EXCLUSIVE! Browsing through e-mail addresses ... By Mark Hartley, Editor, RDH

Oct. 2, 2001
Altogether, 112 readers used e-mail to respond to the 2001 salary survey. What did our editor find in those e-mails?

RDH magazine collects information about hygienists' salaries in an annual survey, and the magazine�s readers voluntarily submit the information in one of three ways. With two of the methods, ignorance is bliss, since I'm far removed from ever having to look at the data until someone finishes tabulating it. If the information arrives by fax or mail, some elves collect the hundreds of sheets of paper and keep everything out of my sight.

The exceptions are when some hygienist decides to get cute with the responses. For example, a hygienist may write on the form, "The salary you see below makes me richer than Bill Gates." Another reader may jot down the following note: "I bought a rhinoceros for a pet. My boss once again declined to give me a raise. Guess what's impaled on my pet's horn?" A laughing elf will bring such forms to my attention so I can be merry too.

The third method is e-mails. Unfortunately, my e-mail address is the only one available for RDH readers. It gets kind of crowded in the "inbox." So every year, I create a folder for the e-mail replies to the salary survey, and I keep dragging the survey responses into it until the elves start jumping up and down, saying they're ready to start crunching some numbers. When that happens, I have to spend an hour or so cleaning out that folder in the Outlook inbox.

The best part about this chore is looking at the e-mail names people choose for themselves.

Altogether, 112 readers used e-mail to respond to the 2001 salary survey. Since "rdh" is part of the e-mail address I use from my home computer, I started off by seeing if anyone else does too. Only three of the readers did.

Most of the hygienists referred to their name or a spouse's name. There were some variations of "toothfairy" and "teeth" among the e-mail addresses. Someone uses "dentpc," which sounds like the name of a practice-management software. Another reader used "mctoothy32." I hope that�s not the equivalent of a fast-food joint. A cute one was "rdhmommy," and an athletic one was "smileyrunner." "forflossn" sent in a response to the survey but failed to include a sample of floss.

One address was "saberscharm," and it was clearly not a play on the respondent's name. A saber-toothed tiger, of course, didn't carry swords � noted for its pointy canines. The tigers are extinct, so we'll never know how charming they were, but I like to think of hygienists as being charming. It was the e-mail address that made me pause the longest.

A close second, though, was "rdhuntclan." I assumed the "h" served two words � "RDH" and "hunt." If so, the Hatfields and McCoys should wander the woods a little more carefully now � an armed hygienist is on the loose.

I wasn�t sure what to make of the hygienist with the address of "brain," so I moved along to "chygiene." "C" stands for Casey, the first name of the respondent. If you don�t know Casey personally, then it might mean "see hygienist." At least, that's my interpretation.

But my favorite e-mail address was from a hygienist with the last name of Hoy. The address didn�t suggest dental hygiene in any way, but I liked it. What was it? "hoyluckclub."