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The Sad Estate Of This Family

, | Healthy | November 22, 2017

(I work at a long-term care pharmacy. We service patients in nursing homes, assisted living, etc. and bill prescription costs monthly. Of course, this means we have trouble with people not paying their bill. Part of my job is to make collections calls. I hear all kinds of excuses, but this was a first.)

Man: “Hello?”

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name] calling from [Pharmacy]. Is [Person #1] available?”

Man: “Nope, he’s in jail over in [County].”

Me: *not sure how to respond* “I’m sorry to hear that… I also have [Person #2] listed as an authorized contact. May I speak with her?”

Man: “Nope, can’t talk to her either. She’s dead.”

Me: *now REALLY not sure how to respond* “I’m sorry to hear that, too. I’m calling in reference to [Patient]’s account. Who could I speak with that handles [Patient]’s finances?”

Man: “Not him. He’s dead now, too. His wife’s still living but she’s got ‘all-timers’ disease so she won’t be much help.”

Me: *basically at a loss for words at this point* “There must be someone handling [Patient]’s estate. Who would that be?”

Man: “Couldn’t tell you. The only one I know of that’s not dead, locked up, or crazy is [Person #3]. She’s probably the best you’re going to get.”

(Turned out [Person #3] was extremely nice and helpful, and promptly sent a check for the full balance. She must have been the shining star in a family of “dead, locked up, and crazy!”)

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