Unfiltered Story #194927

, , | Unfiltered | May 25, 2020

(At the time I was a very young female manager. One thing I’m good at is picking up languages.)

Customer in Russian: Put it in your purse! The dumb kid won’t notice!

Me in English: yeah, this dumb kid won’t notice a thing.

(I actually thought about inspiring runners after seeing them take off.)

Her Processing Power Is Limited

, , , , | Working | May 21, 2020

I work in a big box store where you don’t need to be the best and the brightest to hold most of the jobs. Some of my coworkers have said a lot of… uninformed things around me and asked me a few questions that make me question their ability to think logically. A nineteen-year-old coworker approaches me as I walk in to sit down in the break room.

Coworker: “Can I ask you a question?”

Me: “Yeah, sure!”

Coworker: “Is this water processed?”

She’s holding up a sealed bottle of watermelon-flavored water.

Me: “Yep.”

Coworker: *Looking at it* “Are you sure? I really like the taste of it but I can really only drink processed water.”

Me: “Yes, it’s very safe to say that. Any unnaturally-flavored water in a sealed plastic bottle has been processed.”

Coworker: “Okay!”

I was not the only one in the room but when I looked around no one even looked up from their phones in wonder like I would have. I’ve only been here for a month and, God help me, I hope I find a better job soon or I’ll go mad.

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Insuring Instant Karma For One Dirty Agent

, , , , , , | Legal | May 16, 2020

I work in Medicare insurance, getting people coverage through part C and part D. My job has many, many rules, and serious consequences for breaking them. One caller’s situation stands out.

She called in the middle of February, distraught, because another agent had called her and signed up for a new plan. 

This — in the first minute of the call — was my first red flag. It is illegal for a Medicare insurance agent in Wisconsin to cold call anyone, as well as to enroll them in a new insurance plan on an outbound call; agents can only ever enroll people who called them.

After sign-up, she’d run into trouble getting her prescriptions refilled, so she’d wanted to talk to her agent again. She’d spent more than a week trying to get in touch with him and had eventually found my number, thinking that my office was Medicare itself.

My office’s name does have Medicare in the title, but we always immediately clarify that we do not work for the government.

My workplace has an unusual approach to callers: no matter what they called about, spend at least ten minutes helping and continue to help for as long as they need. We are a sales office, but we’re paid hourly and our commission is negligible in order to support this behavior.

I start asking questions and track down the plan she’s been signed into. My first bit of good news is that it’s a plan that I’m contracted with; I can pull up the full contract and can figure out the answers to every one of her questions, but with every question she asks, my internal alarm bells chime a little louder.

Insurance agents are supposed to be responsible to their customers. Whoever this other agent was, he left her not knowing most of what she needed to know; he’d effectively bullied her into changing and then left her high and dry.

The medicine issue was actually coincidental; I told her what she needed to tell her pharmacist to clear things up but asked her to stay on the line and answer a few more questions, and I checked to make sure her family doctor was in the network of her new plan.

He was not, and the other agent had not even told her that changing plans would have restricted her from seeing him. This could have cost her thousands of dollars!

That medication issue that sent her to me saved her from an untold amount of hassle. The plan change could only go into effect at the beginning of the next month; the new plan wasn’t in place yet, and we could overwrite or cancel it just by submitting the paperwork.

I did one last piece of digging. Election periods are the times of year that a person is allowed the opportunity to change their coverage. If this other agent had submitted a change, what had he used? He hadn’t mentioned this to my caller at all. A quick rundown of options left only one answer. The other agent had used an election period called OEP to change her coverage.

OEP is effectively an emergency exit at the start of the year for when someone finds out that their plan is not suitable to their needs. Agents are prohibited from advertising or even mentioning OEP on calls; the customer must request a change or express distress before OEP can be brought up. Using OEP without the customer knowing or even understanding what was being done? Egregious.

So, I go through the paperwork with her and get her signed back into the plan that she had originally, and I give her the appropriate phone numbers to check up with her plan to ensure that she won’t have any trouble. But before we disconnect, I have one final errand for her.

I give her the phone number of the Commissioner of Insurance of the State of Wisconsin: the regulating body responsible for cracking down on bad insurance agents.

Let’s run it down, shall we?

Cold-calling a Medicare insurance customer, uninvited? $25,000 fine. Per person, if he’s called others.

Enrolling her on an outbound call, willfully signing her up into an unsuitable plan, and abusing OEP? Forfeiture of license, along with twice the value of any money they hoped to gain by doing this, plus a $5,000 fine and up to three years in prison. 

That’s three counts of it, mind you, so up to six times the money he tried to make, a $15,000 fine, and nine years in prison, and probably being banned from insurance work in the United States for life.

If he’s done it to one innocent old woman, he’s probably done it to others. I will never know the fallout from the case, but knowing the tools at the Commissioner’s fingertips, I’m reasonably confident I got a swindler his comeuppance.

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“Patient Presented With Symptoms Of Not Being Dead”

, , , , , | Healthy | May 15, 2020

In gym class, we are learning how to check our pulse by placing our index and middle fingers on the carotid artery, on the neck to the side of the windpipe. The teacher is having the class run laps and take our pulse.

My friend is having a hard time finding her carotid artery and can’t take her pulse. She approaches the gym teacher for help. The teacher tries to find her carotid artery on her neck.

Teacher: “I don’t know… Go see the nurse.” 

Friend: “Seriously? I have a pulse. I’m fine.” 

Teacher: “Well, I can’t find it. Go see the nurse.” 

My friend reported to the very puzzled school nurse who confirmed that she did, in fact, have a pulse and helped her find it. I sometimes wonder if that nurse had to keep medical records for students, and what on earth she wrote for that patient encounter.

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Unfiltered Story #193895

, , | Unfiltered | May 9, 2020

*Today, I was at work when a customer called the electronics department.*
Me: “Thank you for holding, how may I help you”
Woman: “Yes, is this the electronics department?”
Me: “Yes this is.”
Woman: “OK I need you to find this movie for me about Heaven.”
*The phone I wasn’t a very loud one and often crackled, making it hard to hear sometimes.*
Me: “Could you repeat that please? I’m having some technical difficulties.”
Woman: “I need this movie with Jennifer Garner about Heaven.”
Me: “OK, Miracles From Heaven? It’s right here on a front end stand.”
*The regular DVD version slot was empty, the Bluray slot had two more left*
Woman: “Yes well how much is it?”
Me: “Well the Bluray is $19.99 and the regular DVD is $17.99 but we only have the Bluray out on the floor.”
Woman: “Well I don’t want the Bluray.”
Me: “OK well I’ll check to see if we have anymore.”
Woman: “Yeah you do that.”
*I punch in the numbers in my scanner to check and we have none in the store or on order*
Me: “I’m afraid we’re all out of the regular DVD.”
Woman: “Well do you have the spot?”
Me: “The spot is empty, we’re all out of the regular DVDs for this movie.”
Woman: “No you’re not answering my question.”
Me: “I’m sorry, um we’re all out and the spot on the shelf is empty.”
Woman: “No you’re not answering my question.”
Me: “What are you asking ma’am?”
Woman: “I want to know if you’ve ever carried them at your store.”
Me: “Yes, we have we’re just all out of them currently.”
Woman: “No, you’re not answering my question!”
Me *extremely frustrated* : “Ma’am, are you asking if we have a spot on the shelf for them?”
Woman: “Yes! *scoffs*”
Me: “Okay, yes we do. I’m letting you know though that it is currently empty.”
Woman: “No you’re not answering my damn question!! What is your name?!”
Me: “*says name*”
Woman: “*My name* I want to speak to your supervisor!”
Me: “OK I’ll go look for him if you could just hold for one minute please.”
Woman: “OK good.”
*I go walking around, looking for my boss. As I’m walking, the woman keeps talking to someone on her end of the line, not realizing that I can still hear her.*
Woman: *talking to friend* “How stupid can she be?! It’s not that hard of a f***ing question!”
*I find my boss and tell him the basics of what’s happened. He takes the phone and tells her what I told her. He said he’d take her phone number and call her back with more information. Then they hang up*
Boss: “She wants the Bluray DVD at the regular DVD price.”
*$2 difference*
Me: “I answered her question over and over.”
Boss: “Yeah, don’t worry you didn’t do anything wrong.”