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.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Five minute Friday: blood

Five minutes to write from a single word prompt...go!

Blood as in family. As in DNA.

From the minute I met him, I fell in love with my little brother B. Who is now my brother B who is going to college next year. Who is taller and bigger than me. Mr. RK calls me B's "little sister."

I don't have children, other than furry ones with tails, but I am told the fierce and protective bond I have for him is like that. Momma Bear. Don't mess with my brother. If you ruin his day, you ruin mine, and God fucking help you.
I want him to be happy, and dread the day he is too cool to hang out with me any longer.

Blood, frankly, means nothing to me. Family are the people you love, who love you, who you surround yourself with my choice. DNA is a matter of coincidence.

And next week, B is going to have a very special kind of celebration (psst, I'll let you know when it's done) that proves exactly my point.

Blood isn't what matters. Blood, frankly, would have let me down a long time ago.

Family is different.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

I am not your mommy!

I think I need to make a shirt with those words and wear it - you know, at events, in the office.

We had our gala dinner Tuesday (and I am obviously old because I'm still tired, hence the lack of blogging) and I kid you not, that day at 3:30 pm I get an email:

"RK, what is the dress code for dinner?"

I'm heading out the door in FIVE MINUTES to go start setting up at the hotel. I AM NOT YOUR MOMMY!
On the phone with someone I referred to a clinic. "Do you know how long the wait time is?"


What I am, apparently, is the provider of strawberries for the resident squirrels. I had no idea that they enjoyed fruit. Little bites are appearing in the berries as soon as they ripen.

Apparently I am also the resident safety officer. Reading before bed last night, we heard a big crash...then Vasil scurried off somewhere.

Mr. RK later discovered that Vasil was attempting to get up into the guest bedroom closet - or rather, onto the top shelf - and didn't quite make it, falling into a box of Legos.

Yes, Legos. Mr. RK said I could tell you that he is secure enough to own up to Legos.

I am going to sound like a horrible person but I find it easier to deal with wildlife and tamed wildlife than people these days. No matter how easy we try to make it for people to get services, for instance, some shitheads want everything done for them. However...

These are interesting times. We had an appointment a couple of weeks ago for someone who needed to sign up for Medicaid. His mom came with him and although her son was the one with the diagnosis, this woman was just this side of bonkers. Or maybe just bonkers. She was getting so self-righteously worked up about something, and I thought I was going to have to ask her to leave - and then she spied the candy dish on our conference table.
"OOOOOHHHHH, CANDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" She ate half of the bowl by herself in twenty minutes flat.

Then she said, "You know? If I had known I was going to have to wait, I would have brought my ukelele."

And yes, I know, these are terribly politically incorrect, but I take happy pills myself, so I know crazy when I see it.