Saving The Day For The Woman Who Drew My Blood

“That shouldn’t be,” she said. I didn’t think so either.

Blood work! Ugh. It’s part of getting older. I never liked it. Nowadays I can at least tolerate it.

Because I take statins for my cholesterol I have my blood checked regularly… like today. I headed to the lab in the basement of a small office building in the center on my town.

As I walked in Angie the phlebotomist/technician looked up.

“I’m so glad you’re here. You’re a godsend.”

Uh oh. I looked back to make sure she wasn’t talking to someone else. Nope it was me. I figured there was a weather question coming. Nope again.

Angie began to tell me the story of a car she’d bought from a used car dealer in Naugatuck. Everything was fine for the first month, then it began to lose power. The dealer would fix it, but they said Angie would be on the hook for the sensor that had seemingly gone south!

“That shouldn’t be,” she said.

I didn’t think so either, so I pulled out my iPhone went online and found the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection. Not their problem, but they had a link to the DMV who does handle auto dealer repair disputes. Angie’s $10,000 car should have been covered a minimum of 60 days.

I’m sending an email to Angie with the iPhone screencap and a little note. The dealer should do the right thing. If not I’ll ask the station to help. We’ve been doing a lot of stories where “We’ve Got Your Back.”

After Angie found my vein (second try) and extracted my blood I asked why I was asked to help? After all I’m just the weatherman. Angie told me she’d watched me for years and knew I was intelligent. She knew I could find the answer.

God bless you Angie. You made my month. I am so glad I could help.

Phone Heaven/Phone Hell

I knew I was in trouble when the voice prompt asked if I wanted more information about my prescription. “No, said I. The disembodied computer voice told me anyway!

A few weeks ago I wrote about my trouble getting Stef’s Connecticut registration properly off-the-books. After a little phone tree hell I spoke with Jackie–my guardian angel at the DMV. Today I met her equally angelic co-worker Ann.

As it turns out there was still paperwork to be processed and a few hoops to jump before we could be straightened out.

“Don’t worry,” said Ann.

You know what? I won’t!

For my end of the deal I cajoled Stef to take a photo of her current insurance card and email it to me. I then forwarded the photo to Ann.

I so want this journey to be over, but this is the DMV. Its evil might be more powerful than the combined goodness of Jackie and Ann.

As long as I was trying my luck on the phone I rang up my insurance company to renew a prescription. They make it cheaper to get the drugs by mail but then make you jump through hoops!

Insurance companies and other users of voice driven systems try their best to reduce their employees time on the phone. Unfortunately, they are free and easy with mine. It’s almost as though they don’t care.

OK–not almost. They really don’t care about my time. Do they?

I knew I was in trouble when the voice prompt asked if I wanted more information about my prescription. “No,” said I. The disembodied computer voice told me anyway!

After any yes/no question was answered by me the automated voice waited three or four seconds before giving an acknowledgment. It was a demeaning experience. Truth is we’ve democratized this type of experience to the point where everyone is uniformly treated like crap!

The low point came when my order had been entered. I was told my cost would be $70. The voice then asked if I still wanted to get the prescription filled!

If you want to know what’s wrong with our insurance system there’s a perfect example. No one should ever have to answer that question. No one should deprive themselves of needed medication because it’s expensive. I can afford the drugs, but I’m sure people hear that $70 prompt every day and are forced to say “No.”

In the end every part of my prescription experience was cold, uninviting and devoid of human compassion. Maybe the idea of the insurance company is to discourage me from spending their money. Ya’ think?

If Ann and Jackie could handle all my calls for help the world would be a much better place!