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This Day in My History

George Washington's
Rules of Civility
and Decent Behaviour

86th:   In disputes, be not so desirous to overcome as not to give liberty to each one to deliver his opinion and submit to the judgment of the major part, especially if they are judges of the dispute.

Yesterday's Entries

2000: Wonderful! Wonderful!
 I Hate...
2002:  Catch a Falling Star
2003:  When Plans Change


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2004q3-finalist.jpg (20881 bytes)Thank you for the nomination of Funny the World for a Diarist Net Legacy (Hall of Fame) award!  If you have a journal yourself, you can vote here(Unfortunately, you have to have a journal of your own in order to vote).


19 November 2004

Before I left for Annapolis, I sent a letter to my primary care physician, mentioning to him that I would be needing a refill on some medication.  I also had to cancel an appointment that was set up for me.  I figured I would be hearing from somebody somewhere about something.

When I returned home, I received the following message from Walt:

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So today, I called 757-7070, intending to ask for Andrea.

First there was voice mail hell.  If you are bleeding to death, press 1.  If you have developed a major catastrophic illness, press 2, If you want a flu shot, forget it and lock your doors until the germs have died, if you want to make an appointment, wait for 6 months and try again.  For all other queries, press 4.

I pressed 4. and got another voice mail.

If you are under 6 months, have your mother press 1.  If you are between 6 months and a year, hit the buttons with a hammer and hope you get the right operator.  If you are a toddler, wipe the peanut butter from your fingers and press 3.  If you are a young adult, take the studs out of your tongue and press 4.  If you want "Adult Medicine" press 5.

I pressed 5.  I was told that I would be answered sometime before the end of my logical life expectancy.

Eventually, an operator answered.

I could tell from her voice that we were in for some communication problems.

Now, I think that anybody who has  read this journal for more than 5 minutes knows that I have very few prejudices, if any.  I have friends all over the world.  I love people.  I love learning about other cultures.  I have done my share of helping people from other cultures to learn about Americans, to learn the complexities of the English language, and to assimilate into this country.

HOWEVER, my tolerance limits are reached with corporations who put people for whom English is not the first language and who have obviously not mastered the complexity of either speech or comprehension as the first line of defense between myself and the person I am trying to reach.

In halting English, the operator asked me for my telephone number.   Then she asked me how to pronounce my name.  Then she asked me to let her know for sure what my telephone number was.  When I repeated it, she told me she meant my address, not my telephone number. 

Finally we had stumbled through all the screening questions and were down to the nitty gritty.  I told her I had been told to ask for Andrea.

"What did she want?" I was asked.

"I don't know what she wanted," I replied, patiently.  I was just told to ask for her.

"Where was she calling from?" she asked.

"She was apparently calling from 757-7070, because that's the number she left for me to call," I replied.

"Who wanted her to call you?" she asked.

"I don't know who wanted her to call me," I said.   "All I know is that her name is Andrea and she asked me to call this number."

"Did she call from Dr. Hernried's office?" she asked.

"I don't KNOW if she called from Dr. Hernried's office," I said.   "All I know is that she left a message for me to call this number."

"I'll check with Dr. Hernried," she said.

She was  gone for a long time and then came back to say that she couldn't reach Dr. Hernried, she had no idea who Andrea was and that she couldnl't help me.

So I thanked her for all her "assistance" and hung up.

I sure hope nobody was calling to tell me they've discovered I have some fatal disease, because if that's the case, I'm going to die before I ever find out who Andrea is and what she wanted.

Since I learned recently that my journal turns up when I least expect it and an entry I wrote recently was discovered by some people who were Very Unhappy and asked me to remove it, I will toss this note in on the off chance that anybody in authority at Kaiser Permanente Davis happens to be Googling themselves:  Please take the nice people on your switchboard who do not speak English and give them very good jobs elsewhere, because I'm sure they are very nice people, but would it be too much to ask that someone who (a) understands the words I speak, and (b) is able to make herself understood when replying to me is the person I must talk to when I call to find out medical information???

Website of the Day

At least I was never THIS bad.


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"Judge Indy."  This is Indy, the border collie down on the farm in Australia.
He's wearing some wool on sheep-shearing day.

Photo by Claire Amy Atkins


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