Thursday, December 06, 2007

Bugged by Kindness

I've been getting these messages on my answering machine for weeks - maybe even months, I can't remember- from our health insurance provider, asking me to contact them about a program that I am eligible for having to do with pregnancy. I looked upon it as an annoyance, a bureaucratic bother. I figured: I don't need this, I don't want this, just leave me aLONE. I'm in my third trimester of pregnancy - what good is their silly program going to do? The more they called, the more I resisted calling them back. Every time, it was a different person on my answering machine, stupidly, cheerfully optimistic that I would return their call as soon as I could. I wondered if I was getting a reputation at the call center: " You take this one. She's a tough nut to crack. I'll give you ten bucks if she answers the phone or calls you back." Maybe they even had a pool going. ( I know- my mind is weird. And self-centered. Who is self-flattering enough to imagine that they are notorious at their health insurance company's call center?)

It became like a game of chicken. Who is going to break this cycle of madness first?! And then they started MAILING me stuff. AND leaving messages. I was amazed - and dismayed- at their persistence. Spurned lovers are less insistent to hear from you than these people. ( Not that I have had much - or ANY- experience with spurning lovers.) It seemed like every other day, some Paula, Betty, or Suzie would be leaving me a message. I wanted to wring their well-intentioned necks. Honestly, I don't know why it irked me this much, but it was like iron had entered into my soul: I did not want to give them the satisfaction of hearing from me. If I want your program, I'll get back to you. Silence is also an answer, people! Take a hint!

Last night, something in me snapped and I picked up the phone and called them. I managed to remain cordial throughout the call, and sure enough, just as I suspected, it was a program that I didn't really need ... but I wanted to scream with laughter when the woman put me on hold, and then picked up a minute later and said, " Oh, I'm sorry, you're just at the cut-off point in your pregnancy and you're not eligible for this now." She told me to call back when I got pregnant again. Um, yeah, sure. It only took me until my ninth month to call you this time... ( And PREGNANT AGAIN!!? Give me a chance to have this one first, lady!)

I don't know why I'm such an odd little tyrant about some things.

4 comments:

Darth Animer said...

Well, part of it might be that they aren't being "kind", they are just doing their job with a fake smile. I mean, come on, they are part of a huge conglomeration that is trying to make a profit off of peoples misery and sickness...

Amy said...

Seems perfectly logical to me. Probably because I tend to do the same thing. I've gotten to the point in the past where I actually memorize their phone number from the caller ID, even though I've never answered or talked to them. I always give in at some point, deciding the only way to get them to stop is to just answer the phone. Next time I'll have to ask who won the pool because I answered that day.

Kim said...

Hey folks,
This is the health insurance company's effort to keep their costs down by getting you to talk to an RN early in your pregnancy and take good care of yourself so they can look out for you and hopefully help you prevent complications which will cost them money if they happen due to lack of prenatal care! You have a nurse who will answer questions for what is normal, recommend vitamins and exercises, etc. It is a new wave in the insurance world to offer health coaching for all the chronic health issues from pregnancy to diabetes to heart disease, etc. FYI, No cost to you since your premiums are paying for it already. :>) KB

Kim said...

I should say, no *extra* cost to you. Hopefully the health coaches will lower costs to all the insured by getting folks prenatal care that need it. KB