Thursday, April 30, 2009

Today's Mood Is...

Here's a thought...

If you have a thick accent, like one cultivated from being born overseas (maybe in Nigeria), may hap when you are calling insurance companies you should choose the "talk to a representative" option (and may hap you could choose that option by pressing "1", or "7", or whatever damn number they want you to hit in order to get to a representative) instead of saying the name "Arnold Zhiffleswat" (that name is, of course, not the name she was saying), 27 times because HAL cannot understand you.  And just like it doesn't work when you are speaking to foreigners, SPEAKING SLOWLY AND LOUDLY does not help Insurance Skynet become self aware, nor will it help it become aware of what you are trying to say.  But it does get very annoying hearing you say it OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. 

And just so you know, he cannot understand when you say "change the Medicare number", or (ironically enough) "Representative".  But that is why they give you the keypad option in order to make your selection.

One last thing...the computer is not stupid.  It just cannot understand you.  I understand how it feels, at least on a philosophical level.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Today's Mood Is...

GEHA Lady called back today, with the client on the line.  They both started yelling at me because the client has BCBS as the primary, GEEE-HAAW as secondary, and "Priority Planning" (she meant Priority Partners) as tertiary insurance and why the hell am I saying that I billed GEEE-HAAAW when I billed BCBS and why am I billing Priority Planning when I SHOULD be billing GEEEE-HAAAAW and...

It went on for a few minutes.  You get the gist.

So after they were done with their taking turns complaining and mouth breathing, I asked the GEHA Lady and her client a question...

"Do you know what your insurance is?"

And I explained to THEM that the "G" in GEEEE-HAAAAAAAAWWWW stood for "Government", and that the EOB (Explanation of Benefits) they received from BCBS IS the EOB from GEHA, since it said on the top of it "Federal Employee Program".  GEHA is a company that works with government agencies that hire civilians and matches them up with government sponsored insurance...

Basically, GEHA is an insurance broker that contracts specifically with the gubmint in order to save the gubmint money they would have to spend on a BUNCH of HR staffs at a bunch of different companies.

So, basically, I was right the whole time.  But don't worry, I won't let it go to my head.  It would just burn off up there, anyway.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Today's Mood Is...

Saw the new Star Trek last night (BSR has the hook up.  HOLLA IF YA HEAR ME!!!!).  I don't know if I am allowed to talk about it all that much, but let me say this...

Here is Big Shirtless Ron's Spoiler-Free Review:




I am not known as being a huge fan of sci-fi.  I watched some re-runs of the original series, enjoyed TNG when I caught it on, and never really tuned in to DS9 or Voyager.  I can honestly say that I never saw one minute of "Enterprise".  But this movie was incredible.  Start to finish, it took what had become a tired storyline with 45 years of continuity to deal with and dance around and completely re-imagined it, making it possible for the storyline to go ANYWHERE it wants to from here.

I can only hope that they have J.J. Abrams and the entire cast signed for AT LEAST 2 sequels.  And make sure you keep those writers around.

I do have stories to tell about the audience itself, but since I am out of here in 15 minutes those will have to wait for next time.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Today's Mood Is...

So there is this insurance called the Government Employee Health Association.   Like many other long named companies, it is usually known by it's initials (G.E.H.A. - and I bet you know where this is going now).  Most people spell it out (like the insurance M.D.I.P.A.  No one calls it "Emdeepah").  But not EVERYONE does this...

The "nice" lady from the deepest darkest concrete jungles of Middle River just called me to inquire about a bill.  And she kept telling me that while Blue Cross was in fact her MEDICAL insurance, her primary dental insurance was "Gee-HAA".  And she said it like that







Eventually, she shut her festering gob hole long enough to hear me say that we do not even HAVE Blue Cross in the insurance screen, so the DENTAL department did not, in fact, bill Blue Cross, but that the hospital did when her precious snowflake had dental surgery (facility and room fees, anesthesia bills and so forth).  The first few times I tried to explain it I spelled out G.E.H.A. in the hopes that it would sink into her Maury Povich / Jerry Springer addled brain (that is an educated guess as to her viewing habits based on geography and the not brief enough conversation that she and I had).  Eventually, after realizing that I was not getting through to her, I ALSO said "GEE-HAAA!" (a couple of times I even said "Gee-HAW" just to add to the frivolity).

She picked it up pretty quickly after that.  I can only chalk it up to putting into terms she could understand.

I refrained from telling her to "com' on back now, ya' hear?".  But it was not an easy thing to not say.

10 minutes and counting...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Today's Mood Is...

So one of the NAIH's (New And Improved Hens) here in Purgatory was trying to find out if someone in the hospital that had been referred to our office was eligible for Medical Assistance.  She kept asking them questions, and one question over and over and over again.

***I should add at this point that I found out after the fact that the patient is Hispanic and English was, at best, a 3rd language.  It doesn't change what happened, but it makes it make more sense***

So she kept talking, and getting louder and louder as she got more and more frustrated with this patient.  And then, about 27 times in a row, she asked him / her (I never found out which it was) "ARE YOU A CITIZEN?"

And all I could think about was Michael Ironsides with a cybernetic hand.  And Dina Meyer, who I think had hands, but I am not 100% sure.  I wasn't looking there.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Today's Mood Is...

An open letter to Richard D.

Dear Richard,

We've never met, although we have spoken at least once.  And that once is right now as I am typing this.  You work for one of the major insurance companies that deals with special needs patients.  I am sure that you work hard, and try to do your best all the time.  But there is a problem Richard, and I feel like I might be the only one who can say anything about it.

I don't know if you were just at the gym right before you answered the phone, or if you are ill, or maybe you are a heavy smoker.  Possibly it is just where you have the phone positioned in relation to your mouth.  It could be you have one of those headsets that are so prevalent in call centers.

But here is the problem Rich (you don't mind if I call you Rich, do you?).  You are a mouth breather, not a nose breather.  And the combination of your intense need for oxygen and where the mouthpiece of the phone is against your face makes it sound like you are inside of an iron lung.  And that becomes disconcerting when you have me waiting for you to look something up, and for 3 minutes straight all I hear is your steady, constant, labored and shallow breathing.

I appreciate all of your help with this issue that you are currently researching for me.  You are going out of your way to rectify this oversight.  But if you could do it without sounding like Mr. Frump I would really appreciate THAT, too.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

An open letter to Jenny

Dear Jenny,

We've probably never met.  I cannot say for sure, since I did not see you.  Or if I did, I did not know who you were, so you became another face in the crowd.  The only reason I know your name is because of what happened today.

You see, I am not a regular visitor of the Chick-fil-A franchise (which is another reason I think this might be fate).  In fact, I brought lunch from home to eat here at work, and had no intention of going anywhere besides the break room in order to use the microwave today.  But when I heard about the promotion that Chick-fil-A was offering (participating stores only - save your receipt from your purchase on April 15th, and starting on the 16th, you have anywhere from 2 weeks to 30 days to bring that receipt in and get all the same items all over again, for free.  I could not pass that up).  So I went to the local franchise store with my (and a couple of co worker's) order for lunch (I had no qualms picking it up for them, since it just added to my receipt total).  Everything went swimmingly until I walked back to my truck.  You see, you hadn't been parked in front of me when I arrived...

And this is how I not only know your name, but I am here to champion your cause.  For on the rear license plate of your 4 door Ford Focus sedan you had the license frame that proclaimed your vehicle is, in fact "Jenny's Shaggin' Wagon".

At first I feared unmitigated hubris in your statement, for how could ANYONE consider that small vehicle to be a wagon?  It lent itself to impossibility, and I was prepared to brush it off as so and move on with my life.  But then it occurred to me...what if she is in fact telling the truth?!?!?!?!?  Leaving the wagon part of the equation out of it, we are left with the fact that if this midsized vehicle is in fact your mecca of lovemaking that you must be at least double jointed in multiple places.  In fact, the only way I can picture this gas efficient ride as being the utopia of gratification that you claim it to be is if you are an Olympic level gymnast / contortionist.  And while I am a happily married man who has no desire to stray, I do profess that a video capturing your exploits would be a piece of cinema that I would like to peruse, mayhap even own outright.  Just to share in your gift.

So I leave you with this, my dear Jenny...please feel free to make your exploits cinema verite (I don't know how to put the accent over the "e" at the end of verite), and please forward them to me.  And in the meantime, if your vehicle is "a rockin' ", I shan't be "a knockin' ".


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Today's Mood Is...

There have been some policy changes here in Purgatory.  To be perfectly honest with you I am not overly fond of most of them.  They smack of trying to overly control the staff, and draw a fuzzy line in between the pluses and minuses of being a salaried employee versus those of being an hourly employee.  Basically the Brothers Chinn want to be able to treat us like salaried employees (which we are) when it is convenient for them, but to treat us like hourly employees when it is convenient for them.

It is not surprising to say that these policies and procedure changes have not gone over any better with the rest of the staff than they have with me.  But while I (with one noticeable exception of a text message rant to GSC) have kept my opinions relatively quiet, others are beginning to get vocal in their displeasure.  And I have the distinct feeling that in the very near future it is going to come to a head.

I can only hope that the head it comes to isn't going to be rolling down the parking lot, guillotine-style.  But I am not 100% convinced that it won't happen, either.


Friday, April 03, 2009

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Today's Mood Is...

Yes, and almost in the order I put them in so I could tell a humorous story with previously unrelated pictures, it is time for...

It's a Child, NOT a Triple Word Score in Scrabble!!!!!

Come with me as we peel away the layers of idiocy and reveal the sweet onion of reality...

As always, these are real names of REAL children.  And today's theme is:

Close, but no ceee-gar!  

You can see where they were trying to go with this, but they failed.

  • Aayleyah
  • Airon
  • Alvan
  • Alyiah
  • Ammie
  • Antwanett
  • Aysia
  • Blanch
  • Brayan
  • Brigid
  • Bryen
  • Camrin
  • Camryn (no relation)
  • Chaniya
  • Christion
  • Dairyein
  • Darious
  • Deakin
  • Dejion
  • Destyne (I missed this one last time)
  • Deziah
  • Di-Jhae (because using the initials would have been too damn confusing)
  • Dwaine
  • Dyanna
  • Emely
  • Eryn
  • Jayde
  • Jazmyne
  • Jonnaye
  • Justis
  • Justyce
  • Juztice
  • Kameron
  • Kamri
  • Kandise
  • Karolina
  • Karon
  • Kenedi
  • Kharan
  • Khori
  • Khristopher
  • Kolin
  • Kori
  • Kristopher
  • Kymille
  • Krystyn
And of course...
  • Kyndle (think electronic book)
So there you have the first half of the list of so close but so far names.  I will hit the L-Z next week.  I am tired of cutting and pasting, and my lunch break is over, so I have to go now.

Have fun!