Monday, May 12, 2008
A Comedy of Errors
My mother called me at work this morning. OK, she called me several times. On the last of these calls, shortly after 12, she was yelling … at me! She had just gotten home from the pharmacy after a trip to the doctor this morning. "Do you know how much this cost?" she bellowed. I was afraid to find out. Look, ma, I didn't write the script, or fill it, or tell you that your insurance doesn't cover it. Stop yelling... at me!
"I'm sorry. I'm just so upset," she said resignedly. That bothered me worse than the yelling. "I'm going to just take this stuff back."
"Yeah, ma, that's good," I said. "You can really spend that money when you're dead. Now just go take your medicine." I knew my evening was destined to be spent going through paperwork to find out what the problem was.
Instead, when I got home, she was on the phone. The pharmacy had called her back. Their bad. Her total bill: $13.45 -- less than 10 percent of what she paid this morning. Kudos to Steven at Walgreens for going the extra mile to get it right.
Not many people have my cell number. It's a device that, while I appreciate having it, I mostly view as a necessary evil. Very rarely will you ever see me using it for superfluous conversation.
So it was kind of odd that when I turned on my phone as I was leaving the office that I got a tone and a text note telling me I had a message. "Hi," my mystery caller says as I retrieve the message. "This is Dr. Blah Blah's office and we wanted to let you know that your appointment will have to be rescheduled. Doctor has surgery that day, so he won't be in the office. You can call us at xxx-xxx-xxxx to set it up." I didn't recognize the doctor's name and the call-back number had an up-state area code.
Someone screwed up. The funny part? My message says who I am. And I'm clearly NOT your patient!
I didn't think any more of it until the phone rang earlier tonight at This D*mn House. "Ethel?"
Huh? That one caught me off guard. I don't even know anyone named Ethel. "No, sorry. You've got the wrong number." I was already taking the receiver from my ear when the caller queried, "You sure?" I resisted the urge to tell her yes, I was sure, 'cause she went shoppin' with Lucy -- but should be home soon because she told Fred she'd show an apartment to one of Ricky's friends.
I wanted to, but I politely said yes and hung up. (If you didn't get that you're either too young or you just never watch Nick at Nite.)
Clearly, a bad day for the number-dialing public.
"You're going to love this," says my mother. (When she says this, I rarely do.) "A fencing company called today." Apparently, this was a company that The Home Depot said would call us yesterday to make arrangements to come out tomorrow for an estimate.
As it turns out, the company that HD contracts with, doesn't use HD materials so they don't have the fence we want. (Yeah, I always want the guy who I send business to to not use my product.) The topper: We want to put up 8 panels along the back of our property, separating it from the easement and alley. "We don't do a straight line," says they. "We have to do the whole fence." And you do no straight lines?
Still shaking my head about that one.