Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Probably strike me with lightening, that's what!

I know I'm sick and twisted at times, but I'll admit that I about peed when I saw this t-shirt. I kind of wish I had the nerve to wear it. But I'd probably be afraid of publicly offending. My eldest brother, now, is a different story entirely. He lives to offend. I'm gonna have to get him one of these for this birthday.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The hottest trend of 2005 .... inefficiency!!

Okay, okay. I know this really isn't anything new. But I seem to be running into it more and more every day. Lost paperwork, the left hand having no idea what the right hand is doing, failure to return phone calls. And this is just in the professional arena I'm talking about! There's a goodly number of my friends that I expect inefficiency from. It's part of their charm. But not from a business. Latest case in point - our local doctor's clinic:

8.02.05 - Office visit by Lane (regular checkup) - $116
8.02.05 - Office visit by Levi (regular checkup) - $85
10.12.05 - Office visit by me (allergies) - $70

Now, I'll admit that some of the following problems were of my own creation. BUT .....

Normally I wait until I get an EOB (Explanation of Benefits) from our insurance company showing what they paid or didn't pay. I then pay the provider whatever it is we owe. That is exactly what I did after the boys' visit. When I went in in October, I knew the insurance company would not cover it as we hadn't met our deductible. I went ahead and paid the $70 that day so that I could go ahead and file for reimbursement from our flex plan.

On 10.10.05, I received the EOB on the boys visit so paid the clinic the cumulative $201 for their bills.

On 11.01.05. I received the EOB on my visit. It showed that $70 was submitted, $6.50 was disallowed so I owed $63.50. Having forgotten that I already paid $70, I paid $63.50 that day.

A week later I realize my error. Went back into the clinic and asked for a refund. They couldn't do it yet as it wasn't showing as posted on my account yet. Now, how can they possibly hold a stinkin' credit card payment for an entire week without posting it?? Not to mention that it was posted to my credit card that very day. It was run through, just not posted to my account at the clinic.

But wait. It gets better.

I was told to call back in about a week and, once it was posted, it could be refunded.

Called back in a week. (Bear in mind that I speak to a different person EVERY time I call. And this ain't a huge place, folks.) Ask about the refund. Am told that there is a $271 credit showing on my account but that they can't refund to the credit card since it's been so long since it was charged. Huh? Not to mention that I TOLD them I only over-paid $63.50. Still. They tell me they'll have someoneorother call me back.

Two days later someoneorother calls back and cheerfully tells me that she can refund the $271 to my credit card if I give her the number. I try, briefly, to tell her that I am only due $63.50 back. She doesn't get it right off and I shut up. I figure, at this point, I am WAY better off holding that money until they get their shit together than I am letting them do so. I give her the credit card number and she assures me it will be done that day. Okie-doke. Of course, that was two days ago and I just now checked my credit card statement and it's not showing yet.

Now, in addition to all of the gross inefficiency here, the numbers aren't adding up. For one thing, if you do a service for me, charge me $271 and I pay you $271 should the balance be a credit?? Nope. My account should show a zero balance.

Now, factor in that I owed $271 but actually ended up paying $334.50 (remember that extra $63.50). So, my account really should show a $63.50 credit. What happened to that money?? and if everyfreakingthing is showing as a credit, then I really should have a credit of $334.50 as that is the total that's been paid. It makes my head ache just trying to figure out their accounting system.

Surely you can see why I decided it was more prudent for me to keep track of that $271 credit than for our esteemed clinic. *sigh* I wonder when they'll figure it out? I did just receive a second EOB from the insurance company on the boys' visit. Apparently the clinic refiled the claims. I don't know why. I got an EOB ages ago. Did they not? Or did they, in that great mental vacuum they call accounting, lose them? Who knows. I imagine I'll be getting a bill soon. Then again, maybe not.

Guess I'll just wait and see.

I know several of the docs in this clinic. I've thought about convincing them to hire me as an office manager. In addition to the salary, I would require 10% of the money I saved them by getting them organized and generally pulling their heads out of their butts. I'm guessing I could be a millionaire within two years.

*sigh* I hate shit like this.

Monday, November 07, 2005

How to open a Hershey bar

On a scrapping board I frequent, Jen in GA posted this morning that she noticed that there are instructions for opening a Hershey bar on the back of the wrapper. She wondered if someone had trouble and called them for help and cajunscrapper said they probably did! Why else would they print them? This idea really tickled me and got me to imagining that 1-800-HER-SHEY call.


Ring, ring.

Hershey's Tech Support: Hello, Hershey's Technical Support. How may I assist you?

Candy Idiot: Umm, yeah. I have a Hershey bar and I'm really craving chocolate but I can't figure out how to get it open! I'm getting really frustrated! Can you help?

HTS: Of course, sir. That's what we're here for. First of all, I need to inform you that this call may be monitored for quality purposes. Second calm down. Now, do you have the bar in front of you?

CI: Oh, no. Hang on. .......... Okay, I'm back. I've got it now.

HTS: Okay, sir. Tell me what it says on the package.

CI: Umm, Hershey's Milk Chocolate.

HTS: Is that with or without nuts?

CI: Ummm, I'm not sure. It doesn't say anything about nuts. Is that a problem??? Does it matter???

HTS: No, sir. It's just for our records. Now, sir, what I need for you to do for me is to turn the candy bar over so that the back is facing you. Got it?

CI: Yeah, it's on it's back now.

HTS: Do you see a small flap where the brown wrapper was joined together?

CI: Yeah, I see it.

HTS: Okay, grasp the bar with your left hand and gently lift the flap with your right hand.

CI: But the flap is on my LEFT!!

HTS: Don't worry, sir. Try rotating the bar 180-degrees so that the flap is on your right.

CI: Okay, I did that.

HTS: Now try grasping the bar with your left hand and lifting the flap with your right.

CI: It's tearing! It's tearing!!

HTS: That's okay. You're going to discard it anyway.

CI: Oh. OK. ......... OH NO!! There's another wrapper underneath!!

HTS: Don't worry sir. We're going to remove this one exactly like you did the last one only this one will be easier as it's not glued down. Can you try that for me now?


HTS: And did that work?

CI: YES!! It worked! The candy is unwrapped now! Oh, thank you SO much! I had no idea how I was going to get this done. You're a life saver.

HTS: You're very welcome, sir. Just for future reference, these directions are written on the back of the wrapper.

CI: (sheepishly) Oh, gosh. I didn't notice that!

HTS: That's OK. That's what we're here for. Is there anything else I can help you with today?

CI: No. Thanks for your help!

HTS: You have a good day and enjoy that chocolate!


Kids are weird.

Do you have one? If so, then you probably know that already. My 13 y/o is weird about clothes. At the start of 6th grade we went school clothes shopping. Came home with three brand-new pairs of jeans. By November, I noticed that he had eschewed this not insignificant clothing investment in favor of sweats. Fortunately, not the plain grey ones they sell for true workouts. I'm talking about the silky ones that look at least a little dressier. Still, they're sweats. Darned kid wore NOTHING but sweats everywhere that casual clothing was acceptable for two solid years. It drove me up the wall.

Flash forward to this year - the beginning of 8th grade. He had one pair of khaki cargo pants for those occasions not requiring dress clothes, but for which I was unwilling to let him wear sweats. A couple of days into the school year, he asked if I could buy him some more of them. HECK YEAH!! I went racing to our local Wal Mart (one of only two places in my tiny town to buy clothing, and the only one to buy them at a reasonable cost). I bought him a grey pair and another khaki pair. I didn't want to over-buy until I was sure he'd stick with them. He has. So, this weekend I asked if he'd like a couple more pair in different colors. Nope. He just wants khaki. He "likes the way they look".

"But people will think you're wearing the same pair every day!!"

Immediately after that came out of my mouth, I regretted it. I've always been one that thinks it doesn't matter a bit what other people think and I've always been glad he thinks the same. He still doesn't care. He just wants khaki.

Okie-doke. I suppose I'll buy him a couple more pairs so I don't have to wash quite as often.

I wonder what the next phase will be?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Stuff no one wants to read

Why am I starting a blog if I'm sure no one would want to read it? Darned good question. I suppose to give myself an outlet and spare my friends. This way I can babble here and they won't be forced to pretend they're listening. Poor things. No more sitting patiently while I blather on and on as they stifle yawns until their jaws ache and their eyes run with tears from the effort. Now I can just direct them here and, when I ask if they read it, they can politely lie and say they did!

Maybe it's just to seem busy, thereby allowing myself to put off cleaning up after my three guys.

Maybe it's just to amuse myself. Hey, I live in Kansas. It doesn't take much!!

Maybe for no reason at all.

So, dear friends of mine ... enjoy!

Or not.