Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Our Government At Work

I was at work today and noted with disquiet that the nurse's office was dark.  She is always there, scrambling to cover for the doctors (one of which we just lost) and arranging this, that and the other for clients -- usually figuring out prescription problems. 

And she wasn't mentioned on the wipey board they use in the front office to list who's out sick.

So after searching around to see if she was at a special meeting or something, I asked where she was.  She mentioned to me only yesterday that she was afraid she was going to get fired, and that crossed my mind as well.  They said, she's getting trained. 

In what, quoth I?  

She's getting trained all day today, and a whole day next week, to perform a mental-health assessment related to functionality in various specific areas of life.  That's part of my job, not hers.  She does the pills; I do the shrink stuff.  For her to get trained on doing that assessment is like asking me -- who has nothing resembling a medical degree -- to get trained in pharmacy.  She would not only never be required to do the job -- she would actually be forbidden to do it.  And yet here they are, spending two days of her paychecks in training her on this.  If she just needed an overview in how that assessment works and what it means, I could have explained it over lunch, for free.

This is not especially surprising given that the doctor who just quit was thrown in front of a computer terminal and asked to use a complex system she has never been trained on.  In fact, I believe she CANNOT be trained on it because nobody here knows how to use the system.  That doc lasted only 2 days.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

It's That Time Of Year Again...

OK, I just got a letter from my mortgage company.  It's dated JANUARY but arrived in the middle of MARCH.  It says "Starting on February 21, your mortgage payment is changing" -- to save me looking things up, let's say it's changing from $250 to $220 per payment.

OK, fine, that's supposed to happen yearly as my property taxes seesaw up and down with the economy.  Except my mortgage payment did not change February 21st. 

 I also got a different letter from them about a month before that, saying that starting April 4th -- at least it came before the change was supposed to happen! -- my mortgage payment was changing from $250 to $232 per payment.

IF THIS FOLLOWS THE USUAL PATTERN I will get at least 2 other letters before the end of the second quarter, with random postmarks and randomly-assigned effective dates, changing my mortgage payment to all these slightly-different amounts.  This has been happening ever since this particular mortgage company bought out the old one.

Eventually, the mortgage payment amount will indeed change.  The final amount will not be the same as the number given in any of these crazy letters.


They started an entirely new ploy this year.  I have started getting monthly mortgage statements for the first time, with big ugly printing all over each one saying, in essence, YOU DON'T EVEN WANT TO THINK ABOUT WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DON'T PAY ON TIME.  BUT IT WILL BE BAD.  YOU SLEEP WITH ONE EYE OPEN TONIGHT AND THINK ABOUT WHAT WE MIGHT DO TO YOU IF YOU SCREW UP AND FORGET A PAYMENT.  WHAT'S YOUR WORST FEAR?  A LATE PAYMENT WILL GET YOU ALL THAT AND MORE, MY FINE FRIEND.  HAVE A NICE NIGHT.

I don't ever mail in a payment.  They debit the money from my account automatically.

At the very bottom of the statement, on the tear-off coupon thing they want you to mail in with your check, they printed something else, in itty-bitty letters, but in bold italics, so it stands out:
If we automatically debit your account to get our payments, please note that all the alarming statements above are for your information only. 
Everything is under control.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Quote of the Day

"All active mass movements impose a fact-proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world.  To rely on the evidence of the senses and of reason is heresy and treason.  It is startling to realize how much unbelief is necessary to make belief possible."

--Eric Hoffer, from The True Believer