I just got off the phone with one of the companies that I’ve worked with for my healthcare where I gave them the sternest complaints one might hear. It might have been interesting to record. To one answer, I told them: given the current climate, with COVID-19, I would rather quit my job and give up my healthcare than work with your company again. Your employees have consistently been bad actors acting in bad faith.
Here’s how the phone call ended:
“I won’t tell you that I’ll go back to the team and tell them to do better, because you won’t want to hear that, but I will, and I wish you well in your surgery.” I don’t intend to sound like a bully myself in these sorts of situations. This was the conclusion, so let’s work our way back, starting with more context about the particulars of this phone call. This phone call was with the Chief Research Officer of the company I was working with for coordinating my healthcare needs. I got to this phone call after replying to a survey with an unmasked email address, so I replied to this email with this message: “My general opinion of [your company] is that the people I’ve talked to both times I’ve needed to go through this resource is that they all value the red tape over patient care.”
I got a response a week later.
I would say that if there’s been any benefit to my writing thousands of words a day is that while I’m still just as much of a bad communicator as anyone else, when I’m “on,” my “on” game is sharper, because I’ve practiced my communication more. As a result, when I had some time to give feedback to this Chief Research Officer to a company that I feel has wronged me in my patient care, I didn’t need to practice my thoughts, other than starting off by saying that I still had a message that hadn’t been replied to from over a week ago. Even if I haven’t taken debate classes, and even if I haven’t studied formal arguments, I feel like when it comes down to it, I can express my point to such a degree where – yeah, maybe a word or two can be edited out – but that’s the flavor of life.
I don’t know if anything will be different.
I don’t think it will because I won’t be relying on this service any further, or I hope I won’t. As I told this person, if I need any assistance, I cannot rely on their care coordinators and instead need to send messages to their generic message team to get anything done, so if I need to use their services going forward, then I am fully willing to do all of this to make sure that my patient care is handled in a timely manner. I also told this person that I am fully willing to express all of this, even if it means I am put on their company blacklist. It’s at this point that I begin to forget some of the finer details as my spine’s pain kicks in, but I don’t know, maybe it will help.
It makes me wonder: How many of these conversations happen per day?
Per month? Does this Chief Research Officer regularly meet with dissatisfied customers about their experiences? For all my expressions of dissatisfaction, I’m certainly not confident that my condition will improve. I don’t think I’ll get a gold-plated placard signed by their team as an apology, nor anything else. I think the story ends here. I am, too, a bad actor in this bad behavior by not being confident enough to name the bad behavior of this bad company and their bad faith acts. They should be publically held accountable for their misdeeds and yet here I am not strong enough to state their name.
I am a coward.
The thing is, though, I don’t think this is one company or one team. I think this is all behaviors within all healthcare systems. When I read about people’s experiences within their healthcare systems, not just in America, it seems we are universally stuck within systems where people are passive-aggressive, take days to respond when it’s easy to see that they can reply with a simple update, or other things that don’t inspire confidence in the process. Now, what will I do once I get my spinal surgery, my spine heals, and my life goes on? I’d like to publish these essays, but how far will I take these essays? Will I publish them as an ebook? As a full-on book?
Will I, then, reveal the names of the companies involved?
It’s fair to not want to reveal that information now because it might mean losing my job. I suppose. Probably because my manager told me he had great experiences with this company. I suppose when we have these sorts of complaining sessions, they help us feel better because they help us air out our grievances to people. Maybe those airings will help others? Maybe those airings will help us? I know that for the short-term, I am still employed through this company, so I will still need to work with this healthcare company, but I would rather not deal with them, given any other alternative.
Seeing their name makes me grandiosely sick.
When I think of bad companies, I always think back to this example. I was working at one job as the solo tech and had a weird networking issue. We brought out the networking company to investigate. They determined the issue was outside of their scope. I was stuck and told the guy as such. He told me to tell my network guy to look at X or Y. My network guy looked at X or Y to fix the issue. Since then, I’ve always considered this:
Within every evil empire, there might be a good person, hiding somewhere…
|Quotes:   Quoted as best as my memory recalls.|
|Sources: My direct experiences.|
|Inspirations: I wanted to capture this moment in time directly after it happened before biases seeped in.|
|Related: Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.|
|Written On: 2020 August 18 [10:23am to 11:14am]|
|Last Edited: 2020 August 18 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|