Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Year's Resolution

I am in total agreement with Jen Lancaster when I say this. Asking me what my New Year's Resolutions are when we do not know each other and have had no more contact than your asking me if I want" fries with that" is not a way to develop some sort of long lasting repartee. In fact if you are asking me if I want fries with that, I probably don't give enough of a damn to want to know what your New Year's resolution is unless it is something like "I will not spit on the customer's fries anymore".
So here is my New Year's Resolution:
"I resolve not to kill the next asshat that asks me what my New Year's Resolution is. However; if I break part one of this resolution, I resolve to use a better method for disposing of the body than last year's Fargo-inspired-chipper-shredder method."

Happy New Year!
* Go to Jen's Web-site for her version of the New Year's Resolution rant.  Web link on the Places to Go.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Insurance Monkeys Part Deaux

Round two of monkeys at the insurance company.

According to the primates at Big Clueless, after round one of our claims fiasco, they now have the provider ID number in their database. This will insure that any new claims would be processed quickly and promptly....or so I was told. Then again Disney told me I would kiss a frog, marry a prince, become a princess and live happily ever after....turns out they were lying bastards as well.

I fill out the paperwork for the next set of claims. I send them TO the Dallas office. For good measure and just in case the monkeys at Big Clueless couldn't quite figure out that THE DALLAS office is supposed to process the claim, I cover the claim with a sheet of paper that states (typed in 22 point bold font) "THIS CLAIM IS PROCESSED IN THE DALLAS OFFICE. DO NOT FORWARD TO ST. LOUIS." It was written two times on the cover sheet. In Bold ink. Capital letters. Two times. DId I mention 22 point font?

So I go about my life thinking every thing is hunky-dorky and my claim is being processed and my check will arrive any day............About a month latter, I get THE LETTER - (as I am lovingly referring to my favorite mass produced-electronically signed-kicked out-claim letter). "We can not process your claim at the office. We are forwarding it to the the DALLAS office...." The light begins to fade as I sip from consciousness....
I read the letter again. WTF?!? Are these people just trying to piss me off? Do they really have some sort of death wish? Thank GAWD I live in Texas and somebody get me a shotgun cause these people just need a-killin".

I find my phone, xanax and something to strangle in effigy, while I dig through the insurance paperwork looking for a number to call Big Clueless in order to give them a piece of my mind. Ten minutes of muzak hell, I finally get the first unfortunate monkey to answer the phone.

Me: Get me a supervisor.
BC: Can I help you?
Me: No. trust me you do not want to deal with me, please connect me to a supervisor. (HEY! I did say please!)
BC: Ma'am (OH NO SHE DIDN"T!!!)
BC: Ma'am (Yep she did) We are supposed to deal with the client problems, not the supervisors. That's our job, not theirs.**
**Are we still in America? First off this was a truly odd moment in the workplace. No one ever says it's THEIR job. And where was this one hard charging worker bee when my first claim was going through? No wonder these idiot can't get anything done!
Me: I appreciate your help, but I have already had this issue with Big Clueless and would like to get to the bottom of this right away. I completed the form as requested. You have the provider ID number in your system. I triple verified the mailing address. I even put a nice note on the claim. So why the h#ll did it get sent to the St. Louis office...AGAIN? I WANT TO TALK TO A SUPERVISOR!!!

Two days later I get the first call from Ms Ape (Big Clueless Supervisor) which goes to my voice mail. Since I can't call her directly, I have to go through the same process above in order to return her call to have her return my call. After the longest running game of phone tag I have ever played that has not ended with me beating in someone's head with my phone; I get to the bottom of the claim problem. Not only am I psychotic, but I am supposed to be psychic as well. Because I needed to put the provider ID number on the claim form, even though the information is NOT directly or indirectly requested anywhere on the form. Thank you, Miss Cleo!!! I knew I should have been working for you. OH and the invoice from the provider has her tax/provider ID# written on it....right beside the diagnosis codes. Any person who bothered to look through the claim and not just on the claim form would have seen it since you have to look on the invoice for the PT/medical codes in the first place!!!!! Oh and that whole "we keep the ID numbers in our system.....Bullsheeeettttyyyyyy-da.

Two weeks latter, I received my reimbursement. Today, I completed the paperwork for round three of these claims. I wrote the provider ID number on every claim. I high-lighted the ID number on the invoice. I wrote a cover sheet - in 22 point font BOLD - the Provider ID number and that the claim is to be processed in DALLAS not St. Louis. I did everything short of walking to the Dallas office and personally handing it to the dumb ape that will be processing it.

Anyone willing to take bets on how long before I get THE LETTER???
Office pool is starting at $5.
Get one while it's hot and before I need bail money.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It's Rocket Science People!!

For those of you who don't know me, I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Community Health (with an emphasis in Epidemiology - BIG word for I like to learn about icky diseases) from a Big 12 university. Suffice it to say, I have been to a college science class, or two.

Last summer I decided I was going to go back to school to become an RN. I trot down to the local community collage (LCC) after having sent my transcripts, proof of residence and application fees to meet with the "guidance counselor". Trust me people, I need more guidance than this guy can give, but that is whole other story...or two. After going over the courses I would need to take in order to meet the requirements for acceptance into the Associate Degree RN program, I trot off to register. Apparently my prerequisite science classes are over five years old and I will need to take them over in order to get into the program. No problem. I aced Micro, A&P and Biology years ago, so how hard can it be? The events in mitosis don't change. Yeah, but this is me we are talking about......

I walk up to the registration desk where a slightly "full-figured" dark haired girl dressed just this side of slutty is finishing off her Big Bang Burrito. Irritation at my interrupting her culinary experience is written all over her face; just like the beans from the burrito. Note: If you are full figured and want to wear a low cut shirt, I am all for it. Show those twin off! Just get some support for them for Dawg's sake and don't make me look at them while you push them up to damn near popping out with the desk edge. Oh yeah, and wipe your burrito off your face before you open your mouth.

Me: "Hi! I need to register for Biology, Micro I and A&P courses this fall."

LCC Laky: "OK, you will need to take a test."
She takes my registration paperwork and pulls me up in the computer. (The twins bob precariously close to making a personal appearance while she types.)

Me: "Uuummmm, what test?"

LCC: "The test that will tell us if you can pass a college biology course." (I swear she was rolling her eyes, but I was too busy watching the wonder-twins for a possible break out.)

ME: "Oh, I don't need to take it. I have a BS degree and have taken all of these classes before, I just have to take them over because I took them over five years ago."

LCC: "Yes, but we need to know that you have the background to take a science at the college level or if you need to take a prep-course." (She sits back from the desk and the twins go back to the rightful place where they mercifully stay put for the rest of our conversation...wheew!!)

ME: (After taking a deep breath.) "I understand that you want to make sure I can pass the classes, but I have already passed these the college level....I just need to retake them because they are too old to count towards the degree."

Does anyone see where this is going....

Ms. Community College looks at me as though I CLEARLY am not intelligent enough to understand that even though I have a BS degree and I have already taken these courses at the university level, that LCC apparently holds its students to an academic standard on level with that of Harvard.

LCC: "We make everyone take the test so that we can help them make sure they can pass a college level science class......"

I tune out as I picture myself banging my head against the counter that I pass out and someone brighter than Ms Burrito-Twins appears to save me from this conversation. UUUUGGGGHHHH.

Me: "I have taken these classes and passed AT A FOUR-YEAR-UNIVERSITY*! and made nothing less than a B in them **!!"
*One with a decent reputation for academic achievement, I might add. I doubt very seriously that Local Community College will be harder.
**OK that part is a little lie: I made a C the first time I took Biology,s o I took it over and made a B, but that would confuse her and I wasn't going to chance having all four of her brain cells expire from over-exertion.

Clearly not getting through to her, I ask to speak with someone who could maybe grant me oh say a waver or had a slight understanding of logic. Let's just say that the next person I talked to had fewer brain cells than Ms. Big-Burrito and the conversation was a repeat...several times. After an hour I left the building and decided that I may want to be a nurse, but I sure as dog's tails don't want a degree from a college that employes people who don't comprehend "I HAVE A COLLEGE DEGREE IN SCIENCE, WHICH PROVES THAT I CAN PASS A COLLEGE SCIENCE CLASS!!!" Oh just shoot me.....

Monday, December 10, 2007

My insurance and other companies run by monkeys

First, I have to apologize to the monkeys. It's unfair of me to compare them to the morons who work for a certain major health care coverage firm who couldn't find their collective @$$es with all hands and a map. To the primates out there; I sincerely apologize. To Big Clueless & Big Headache; your a bunch of @$$hats.

The background on this: I have insurance with Big Clueless & Big Headache through my company (now COBRA). The provider I use is not part of the network and does not file claims. The patient does the filing and gets re-embursed for the out-of-pocket fees, etc. No big. I call Big Clueless to get the info I need in order to process the claims.

BC: This call may be monitored or recorded for training and auditing purposes.*
*yeah right, because if you trained your people, I wouldn't be going through this for the THIRD time in less than a year (but this is round one).

Me: Hi I need to double check that I am sending this claim to the DALLAS office and that this is the correct address and where it should be directed.

I spend ten minutes on the phone with Miss-for-$7-an-hour-what-do-you-expect-from-me? confirming and repeating the address. Fairly secure in my comprehension of where to send the claim, I fill out the paper work and mail it. Did I mention that it was to go TO THE DALLAS OFFICE??? *this is a BIG point.

Several (and I do mean several) weeks latter Big Clueless' ST. LOUIS office sends me a letter stating something to the effect "We do not process these claims at our office. We are returning it to you. This will be forwarded to the DALLAS office for processing". Anyone see something wrong here? Yeah, the St. Louis office will be forwarding the claim to the Dallas office, which had forwarded to the ST. LOUIS office for some unknown reason. I needed a drink after figuring out this circle-jerk approach to the processes. Nothing was returned to me...and I did not hear from them again until two months later when I had another claim to process and still had nothing from them on my first claim.

Now I am pissed and as anyone who has ever been within the line of sight of me when I get pissed will tell ain't pretty. It will go ugly early, there will be collateral damage, deaths may occur, no prisoners will be taken and no quarter given. But on the plus side, if you ever want to be upgraded to first class because some asshat in reservations sandwiched you in-between two fat-assed business men in coach and you spent the entire trip sitting on one butt-cheek while trying not to get felt up by fat-ass #1....I'm your woman.

I called Big Clueless to find out what was the problem. The first three phone calls reveled to me the level of idiot I would be dealing with because three separate customer service reps couldn't even find me in the system...nor the company I worked for, even though it is one of the largest conglomerate health care systems in the US. I pop a Xanx and try to breath deeply. Oh and could I call back and see if someone else could find me in the system? Seriously? Your telling me you are to lazy to help me get to the bottom of this and could I just spend another hour languishing in muzak and phone system hell until I find someone else with four more brain cells than you to help me figure this out? GAME ON.

This is WAR. Finally after two hours and several people latter, Big Clueless finds me in the system, but not the claim I had filed. Yes, I had sent it to the correct address and the correct department and no, they have no idea why it was sent to the St. Louis office from the DALLAS office and could I now fax them a copy of the claim. I take another xanax and fax them a copy

Two weeks latter I get a letter..........."We can not process this claim at our office and are forwarding it to the DALLAS office......" I think a coworker peeled me off the ceiling. I don't remember, my memory is a little hazy. I think there was a tranquilizer dart involved, but I can't be sure. People at work begin talking in hushed tones when around me and several new people won't approach me.

I am now on a first name basis with several customer service representatives at Big Clueless (and I don't think I will be getting a Christmas card from any one of them....a restraining order: yes. A Christmas card: no). Several rounds of phone tag and refills of my Xanax RX, it is finally discovered that they (the DALLAS office) need the provider ID number to process the claim.

1. There is NOWHERE on the claim form to impart this piece of information. I am not Deon Worwick and do not have psychic abilities that would enable me to know that this will be a key piece of information in the processing of this claim (and future claims, but more on that latter).

2. No one at Big Clueless ever contacted me requesting this information. No phone calls, letters requesting that I send them the info, calls to the provider requesting her ID number. Which leaves me to believe that they just threw the claim in a corner and thought that the ID number would magically appear or I would just forget about the claim. Right buddy! You got my money and I'm going to forget that? If you are sitting on money I could potentially be spending on a new handbag, you bet your fat-Big-Clueless ass I am not forgetting it!

3. Big Clueless employees people who can not think outside the box and do not go "above-and-beyond" anything not in their job description.*
* Which makes me wonder because every one of my job descriptions had the cover-all written into it that says "And other duties as necessary or assigned" Which was there in order for the boss to nail your butt when you didn't do stuff the member for a crucial piece of information in order to get the claim processed....

After a number of phone calls I get the information I need and a supervisor on the phone. I have a "small" chat with the CS supervisor about the F*%kwittages she has working for her. Provider ID number is given and claim finally gets paid. All this pain and suffering is now over and they have the provider ID in their system. End of round one.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Two Buck Chuck and the Ex-Boyfriend

Seriously people. Two Buck Chuck and the internet at 2 a.m. are never a good mix. Actually, most decisions made at 2 a.m. are never good ones. I mean who has ever stood in front of the ATM in the middle of the night, getting cash to support something they were not going to regret the next time they woke up?
2 a.m. + decisions = BAD MIX.
OK, so it was really around midnight, but whatever.... about a empty Chuck bottle latter, I thought e-mailing would be a great idea and wasn't NOW the appropriate time to catch up with all my chickas. After all, I had been out of the country and they had little-to-no contact with me. And weren't they just dying to know what was going on in MY little piece of the world.
Thus at midnight I am clicking away at my contact list and in my drunken haze clicked the e-mail of my recently Ex-dating "relationship".
Note to self: Once dumped remove e-mail, phone number, website and all other possible ways of contacting said "ex" from all things electronic/digital/technological.

After raging on them to get SCUBA certified so that we can commander the high seas as SCUBA Chicks next year, and updating them on my current work/lack of work situation, I move on to the big topic: my getting dumped 12 days before I turn a "certain" age. See Exert Below:

"Well, I have slowed down a bit on the break-up crying. I mean, he did have the worst timing...12 days before I turn ##. Thanks. Insult to injury. Positive side: I do think this qualifies me for an emergency botox. The bummer part is that I really must have liked this guy more than I thought (or I have the worlds most RAGING case of PMS) because all I want to do it crawl
under a rock and try to figure out what is so wrong with me that a really smart, nice, funny (and for me cute) 45-yr-old divorcee with grown kids and graying hair (that I found to be really sexy) would dump me...He gave me the same lines we all get. The "I can't give you what you want" - which I find interesting because he never asked me what I wanted. That was
followed by the "he doesn't deserve me" line. Really, did he stomp on baby kittens in a past life and dating me was some sort of special hell reserved for Kitten stompers, Dante's political enemies and Caiaphas?? What did he "deserve"? Sharon Stone? But as difficult as it has been, I have been respectful of his decision. I have been good and not e-mailed, called or texted him...out of respect for his wants. Can't say it has been easy...especially since A---- and I have managed to inhale an entire bottle (or so) of wine between the two of us tonight as I was writing this up. It was so much easier when all we had to worry about was the drunk-dialing from the cordless phone at home. Or paging him 600-million times...remember when pagers where in? :-) Now you practically have to lock yourself in the loo in order to avoid any possibility that you could get some drunken message out."

Which is apparently what I needed to do...because he got the e-mail!! Spent the next day wording carefully phrased apologetic e-mail to said EX, then deleting name, number, e-mail, web-page and anything else that could possibly lead to accidental contact from all things electronic. And nursing headache, and bruised pride...again.

This people is the introduction to what I have labeled Lisa-tastrophies. Those lovely little life events that only seem to happen once in a person's life but for some reason appear almost daily in mine. I would love to say I wasn't bitter, but OH PLEASE!!! I went an entire year thinking that CNN was announcing daily that the world was indeed out to get me and that everyone was in on it but me. Since my friends tell me I need to write a book about these little Lisa-tastrophies, I thought I would try my hand at the blog. Maybe it will serve as a warning to the rest of the world that if you are a royal B*&% to the oh-so-badly-dressed lady at the Nordstrom's shoe rack and tell her that you are indeed SHOPPING there while she is WORKING there;* that life will come back and karma kick you in the @$$. So here's my chance to chronicle them all.

*more on that story latter...and yes, she did deserve it...and yes, she did get canned....and yes, I did get the best pair of perfect black pumps on sale for 40% off plus an extra 10% for my troubles.