If, through some oversight or indiscretion, you should reach an advanced age, as I have, watch out.
For one thing, you may find yourself collecting doctors. I now have 14 of them in my phone.
Sure, a few of them have moved on, retired or made themselves superfluous by curing me of something or other — but you get the idea.
Another thing is that some of these folks, at some point, will have been ready, willing and able to cut you open, zap you with radiation, pump you full of chemo, or at the very least send you off for some blood-letting, CT-scanning, MRI-ing or physical therapy.
Add to these indignities the various diagnoses you will occasionally be found guilty of, the latest of which, for me, is that I am now a “glaucoma suspect.”
That’s the exact term the doctor (gotta add him to my phone) used and the same words are right there in black and white on my visit report, or whatever you call those pieces of paper that nowadays you can’t leave a doctor’s office without.
A “glaucoma suspect” — imagine my shame. Until he mentioned that it’s not really a big deal “at your age,” a phrase that I’ve had to become used to when dealing with these medical folks.
And another thing is that my total number of visits or phone calls, per month, to the offices of all these providers has gone up alarmingly in the past year or so.
Little by little, though, I’ve wised up to some of their schemes.
For instance, by now we’re all familiar with calling one of these offices only to hear the usual recording that says: “Your call is excruciatingly important to us, but all our agents are busy helping other callers.”
So you can either leave a message or listen to the elevator music and “wait for the next available agent.”
But I have a new provider that dispenses altogether with that last option — because their phone system is obviously designed ONLY to take your message and NEVER to connect you with a real human person.
I’ve called them many times now — at different times of day and on different days of the week — and it never happens, because they don’t want it to happen. B; because, as I’ve concluded, a real human person would sometimes have to just sit there, being paid to wait for a call — and that’s inefficient, dammit. Counterindicated for a healthy bottom line. Which is precisely why they don’t offer you the option of waiting on hold.
This is new, in my experience, and fairly rude.
Speaking of rude, another phone ruse I was subjected to recently was a call from some charity that uses advanced phone trickery to make you believe you’re talking to a real human person when it’s actually a robocall.
The voice “says” something, then waits for you to reply and is smart-techy enough to not interrupt. Then, after you shut up, it will again “talk” to you, and on and on until you figure out what’s really going on.
But I showed them: No check from me.
Reach Glenn Richter at firstname.lastname@example.org.