating a person and that person’s behavior toward you. Marking it down between one star and five is demeaning. I suppose that’s why I wrote such a long review – to justify myself.

One of his office staff called a little earlier. They’re offering to fix whatever my issue was. Again, like I said above, that time has passed. I’ll likely shorten the review at some point in the future. But I still feel bad about it. I want to say that I don’t want to be a part of the trend of quantifying people in such a barbaric way, yet I am.

Or maybe I will remove it.

[1] I’m bad about “liking” things on Facebook. Oftentimes, I use “Like” as a way to acknowledge I’ve read the comment. If I don’t like the comment, I just won’t “like” it at all.

[2] It’s not just for your Uber driver (or dentist) anymore! Actually, this entry was partially motivated friend’s Facebook post on her Uber driver asking her to give him a five. (Apparently, his ratings were down.) Can you imagine?

[3] Misty and I agreed that we’d try to drive our ratings down as low as possible so people would know we’d been trying.

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