They Say There Are No Stupid Questions, But…

, , , , , , | Working | March 20, 2020

(I’ve been dealing with morning sickness for weeks and my doctor’s office has sent me four reminders in two days this week to get blood work done, unrelated to the pregnancy. Today, I’m finally feeling well enough to go to the blood lab in the morning. It is a 30-minute drive to get there, and I’ve had to take a little time off work.)

Me: “Hello, I’m here for a blood draw.” *provides my name, date of birth, etc. as needed*

Blood Lab Front Desk: “Oh, we don’t have any record of this. Are you sure your doctor’s office sent it over?”

Me: “Yes, they’ve even sent me multiple reminders this week to come here.”

Blood Lab Front Desk: *confirms the name of my doctor* “No, there’s no record of this. Do you want me to call them?”

Me: “No, thank you. I’ll call them myself as I won’t have the time now to wait for them to send the order over and still do the draw.”

(So, I call the doctor’s office and explain the situation.)

Receptionist: “Well, we sent the order over. We faxed it.”

Me: “Okay, but they are saying they don’t have it, so they won’t do the draw. I’ve just driven for 30 minutes to do this and taken time off work. Now I don’t know when I’ll be able to do it again.”

Receptionist: “Um, well, we did fax it. Well, do you, like, um, want us to fax it again?”

Me: “Yes!”

(Inside I was thinking, “No! Please just continue to be as useless as you are right now.”)

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Does This Mean Google Maps Provides Legal Advice?

, , , , , | Working | March 18, 2020

(Many years ago, before cell phones and even before personal computers are common, I receive a court summons. I’m not familiar with the location of the courthouse, in a town over an hour away from where I am residing, and I can’t find a map that lists it — neither the mailed summons or phone book I find in the local library have a street address, just something like “Courthouse Square” — I call a week or so before the hearing date to get directions. My bad; the very short conversation goes something like this:)

Receptionist: “Thank you for calling [County] court; how may I direct your call?

Me: “I’ve received a summons to appear at a hearing on [date] and I’m unfamiliar with where the courthouse is located. I’ll be entering town on the main highway from the west; could you provide directions or connect me with someone who can?”

Receptionist: “I’m sorry, I’m not allowed to provide legal advice.”

Me: “I just need directions from the highway to the courthouse. I’m not asking for legal advice at all!”

Receptionist: “I’m sorry, no one is here who can provide you with that information. As I stated, I’m not allowed to answer legal questions. You’ll need to contact your attorney. Have a great day!” *disconnects the call*

(I didn’t have an attorney as I’d been called to be a witness and was not a party to the suit, but I did eventually find the courthouse, just a block off the highway, no thanks to her. Although, upon arrival, I discovered that the civil matter I’d been summoned for had been resolved out of court days prior, my presence wasn’t required after all, and no one had bothered to let me, or at least two other witnesses, know.)

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He Left His Brain In San Francisco

, , , , , | Right | February 25, 2020

It’s the late 1980s. The reception area where I work mainly deals with incoming and outgoing mail and business clients. While I’m on my own, a well-dressed gentleman walks in and addresses me in an American accent.

Visitor:
“Good afternoon. I’m here to see Mr. [Senior Partner].”

Me:
“Oh, I’m sorry, sir, but the Partners’ Entrance is just across the way, over there. If you speak to the receptionists there they’ll be able to get Mr. [Senior Partner] for you.”

Visitor:
*Losing it* “G**D*** IT! I have flown all the way from San Francisco for an important meeting, and all you can do is tell me I’m in the wrong place! WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH THIS G**D*** COUNTRY?!” *Storms out*

I am left there, thinking to myself:

Me:
“I don’t know what the country’s problem is, but I know what yours is. Seriously, you just flew five and a half thousand miles and you’re complaining about walking another ten yards?”

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A Most Unreceptive Receptionist

, , , | Healthy | February 17, 2020

(I have a potential diagnosis of a rare and extremely painful neurological disorder. I have to schedule with a neurologist, who lives a four-hour drive from where I live. By this point, I’ve been in severe pain for several months, and my patience for rudeness is admittedly running a bit thin.)

Me: “Hi, I’m calling to see if I need an MRI before I come down.”

Receptionist: “The doctor will inform you if you need that at the appointment.”

Me: “Yes, I understand that, but it’s a four-hour drive to see this doctor and I have to stay overnight and I’d rather not have to do it more than once.”

Receptionist: *much more snippy than is necessary* “Well, that’s not my problem, is it?”

Me: “Pardon me, but I’ve been in fairly serious pain for a while and that’s why I’m calling your office — to make sure that the appointment to get rid of my pain runs smoothly.”

Receptionist: “There’s no reason to take that tone.”

Me: “Are you f****** kidding me?!”

Receptionist: “Young lady, if you insist on using that language with me, I will disconnect the call and inform [Doctor] of your attitude, and we’ll see if you see another neurologist in this hospital.”

(I disconnected the call, had a panic attack, and then cried with my mom for an hour. No one is making a first appointment with a specialist for happy fun times. If you don’t understand that someone is probably calling because they’re in pain or sick, maybe you shouldn’t work in healthcare.)

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The Tooth Of The Matter Is, They Suck

, , , , , , | Healthy | January 22, 2020

Around mid-October, I begin to feel pain on the upper side in the back of my jaw. I didn’t have my wisdom teeth out as a teen, so I know I’ve waited too long to have them removed. At this point in my life, I’m on state Medicaid; I find a dentist who takes my insurance and see them in early November. The dentist confirms it’s my wisdom teeth coming in and refers me to an oral surgeon, as the X-rays indicate that all four are bone-impacted. 

I call the oral surgeon’s office and get an appointment for December 28th. It goes well; they take another set of X-rays that informs us that the roots of my top wisdom teeth have grown into my sinus cavity. The bottom two are close enough to my nerve that he wants all four extracted, I will have to be anesthetized for it, and they need to come out ASAP. He assures they’ll submit the paperwork and the insurance will get back to me within two weeks. 

I leave satisfied. 

Two weeks roll around, nothing. I give calling the insurance an extra day, due to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. They inform me that they have no record of any submission at all. They call the oral surgeon’s office and assure me that the office will resubmit the paperwork. I ask her how long it will take — by this point, one wisdom tooth has partially erupted; the other side of that tooth is pushing on my last molar — and am informed if the office submits online, it will take two days. 

I then call the oral surgeon to find out how they might be submitting the paperwork, so I can find out how long I’m going to be in pain. I speak with a lovely woman who, in response to my question, replies, “I don’t know,” and hangs up on me. I call back immediately; it goes straight to the office message.

I call the insurance company back and ask if anything can be done. At this point, I can only wait for them to submit the paperwork, but I am urged that if they don’t, to contact state Medicaid and make a complaint. 

I wait 24 hours and call the surgeon again. This time I get another woman, who is actually helpful. Surprise, surprise, no one submitted my paperwork. They also can only submit by mail, so there is at least a two-week wait. [Employee #2] assures me that she’ll submit the paperwork. She apologizes for her coworker with an exasperated sigh that tells me this isn’t the first problem [Employee #1] has caused. 

Two weeks pass. I finally get a response from the insurance company in the mail: the extraction is approved, but general anesthesia is not. According to the paperwork, whoever submitted used the wrong code for the new year and it needs to be resubmitted, again. 

It’s now Mid-February and I have been dealing with wisdom tooth pain since October. I can barely eat or sleep because of the pain. 

I call state Medicaid and make a complaint about the way I was treated and how the situation was handled. I am told that my complaint is not valid because I did not receive services from the surgeon. They also will not approve the general anesthesia because I do not have any medical reason for it, i.e., fear of needles, anxiety, etc. To have all four bone-impacted wisdom teeth removed. At one time. No need. At all. 

I find another dentist farther from my area and make the earliest appointment they have. They recommend me to another surgeon, even farther than the first surgeon. I get an appointment with the second surgeon within the week. He apologizes for the first surgeon and assures me that they’ll handle it properly.

It’s now the beginning of March. I get the paperwork from the insurance regarding the new surgeon’s submission; everything’s perfect. I have the surgery on March 27th, half a year after the pain started. It takes longer than expected, as my mouth is small; the surgeon has to take my bottom wisdom teeth in pieces to work around the nerves. I am advised to stay on bed-rest for the next five days. 

Everything works out just fine — months pass and my jaw has healed completely. I end up getting a full-time job and dental insurance — different from state Medicaid — through them. 

Sometime around August, I get a letter in the mail from my insurance, denying payment for an appointment from the very first dentist I saw about a referral to an oral surgeon. 

I call that dentist and have my files transferred as quickly as I can.

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