In past posts, I may have referred to the health care system here, and how I'm not a fan.
Last week, I made an appointment for something that wasn't urgent, but I'd been putting off for a while. Women's business. Naturally, there were slim pickings for times that suited me (ie not having to drag both girls along). Three weeks from now, I should be sorted - a whole month after I made the appointment, for what is essentially a basic check-up.
Yay American health care.
As I was making lunch for a suddenly-starving Faery today, my mobile phone rang. I didn't recognise the number, but answered anyway.
There was a pause, I almost hung up, then a pre-recorded message greeted me.
"Hello, MJ. This is an important announcement from Kaiser-Permanente. For your patient notification, please press one, or you can retrieve your message at any time."
Kaiser-Permanente is the stupid health insurance company we are with (as provided through J's workplace), and has us by the short and curlies. I'm unimpressed with them because our options seem pretty limited - we can only see doctors in their medical centres as it seems the more independent practicioners don't accept KP. Thankfully there is a centre close by, but as mentioned before, I can never get an appointment when truly needed without waiting. It's quite ridiculous.
So, being KP, I thought I'd better quickly listen to the message, in case it was about a change to my appointment.
I pressed one.
"Please enter your patient medical record number, followed by the pound key."
Really? The message isn't just waiting for me after all? I scrambled to find my purse so I could grab my KP membership card -
"The number you have entered is invalid. Please check the number and enter it again."
Sheesh! Give me a chance to find my number, why don't you? I located my card, and entered its number.
"The number you have entered is xxxxxxxxxx. If this is correct, please press one. If this is incorrect, please press two."
Oh my god. Just give me the frigging message already - YOU were the ones who rang ME. I pressed one.
"Please enter your date of birth, followed by the pound key. For example, if your date of birth is January 12th, 1973, enter 01121973, followed by the pound key."
Aaaaaghh! I entered my date of birth, and pressed the hash key.
"You have entered xxxxxxxx. If this is correct, please press one. If this is incorrect, please press two."
With an almighty exhale, I pressed one... to receive a general message about the importance of having a pap smear, and if I have not already done so, I should make an appointment as soon as possible.
Oh the pain.
If I hate bureaucracy and the American health care system, I think I detest automated phone prompts equally - especially when I didn't even make a bloody phone call in the first place.
(Meanwhile, the Faery almost passed out from hunger.)
I also hate having to call customer service, and this perfectly illustrates why.
I'm glad I found that. I needed a laugh...