Monday, May 13, 2002

MORE FUN with health care.

Another bogus bill arrived over the weekend. This one shows a nonexistent doctor's visit along with a nonexistent co-payment that fell $5 short.

And this morning I went to Georgetown University Hospital to fulfill a long-overdue assignment to give some blood for a few routine tests. I tried to do this last Monday morning, but the place was packed. This time, practically nobody was waiting, and I got in and out without opening the book I had brought just in case.

A tale of two attitudes: The woman at the registration desk wasn't all that competent, but she made up for that with a cheerful demeanor ("I must have Monday-itis," she said after messing up one of her keyboarding chores). Then there was the blood lady, who may have been perfectly competent but didn't even bother to try in the personability department.

After she called my name, she never made eye contact with me. In a Psych 101 lesson on non-verbal cues, I figured out where to sit down based on where she was standing and figured out what to do with my arm based on past experience. Meanwhile, she carried on a conversation about veggie burgers with an idle co-worker of hers. When she couldn't think of the name of the street where her favorite veggie-burger emporium is located, she stopped all other activity. Cuz ya know: (1) Personal conversations are more important than your job, and (2) it's impossible to think and work at the same time.

She mumbled something, while looking somewhere else, and I correctly guessed that she wanted me to hold down the gauze she had placed on the needle wound. She haphazardly slapped some tape on that gauze and mumbled someting else while looking somewhere else, and I guessed that she was indicating we were finished. I'm pretty sure that was a correct guess, too, but I might stand corrected when the $500 "left too early" bill arrives.

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