About these ads

The Perpetual Ring Of The Salvation Army Bell

People come, people go. There are a few kids who trot around in the afternoon. We live in a quiet neighborhood.

Now, that doesn’t mean that it’s silent. An occasional truck comes through. And the UPS man always blows his horn when he makes a delivery. I’m not sure why he does that; he never rings the bell, he just drops packages at the door.

Y’know, it really isn’t so bad when you get used to it. (image public domain)

Not far away, there is a quarry. That’s only briefly noisy.  If you happen to notice the warning whistle, the distant explosions aren’t so bad. The dynamite’s thump is more startling when you miss that whistle. But even high explosives aren’t the source of the most frustrating sound in the neighborhood. Read the rest of this entry »

About these ads

Guilt Comes In To Focus

In reporting on crime stories, media outlets commonly show photographs of involved parties. When a photo depicts a suspect along with people who’ve done nothing wrong, the identities of the uninvolved folks are protected by blurring their faces.

It is important to keep uninvolved parties from being associated with acts they had nothing to do with.  But these altered pictures look to me as if they are saying “here is the guilty party, among some decent, hard-working innocents”. This “guilty party” effect is so powerful that I believe that it can make innocent photos appear far more sinister than they actually are.

Allow me to offer an example. Read the rest of this entry »


Minute Clinic Customer Service

A little over a month ago, I had a particularly bad bout of allergy problems. I fought as hard as I could. The allergy symptoms eventually got the best of me. So I headed off to a MinuteClinic in a local CVS Pharmacy. Little did I know that this was the start of an ordeal that would cost me far more than a minute.

Trees. I’m only allergic to them in the spring and the fall (image via by R Neil Marshman CCbySA3.0)

I’m going to be fair and tell you that things went very well during my visit to the clinic. The nurse at my MinuteClinic carefully diagnosed my problem, prescribed some medication to get me some relief and even made sure my flu shot was up to date. I had my prescriptions in hand in a flash and was on my way home for the first good night of sleep I’d had in days. And then…

The Odyssey Of Minute Clinic Customer Service

There’s so often an “and then” in life, isn’t there? You deal with someone who is really on top of their game…and then. MinuteClinic’s “and then” isn’t in the clinics themselves, it is after the cure takes effect.

A few weeks after getting relief for my allergies, my wife and I were on vacation. She received an email from American Express that a charge on our card at CVS, hundreds of miles away, back home. This was of great concern to us. We’d just been through getting a new card after our old account was compromised. A call to American Express didn’t help us figure out what the charge was and we had to put an alert on our card to make sure there were no further potentially fraudulent charges.

I had a theory that the charge was somehow related to my MinuteClinic visit, so I made my first of many calls to the third circle of hell that is the MinuteClinic Customer Service line. I got someone on the phone inexplicably fast, given what I’d later experience, but she was not much help. After asking a series of questions, the first person I spoke to at MinuteClinic customer service said to me “yes, you did go to the clinic on October 3″.

Optimist that I am, I thought that was her just letting me know that she found my record. It wasn’t. That was the full extent of the information that she was able to give me. I already knew that I’d been to the clinic. I explained my plight again – I was on vacation with a credit card that was nearly impossible to use because of a potentially fraudulent charge at CVS MinuteClinic. She told me that was a question for the billing department.

“Great”, I said, “go on and connect me to billing and we’ll get this ironed out”. She wasn’t able to do that since the billing department was only open Monday through Friday and this was Saturday. Wonderful. They bill on Saturday, but the bill-er’s are inexplicably not present. So, because of CVS MinuteClinic, we were stuck in Florida with a credit card that was only good for picking door locks.

After we returned home, I made nine different calls trying to reach the MinuteClinic billing department. Here is what I learned from those calls – I learned that my call is important to them. It isn’t important enough to actually answer my call, but I must put off an aura of importance that they value because they told me over and over how important it was that I called…each time the recording told me to continue holding. For seven of those calls I was not able to hold long enough to speak to a representative. On each of those seven calls I was on hold for more than forty-five minutes before I surrendered.

On the eighth call I got a different recording that instructed to call back when the billing office was open from 9-5, Monday through Friday.

I’d dialed them at 3p.m. on a Wednesday.

I decided to try the social media route. I posted a gripe about the “call back when we’re open” message and got a rapid reply. “Please send us your name and email, we’ll have someone get in touch with you.” Foolishly, I thought this was the beginning of the end of my battle. Eighteen hours later, I’d not received an email or a call. I’d have to fight on.

And On The Ninth Call, A Miracle Happened

I decided to let CVS Minute Clinic have one more shot at getting this right.

IMG_0815

If you’re looking for the Customer Service Number for CVS MinuteClinic, here it is. Note that I was on hold for 1:05:57…and then some. Good luck to you if you call them.

After one hour and six minutes of listening to hold music and being reminded how important my call was, I heard someone come on the line and ask if she could help me. I opened by acknowledging that I was sure she heard this complaint all day, but I thought she should know that being on hold for an hour and six minutes didn’t make me feel important. Now, when I said that I didn’t expect that she’d say “I’m sorry, it’s all my fault” because it probably wasn’t.

I did expect her to say something more than “yeah, it’s bad”. Restating the obvious sometimes only magnifies it.

So I explained my situation. That’s not true, I told her that their hold music sucks and then I explained my situation.

Four minutes. That’s all it took. She was efficient in the way that I’d hope that someone who I’d spent six hours of my life waiting to talk to would be. The charge was finally confirmed as legitimate and my CVS MinuteClinic Customer Service ordeal came to an end. I thanked her for her help and let her move on to the next person who, I’m sure, would start their conversation with “do you have any idea how long I’ve been on hold?”

Sometimes, I look back on situations and ask myself what I’d do differently if given the chance. In this case, I’d have to say that I’d be more resistant to allergens. Also, I’d have put my headphones on and listened to better music than that stuff CVS chose for their hold music.

I wonder if CVS MinuteClinic ever wonders what they could do to make situations right. If they do, compensating me for my time would be a nice place to start.

 


The Baby On My Doorstep

Today, I opened the door to take out the recycling. There was a baby on my doorstep.

Not a real baby. Well, wait. It was a real baby, just in a photo. The picture was under the edge of the doormat as if a person placed it there – under the mat enough to keep it from blowing away, but far enough exposed to make sure that it would be seen.

I have a history of doing things to mess with people, so I looked around to see who put the picture there. It seemed like something I’d do to someone else. There was no one around, so I picked the baby up and brought it inside. Read the rest of this entry »


Comfort Inn, My Ass

I’m taking on a delicate subject. I find that when I’m touching on delicate subjects, doing so in a gentle and soothing way is best. This is a tale of things that should be handled gently, handled in a way that is anything but gentle.

After a long day of travel, I wanted a few minutes of peace before enjoying a visit with my son at his university. I’d selected a Comfort Inn for my stay. I checked in, dropped my luggage, plugged in my iPhone and walked in to the bathroom to take some relief which I really should have taken miles and miles sooner.

I told you this was a delicate subject.

It Gets Worse From Here, Hang On

This is not the toilet paper in this story. It’s really not fair for me to use it as an example. I apologize in advance. (image by TristanB CCbySA3.0)

So after that relief, I reached for the toilet paper. A tug at the end of the roll got the amount of paper I needed. My finger tips told my brain that this was not my usual grade of toilet tissue. My brain was too focused on the task at hand to listen to my fingers. I went on and did what we all do with toilet paper.

Not only was this not my usual grade of toilet tissue, it was nearly as harsh as my usual grade of sandpaper. Read the rest of this entry »


Cutting A Liar’s Hair

As many of you know, haircuts are usually an adventure for me.

In space, they use the flowbee. Stop it, don’t act like you don’t remember the flowbee. (photo public domain)

A few months back, I told you about how a tattoo covered old woman cut my neck with a straight razor during a hair cut. Some of you may recall the violent, yet surprisingly good haircut I got from Asian Dean Martin. And a very long time ago you might have read about my haircut/food poisoning lecture event.

Apparently my luck never changes.

My Newest “The Last Time I’ll Go There” Story

I headed over to my most recent usual hair cut spot just before last week’s vacation. I’ve been pretty happy with this place. It is where I landed after the straight razor incident. They’ve done a pretty good job. Good enough that I incorrectly believed that I’d found my forever haircut home. I’m always wrong when I think that. Read the rest of this entry »


I Am Your Crispy Noodle

A few days ago, I went to have lunch at a Chinese restaurant.

My friends are so unsurprised by that news that they’re wondering why I bothered to write it. For those friends, I will just say that not everyone has had the pleasure of chowing down on Szechuan with me. Also, I’ve got to establish a setting and premise for this tale, so get off my back, OK?

As usual, my bill came with a fortune cookie. The slip in this cookie read – Read the rest of this entry »


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,231 other followers