Please, Mr. Postman
As you know, I love getting mail. I was not cheered however by Monday’s special delivery– yet another bill from my husband’s hospital system for yet another in what will be a life-long string of medical appointments. Wendy’s health tip of the day: Do NOT get run over by a truck. You’re welcome!
If I’ve said it once, well, I have said it to fifteen different billing service agents by now, “I simply don’t know to make you understand that none, not one, not one single bill should ever have been or should be submitted to my personal health insurance provider.” Tammy, my October billing service BFF even called me back to say she’d “taken care of it.” You guys, she called me back!! Now I don’t want to call Tammy a liar–honestly in the years since the accident, she was the most compassionate, kind billing rep I’d encountered–but ultimately, she too failed.
Sandra answered the phone Monday but passed me up the food chain at my request. I wasn’t one bit Karen-y; I was polite and acknowledged that Sandra wasn’t to blame, nor was I going to holler at her–I just needed help. Sandra felt that my status was concerning enough to reach Team Leader or Supervisor status. Yay, me! So yesterday’s “fix” (uh-oh, this is the second use of fake-y quotation marks and we’re only in the third paragraph here, so buckle your seat belts, y’all) was attended by Team Leader Kevin. Kevin opened with “What you need to do is” whereby I curtly, though not rudely, intercepted his script with what I knew his script to be–call the workers comp agent (YOU have her number–I gave it to you in October and before that in August, and before that. . .), call Patient Registration (did that thrice), clarify workers compensation insurance upon check-in with each individual provider (did that about 638 times so far), blah, blah, blah. I said he was the fifteenth billing representative to whom I’ve spoken since the accident. Kevin says he fixed it. Now I don’t want to call Kevin a liar, but if sweet Tammy’s magic went kaput, well Team Leader Kevin, you’re no Tammy.
You may be wondering why I get so worked up over this. Well, it’s because my husband’s care needs will extend throughout the remainder of his life, his entire life! I’m old, but I’m not that old, and I just don’t think I want to be arguing with billing when I’m 80. Ha! Like I’m gonna make it to 80.
Puh-leeeeeeeze, Mr. Postman
After thirty-nine minutes with Kevin, et al, on the phone, I opened the next envelope in the stack, this one from the credit union holding our home equity line of credit. We finally paid of 2016’s kitchen remodel with a lump payment. Unbeknownst to us, the credit union required us to pay another $16.81 in some bullshit fee, but whatever, fine, we paid it. THEN this:
A bill for $.02. Two pennies. Two cents of some bullshit LATE fee for our bullshit $16.81 we thought we had paid off on top of the $21.40 you see here. I called customer service, but it wasn’t worth the 22 minutes of my life to wait on hold. They. Sent. Us. A. Bill. For. Two. Cents. Y’all.
The Brake Job
Because The Screwed Over Job doesn’t really have that catchy ring to it. I took my car in for routine maintenance yesterday. The car was due for an oil change, tire rotation, change of air filters, and I asked for new windshield wiper blades to be installed. When I arrived to retrieve my beloved SUV, the service advisor showed me an invoice for $323. Natually, I was all, “what the fuck?” and the service advisor tossed the four-page invoice my direction. Leafing through it, I noticed a service I did not request. “What did you do that cost $159?” to which he stated (eyes averted, that sneaky bastard) that they disassembled and lubed all the brake components. I said that I hadn’t OK’ed that, that the online B-Maintenance Minder did not include a brake job on my version of the HondaLink app. And then I DID unleash my ugliest inner Karen, saying, not quietly, “DAMN. I would NEVER have requested this for a car I’m LEASING and for only one more year.” His reply, again avoiding all eye contact? “Sorry, ma’am.”
I unleashed sooooooooo many f-words once I got into my car, every noun/verb/adjective/adverb/interjection form of the f-word? I covered it. My local dealership probably doesn’t actually care about my “complete satisfaction” as they expressed in their text to me. Not buying it, especially since they haven’t responded since I shared my disappointment.
Let the Wendy/Karen v. Honda Corporate Customer Service battle commence. I should probably enter the arena while I’m still mad about it, and they did send me the link to my survey, so they started it. But I’m gonna finish it.
SLP Professional Development
After the Honda debacle, I tuned into a professional development session offered as a semi-annual series of one-hour webinars. It’s great because they’re free, and while I present PD to my district colleagues all the time, I don’t accrue PD hours needed to renew my certification as the purveyor of info. These webinars are mostly light and practical, intended to be immediately implement-able in therapy, and I find that I’m able to pull out a gem or two from each of these sessions.
Not this one. Nope. Within the first twenty-four minutes, and yeah, I counted because I was already pretty pissed off Monday, within the first half of her session, the presenter made three disparaging remarks about more experienced SLPs. I was livid! And I was done. I’ve also presented on the very topic she was, so hers wasn’t new information to me. I let the webinar play because I wanted my freebie credit, yes, but also because I wanted to provide feedback.
When the presenter made three age-related negatively-slanted comments within the first 24 minutes, I admit that I was turned off and tuned out for most of the rest. I’m a veteran SLP in a leadership role, and I present to a diverse group of SLPs routinely, including on this topic. I respect my audience, making no assumptions based on experience or lack thereof. I did not find X’s “if you’re Generation Z, you might need to have someone explain the meme,” “17 years is more than most of us have even practiced” and “experienced SLPs are less likely to consult practice research” comments funny or accurate. X, I urge you to reconsider your tone–if you meant to be funny, it did not necessarily translate.
Remember that scene in the film Fried Green Tomatoes, when Kathy Bates slams into a parking space “stolen” by some young brats? She says something like, “Sorry, girls, I’m older and have better insurance.” Preach.
As a presenter, I would want to know if I was offending audience members. A few years back after I presented something, a good friend called me to remind me to check my tone. I’ve never forgotten the lesson. So my feedback wasn’t all Karen-rage; truly, I would want to know, I’d want to do better. I hope the presenter takes it to heart. I can do humor that tries and fails, but I can’t do arrogance.
My Monday workday was terrific, but the hours between 4:00 and 9:00 evoked lots of curse words, anxiety, and I’ll even admit to some rage. I’m not saying my coping mechanisms are effective y’all. But instead of drinking or throwing something at the wall, I wanted to cap off my shit evening with a fun TV show. I began watching The Sex Lives of College Girls over the weekend, and knew that a quick half hour of their lives would happily distract me from mine.
But no. HBO Max would not allow me to override the Parental Controls which I don’t even have set anymore, HBO!!! So I was blocked from watching an over-18 show by some random app who obviously doesn’t know about my grey hair and advanced nighttime anti-wrinkle serum.
I wanted to cry. And if you think that sounds like an immature, unhealthy, unhinged type of response to not getting to watch a television show, you are 100% right.
Unplugging and restarting my TV did the trick, and allowed me to shake loose the day’s dirt. If only we could unplug the rest of our lives and reboot them when they’re problematic. Wouldn’t that be swell? It would. I ended this dreck of a Monday with Parents’ Weekend at Essex College. I got the laugh and happy distraction I needed to slough off the ugly and start Tuesday in the least Karen-ish way possible.