The Joys of Broke-Folk Insurance

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am ABSO-FUCKIN’-LUTELY a staunch supporter of the Affordable Care Act.  I would not have any goddamn health insurance at all without it, and I’ve been there, it sucks.  And I know the healthcare industry is all fucked up, and I know there’s not enough doctors, and everything.

But still… this ain’t right.

CALL #1 (Yesterday, ’round noonish)

Voice:  “Hello, Doctor ___’s office.”

HoodyHoo:  “Hi, I need to make an appointment?”

V:  “Okay, have you been here before?”

HH:  “No, my insurance company assigned me to y’all.”

V:  “Okay, what’s your name?”

I proceed to tell her, then spell my whole real name three times, then my first name an additional three times, because A) 5 letters is too hard or B) I have a speech impediment.

V:  “And what insurance do you have?”

HH:  “Broke-folk Insurance.”

V:  “Okay, can you hold please?”

Note:  When there are this many “okays” in a single conversation, things are not going to end well.

V (returning):  “What was your name again?”

I spell the whole name one more time.

V:  “Okay, do you have your card in front of you?”

HH:  “I sure do.”

V:  “Okay, can you read me your ID number?”

I do.

V:  “And the doctor’s name on the card?”

HH:  “Doctor _______.” (um, the same name you said when you answered the phone…)

V:  “Okay…”        <long pause>    “And what’s your phone number?”

I give it.

V:  “Okay, we’re going to have to look something up on the computer and call you back.”

HH:  “Ohkaaaay….”

I am somewhat perplexed.  Surely she could look and see whether or not they took my insurance WHILE we were on the phone?  But… maybe they have dial-up, whatever.

TWO HOURS LATER, WITH NO RESPONSE

CALL #2

HH:  “Hi, I called earlier today to make an appointment and someone was supposed to call me back?”

New Voice:  “You called today?”

HH:  “Yes, a couple of hours ago.”

NV:  “Hold on, I’ll get her.”

Short hold, then a Different Voice:  “Susan?”

HH:  “No, this is Hoody.  I just needed to make an appointment as a new patient?”

DV:  “Oh, okay, hold on.”

At this point, I licked my insurance card and stuck it to my forehead because that suddenly seemed to make more sense than what I’d been doing.

Third Voice:  “Hello?”

HH:  “Hi, I needed to make an appointment?”

3V:  “Okay, hold on.”

After yet another hold, FOURTH FUCKING VOICE:  “Hi, this is Linda.”

HH:  “Hi, Linda.”

And Linda was finally able to make me a goddamn appointment… in October.  Now, granted, all I need is a new patient checkup, but she told me there’d be a 3-month wait BEFORE she asked if there was anything wrong.

And people wonder why us Broke-Folk use the ER as our regular doctor.

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Anatomy of Finding Something on the Floor

  1. See unidentified thing on floor.
  2. Look at it.
  3. Look at it.
  4. What IS it? Look harder at it.
  5. Look at it while tilting head.
  6. WHAT IS IT?
  7. Bend over to look at it.
  8. Look at it lookatitLOOKATIT
  9. Poke it.
  10. Poke it again.
  11. WHATISITWHATISITWHATISIT?
  12. Pick it up.
  13. Drop it.
  14. Look for it.
  15. Look for it lookforitLOOKFORIT
  16. WHERE IS IT???
  17. IS IT ON ME???
  18. Flail uncontrollably.
  19. See second unidentifiable thing on floor.
  20. Repeat from Step 2.

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More Lessons Learned…

… from “The Last Ship.”

Yeah, it’s been awhile, but hey, most of the funny/fucked up shit that happens to me has to do with The Concubine (without her knowledge), and I almost feel bad shaming her on Teh Interwebz.  I know, weird, right?  Me feeling shame.  But anyhoo…

LESSONS LEARNED FROM “THE LAST SHIP”

Episode 1

  • The CDC is never here to save YOU, dumbass.  They’re here to save other people. FROM you. (Actually, I already knew this.)
  • Jason Dean is still smokin’ fuckin’ hot.  My argument:
And still WAAAAAY too hot for Phoebe Halliwell.

And still WAAAAAY too hot for Phoebe Halliwell.

  • Don’t even fucking THINK about killing the dog, inexplicable Russian ninjas.  I WILL CUT YOU.
  • Two words:  JAYNE COBB! That is all.
The Hero of Canton

The Hero of Canton

  • Jason Dean and Jayne Cobb manage to make up for that actress who looks like she smelled a fart.
  • We are, at this moment, potentially 2 months away from President Boehner.  Wait, wait, stop cutting yourself, I said POTENTIALLY.
  • Radio silence is NEVER for your own protection.
  • When all else fails, fucking do it yourself.  Fear of electrocution is for PUSSIES.
  • If you fail to answer your phone, I’m totally allowed to come over to your place and steal your popcorn and mac n’ cheese.
  • We get issued protective face shields for a reason.  DUMBASS.

(although you did make the right choice, ma brotha.  ain’t goin’ out like that.)

BONUS:  Having kids and a wife is NOT. FUCKING. WORTH IT.  The Night’s Watch has the right idea.

AND ONE CAVEAT:  Naming a character “Dr. Scott” makes me want to throw toilet paper.

I love you, my Hooligans.  And I’ll try to do better!

HH

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Bar Lessons – Stone Pony Edition

Last Friday, Dear Sweet Mama and I ventured to the legendary Stone Pony to see one of her favorite bands, Black 47.  And Bar Lessons ensued.

STONE. PONY. BITCHES.

STONE. PONY. BITCHES.

1.  These kids today, they don’t dance, they don’t even sway… they just stand.

2.  Drunk white chickies don’t know from an Irish jig.

3.  When you do a jig in their general direction, they become frightened.

4.  The lead singer of Black 47 may in fact be a leprechaun (he’s SO WEE!)

5.  Whoever it was that reviewed the Pony online and raved about the food was VERY. FUCKING. DRUNK.

6.  DSM is hilarious when hammered (of course, this is not news).

7.  There are jobs out there worse than mine – one of them is Bathroom Attendant at the Pony.

8.  Even while asleep in the car on the way home, Hoody will still keep her finger on the station scan button and play DJ.

9.  3 hours of sleep looks like PLENTY from the front side.  From the back side, not so much.

10.  Last night’s eyeliner looks like hammered fuck at work the next day.

 

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The Wonderful World of Broadcasting, Episode II

As promised, here is “the rest of the story,” when it comes to the truth behind my ostensibly-glamorous career path.  Let’s see, where were we…

5.  I am essentially slave labor.

Yes, I do get paid (the aforementioned no money)… for my regular job.  But as anyone who has ever been referred to as “talent” can tell you, it don’t stop there.  For example, when I was a TV producer (NOT an on-air job, mind you), I was frequently dragooned into “voicing” in-house commercials and PSAs… for no additional money.  Which translates into “fo’ free.”

All the ads you hear on the radio?  The DJs did them… fo’ free.  Voiceover work is a PAYING job, yo.  But once The Man owns you, sure ain’t he gonna use you.  FO’ FREE.

6.  I have almost no goddamned privacy.

Like it or not, once strangers know your name (even if it’s fake, as mine is and most are), you’re at least a quasi-public figure.  This means your every move – even in your so-called “real” life – can be subject to public scrutiny.  Case in point, I myself have been arrested.  For a nonviolent, victimless misdemeanor that, while infinitely stupid, most of YOU could chalk up as a lesson learned.  But MY mugshot was on the motherfucking teevee… because I was a “public figure.”

Further point, the infamous Chuckweasel and I were once at a baseball game in another fucking state, when someone recognized him by voice alone.  My day-to-day “Don’t I know you from somewhere?” quotient is ABNORMALLY high, mostly just from my voice.  Of course, it gets much worse for my brothers and sisters who are actually on TV – I’ve had friends harassed and even stalked, one to the point where the cops had to come walk her to her car every night.  And you wonder why my avi is a fucking cartoon???

7.  I am consistently undateable.

Yes, yes, part of that is my charming personality.  Bite me.  But a fairly large part of it is the horrible hours I work – part of the appeal of goddamned Chuckweasel was that we had the same butt-crack of dawn shift.

Another part is what the job – the news part – does to you.  I’m fairly callous and unfeeling about just about everything now, and apparently potential partners like someone who at least PRETENDS to have human emotions (huh.  Pussies.).  Fine, Sonny Jim, you watch live Ground Zero feeds all by yourself in the middle of the night for over a week straight and tell me you have fuck one left to give about people’s petty fucking problems.

But I do have some, emotions, that is – which generally come pouring out in an awful cathartic flood when some major can’t-take-this disaster becomes the lead story.  The only way I’ve found to deal with this is to date people who are also in the industry (See Gilbert, the Evil Ogre, and CW).  But this produces its own problems, in that A) You both work ridiculous hours and never see each other; B) You end up in competition for the same jobs and/or C) Your general self-protective disdain for all of humanity extends to each other.

Or you’re just a total bastard who bolts when shit gets real, like someone this blog used to know very well… but I digress.

So, E-Harmony, Match.com… um… J-Date? (note: not Jewish but fascinated by the whole Orthodox thing).  Huddle up, you guys.

I’m a 37 year old news professional who will never work normal hours, make any goddamned money, or give more than half a fuck about #FirstWorldProblems.

A life with me will mean an endless cavalcade of “real” FB pages versus “professional” ones, and even so, strangers will masturbate to the sound of my voice.

Get used to being alone (again) at important family gatherings, and embrace the fact that, while I will seldom shed a tear in relation to our own crises, I am extremely likely to start hysterically bawling over a mine disaster or similar.

I will know the names of our state and local lawmakers better than your family’s.  And I’ll have their cell phone numbers.

 

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The Wonderful World of Broadcasting

Y’all know what I do for a living – I do the news on the motherfuckin’ radio, bitches.  Before that, I worked as a TV news producer, and before that, I was a high school/college drama geek who was all up in plays and shit.  And that’s not even counting my brief stint as a weather girl.

Yes, I do what I went to college for.  Yes, plenty of complete strangers know who I am (and occasionally recognize me in public, we’ll get to that later), which I guess makes me some facet of famous.  And yes, all those cunts I went to high school with are FUCKING. SORRY. NOW. – as are their fat car-salesman husbands who didn’t hit this back when they were dreamy quarterbacks who wouldn’t give me the time of day.

But it ain’t all chocolate cake and porno, Hooligans.  For instance:

1.  I get shocked in the ears on a fairly regular basis.

By which I mean, pretty much every time I go to work.  Broadcasting is all about 2 things – electronic equipment and making money.  And because of the second, almost none of the first is ever properly installed or – and this is important – properly grounded.  So if I make the mistake of, say, touching the microphone while my headset is plugged in (something that is pretty much integral to my job), I get a jolt straight to the tympanic membranes.  Which hurts like a motherfucker and probably causes brain dam– LOOK, A SQUIRREL!

2.  I have literally been on fire.

And I don’t mean literally as in figuratively, the way some people (wrong people) use the word.  I mean literally as in, “What’s that smell?  Is it bacon?  No, just me.”  As in actual, no-shit-for-real flames.

Admittedly, my own experience with bodily fire came during a community theatre performance when my microphone’s wireless battery pack overheated.  But the equipment is all pretty much the same, and it happens a LOT more than you know.  You think Anderson Cooper looks like he smelled a fart?  No, what he smells is a palm-sized lump of plastic melting into his lower back.

Yes, I have scars.  No, you may not see them.

Unless you buy me dinner.

3.  I work hours that would make a Chinese sweatshop worker call his non-existent union rep.

I currently get to work at 4am to prepare for my first newscast at 6am.  Yes, the 2-and-a-half minutes of news you half-assed listen to on your drive to work takes some poor schmuck like me about 2 HOURS to lovingly craft.  And that’s just radio – when I first started in TV, I produced a 5am to 7am morning news show… for which I reported to work at 11PM.  Yeah, the night before.  My anchors came in around 3am.  Those “Today Show” fuckers who seem so giddy?  That’s because they’ve been awake and working since before your ass went to bed.

4.  I work those hellacious hours for no money.

When I first started working in TV news, I was making the princely sum of $22,000 a year.  This was 2001 (mid-August of 2001, which will become important later), and I was straight out of college, so at the time I was like, “SCORE!”  Yeah, not so much.  By the time I moved to radio, 5 years later, I was making $28,000 a year.  And when everything went to hell and I left WBGV, I was up to $32,000 — but that included “extras” like calling football and basketball.

It’s pretty much a cliche in the industry that – with a few notable exceptions – you will never make any goddamned money… but everyone will THINK you do.

Stay tuned, there’s more truth-telling to come!  Tune in again, same Bat-time, same Bat-station!

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Best of Bad Choices

So, the office today was full of Cub Scouts on a tour or something (“Explore the exciting world of radio, kids!  Now, quick, tell Mommy you’ve decided to go to medical school after all!”).  At least, I assume they were Cub Scouts – either that or a pack of midgets in creepy outfits… Cub Scouts is a better option.

As if I hadn’t already been exposed to more children than is clearly outlined in my contract, I was then confronted by a confusing situation at the Tar-jay.  Not being a parent myself, I’ll throw the question open to all of y’all:

Question:  You are teaching your tiny child how to walk.  Do you do this:

A.  At home.  Your nice, safe home.

B.  In a park or other lovely outdoor setting filled with soft, cushiony grass to fall on.

or C.  Back and forth across the aisles of a busy Target filled with self-absorbed Saturday shoppers wielding carts at dangerous speeds, not to mention one Hoody on a mission for Lobster Bites.

You can probably guess, today I was confronted by C.  And I almost ran the little fucker precious snowflake down, because I am operating on about 2 total hours of sleep. And it’s not even good sleep, it’s sleep filled with dreams about The Evil Troll, whom I’ve probably conjured up by writing about him, and who is interfering with my regularly-scheduled dreams of a certain Viper pilot.

So I wake myself up thrashing every hour or so (and NOT in the good way), which sucks… and double-sucks when you get up for work at 3am.  TIRED, yo!

Still staying up watching “Charmed” instead of sleeping, though.  Priorities, Hoody haz them.

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