Others wonder how we can work so closely together without killing each other and the truth is: We've been working the same craptastic jobs together our entire lives. Yup, you heard it here first. Team LiLa was actually born one fateful day back in 1996 at Dr. L and G's Dentist Office.
Now, being 15 and 17 and working as receptionists in a dentist office might sound like a really glamorous job, but, sadly, the reality was grim. Dr. L was approximately 85 years old. He didn't wear gloves and he had this weird policy where you had to bring his appointment book into exam rooms with a little note attached when there were dental emergencies. After you stood there for a minute or ten, he'd take whatever instrument was in his hand and gesture vaguely at the appointment book to schedule the patient.
And there were a LOT of emergencies mainly because he was too old to be practicing. Bridges were constantly falling out and root canals almost always required multiple appointments. Laura couldn't sleep for a week when she heard a horror story from the dental assistants (which, no joke, were girls from our high school with zero training) about a patient who had an abscess that popped. She didn't know what an abscess was, but it didn't matter. Something popping in a mouth was horrifying regardless of what it actually might have been. Dr. L's particular brand of dentistry meant that 99% of his patients walked out of the office with one huge, fused-together tooth. Actually two, if you counted the bottom "teeth."
Now, Dr. G was the younger and angrier of the two dentists. No doubt he was ashamed to be working in a practice where the teenaged "receptionists" frequently dined on pasta marinara and made prank phone calls from the front desk. As a result, when emergencies came in for Dr. G there was always an argument about who would have to take the note back to the exam room. He'd frequently mutter four letter words under his breath when he saw one of us standing there in our tapered white jeans from Dots (yeah, that was the office uniform) and if Laura was the poor jackhole standing there with the book, he'd completely ignore her and she'd cry.
Responsibilities for LiLa at Dr. L and G's Office Included:
- Making fake patient charts (Mr. I.M. Coloring, anyone?)
- Fielding fake appointment calls from the mean girl dental assistants (yeah, the ones from our high school). Laura ALWAYS fell for the ones made in an Irish accent and cried afterwards.
- Wrapping scotch tape around the tooth brushes attached to the bathroom keys so patients didn't use the tooth brush in the bathroom. Don't laugh. It happened.
- Ordering random and increasingly complex food from local restaurants. We ate chinese, Boston Chicken, bagels and a crap load of pizza all while welcoming patients into the office. Classy.
- Snooping through Dr. L's ginourmous collection (we're talking wall-to-wall stacks) of old Playboy magazines piled in his decrepit office. He also chain-smoked back there so when we ordered food, it mixed with Dr. L's smoke to create a stench typically associated with college bars before they passed laws about smoking in public spaces. Precisely the atmosphere you're looking for you visit the dentist.
Writing books together is a cake walk compared to this. And we haven't even told you about the summer when Lisa was a waitress at The Ground Round and Laura was the hostess. Let's just say Lisa cried almost every time Laura seated a customer in her section and often completely forgot about entire tables of people.
I guess it was only natural for us to team up together for this next adventure. The only thing we know for sure is that someone's bound to start sobbing uncontrollably at some point.