Capturing life in words…
Since the car accident I am trying to live life more mindfully. The bare bones of living mindfully is to be fully present in the moment and able to let go of negative thoughts (which then lead to negative feelings). Mindfulness theoretically should (eventually) allow me to talk to insurance companies and lose the desire to smack the living shit out of the person at the other end, who I traveled through four automated menus, and then sat on hold for eight more minutes listening to some very bad music. I remind myself to breathe. She’s just doing her job and has no control over the fact her employer is a thief– taking (my and other’s) money for health coverage– ha! Those words are a joke. In the good ol’ USA, health care coverage for the middle class is pathetic. I don’t want to brag, but I pay $273 faithfully each month, and after just a measly six thousand dollar deductible, I am then eligible for and 80 percent coverage of
The policy’s contracted rate, as agreed between my employer and XXXXX Insurance Company.
But it doesn’t stop there — the same company for free will over-extend its’ workers, thus providing substandard service which will allow me to talk with the company frequently– and hence, I come to know them by name. I interrupt the cocky mumbling woman on the line and frantically try to insert into her scripted speech, “Please, just transfer me to Barbara in claims.” Thankfully, I don’t have to hear the scripted speech for the 42nd time. Without a word she just transfers me. (Rude, but it’s the norm for this company)
I know “Barbara” is near retirement and hates being the oldest one in the shrinking department. The younger women make fun of her arthritic joints, and whisper about her ineptness with computers. Barbara struggles to climb stairs, as her left knee is very arthritic but she can’t take the time off for a joint replacement because her husband needs her help in the evenings. He has COPD. She is a very Christian woman and tolerates my very bad acting on the occasions the automated phone service sends me her way. Upon hearing “Thank you for calling X’s insurance, this is Barbara, how may I assist you?” I delightfully and with great drama respond, “Oh beloved Barbara, The Lord indeed has blessed me this day, as I received you to be the deliverer of bad news. Hence, we can breach company code and pray over my poor dead account, for no activity has surely occurred since we last spoke.” I like Barbara and truly do pray for her and her husband.
Then there is “Janelle”. She talks fast and always pops her gum when on the phone, to which I plead, “Janelle darling, you know I am advanced in my years and cannot keep up with your quick pace… and my gawd, what is that popping? Do we have a bad connection again?” She laughs and tells me, “For you Linda, I will stick my gum on my Sunkist can, but only because you are a regular client.” She is quick with the computer but that’s it. She’s not fond of moving paperwork through, so I get my status updates from her but know if I need something faxed, rebilled or anything that requires walking I need to call back and talk to someone else. Janelle always tells me she’s faxed, emailed, re-billed and etc but the truth is Janelle is too young to really care. She’s pregnant and getting ready to get married, so the credit status of a 40 something insured is not a priority on her list. She’s got stars in her eyes and a Bride’s magazine on her desk, so my claims aren’t going to move fast off her desk. She does listen when I chastise her for whispering complaints about Barbara. I remind her she too will, God willing, have a body that’s old and holds her soul which desires to move with grace and beauty. She then will tell me the measurement of her belly and how the baby kicks her bladder, but she doesn’t know why the bill for my own bladder infection last year is still unpaid. Sigh. “Nice talking to you, Janelle. Please transfer me to the piece of meat labeled supervisor. Oh, and remember to hydrate, dear. It’s so important when you’re pregnant.”
The Supervisor is Mrs Winchester who hates me. She accidentally hit “Reply” on an email instead of “Fwd” or “Send To” and wrote “Linda is having a fit again about her account and I’m sick of these people… look into this bill”. Well, her email came on a day I had been battling hot-flashes and a migraine so I whizzed a very professional email and cc’d her boss. And I do believe my email made her aware of her job, her lack of empathy/ professionalism and also educated her about “these people” are feeling individuals and educated. “These people” loathe stopping their life to, once again, call on benefits and are forced to try and resolve issues requiring conversation with supervisors who have the skills and professionalism of a two year old. So Ms Winchester loathes me… and as I listen to her voicemail greeting again, I breathe in and out slowly. This mindfulness stuff is not working yet.
I leave a message, knowing she won’t call and I’ll be on the phone tomorrow with Barbara, Janelle or “the new girl”.
So let’s try this guided meditation one more time.
But first… first I must do some self therapy I developed myself (What else does one do with a Master’s degree?). I grab the pint of Haagen Daz. 🙂