Monday, October 27, 2014

Tips for the uninitiated

I don't remember this time of year ever being so busy. In addition to the usual events and day-to-day stuff at work and at the place where I volunteer, I have (stupidly) agreed to take on some volunteer marketing work for said place.

Which puts me in the frame of mind where I look at everything from a branding/marketing lens. I have worked in PR and marketing before, and hated it, but I did learn some good takeaways. Namely, don't write like you are an idiot.
Sadly to say, someone has managed to do this for a federal training we have to take at work. I'm sure they're laughing all the way to the bank. The training is an online thing required for us to keep signing people up for Medicaid and other insurance post Nov. 15, when our state, which has fucked up beyond belief, is moving to the federal website. (Do an internet search for "Cover Oregon" and you'll start to feel my pain.)

Anyhow. Along with the typical mind-numbing slides and endless pop-ups and dialogue boxes, there are sample conversations from theoretical appointments.

To whit:

"Hi, Casey, I'm 29 and my husband and I have a two-year-old daughter, and neither of our workplaces offers affordable health insurance. I'm looking for a plan that has low deductibles because we make frequent visits to the pediatrician."

It is at this point that I begin to laugh, because clearly the author of this script has never done an actual appointment signing anyone up.

It's more like this: "Um. I need to get an insurance card."
Assister: "Do you mean you need to apply for insurance? Do you currently have insurance?"
Caller: "I have insurance in Connecticut but it won't cover me in Oregon."
Assister: "Are you just visiting or did you move here?"
Caller: "I moved here. And I have to go get surgery this week and they won't cover it because it's out of network."

Well no shit, Sherlock!
Also amusing were the online "exams" at the end of each segment. Some of the questions were like trick questions, because the answers were close enough together to be indistinguishable, and some of them were made for four-year-olds.

A real sample: "Wendy calls about getting affordable health insurance. She is unsure if she qualifies for Medicaid. Do you A) Tell Wendy you can't help her." .....

Yes, really.

Another scenario involved a customer who thought they qualified for something they didn't qualify for. In the sample dialogue, she said, "I feel much better now that you have explained it to me. It makes sense."

HA! We have had people accuse the state (and us, even though we have nothing to do with the state's healthcare system) of everything from discrimination to incompetence even when THEY are the cause of the fuck up. Case in point: the guy who moved and didn't tell anyone, and then didn't get his insurance card, and then freaked out when he couldn't get a prescription.

There are a lot of people out there in need of velcro.


Granny Annie said...

Your closing line struck a valuable cord. Velcro!! I have many items that require Velcro. If they all had them I would walk around looking like a Christmas tree but would have everything with me.

Rock Chef said...

You will get your reward in heaven. Don't you love it when people tell you that? :-)

Workingdan said...

Don't get me started. I haven't the energy to lay into an insurance rant. It starts with Obama and ends with care...nope, not gonna do it, not going there.

-end rant(before it starts)

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Your scenarios have that unmistakable ring of truth alright! And by the way, got a big laugh out of your comment on my ouija board post. Your poor brother, LOL!

Charles Gramlich said...

I don't envy you such interactions.

Lee said...

And we wonder why the world is in such a mess! The world isn't...humans are! I often wonder how they find the bathroom each morning after they've woken up. Perhaps they don't! That could very well be the answer...they're still roaming around trying to find it....hmmmmmm....

Hang in there, RK....don't let them get you down! :)

Vanessa Morgan said...

You are very brave to do this as a volunteer. At least, you have something to write about here :)

G. B. Miller said...

I think this is a first, because usually I can offer an example on my end in what you go through.

However, not this time. Sadly though, Velcro wouldn't work here.

Father Nature's Corner

Lynn said...

Sounds like very frustrating work!

LL Cool Joe said...

But deep down you love it all really don't you? Come on, admit it. :d

Abby said...

It always surprises me that you're able to keep a straight face through these things (maybe not?), but... I feel much better now that you have explained it to me. It makes sense."

A Beer For The Shower said...

Stupid people exist in every field and every category of life. It just amazes me some of the questions they ask. My wife works in IT, and got an emergency after hours call at 3 in the morning last week from a guy whose computer froze. His question - Can I restart it?

Furry Bottoms said...

The more I read you, the more I am convinced of your brilliance. I love how your mind works!!!