family

HOW DOES A WHO MAKE HERSELF HEARD TO HORTON?

This is a guest post from Wifey®, please retweet, repost or share as much as you can.

I feel like the Who inside the puff-ball shouting to be heard by Horton the Elephant. Remember that story? Horton is the only one who can hear the Who – but no one believes him.

Father gave a majority of his life to AT&T (and Southern Bell prior to the merger) – over 31 years of faithful service. He was proud of that fact and was rewarded with a small pension and employee benefits.

Fast forward – Father died last year. Mother died 2 years prior.

Apparently AT&T thinks Mother owes premiums for her Medicare she received through Father’s benefits since his passing. It doesn’t seem to matter than they have been notified 4 times of her date of death and provided with a Death Certificate. Last week, another invoice for past due premiums came to my home. Again, I wrote “DECEASED” across the invoice and returned it inside their own return envelope.

On the flip side, Mother received a refund check for Father’s Medicare that was deducted from his retirement pay for the month in which he died. A check a dead woman could not cash. I mistakenly thought a simple phone call would correct the error and request the check be reissued to his beneficiaries.

AT&T Benefits Center is a funnel through which life insurance, medical insurance, pension benefits, retirement discounts, Medicare, and other options are passed to the retiree. However, the funnel only runs downward. The notification of an employee’s death process is a tangle of departments and subsidiary companies; none of whom talk to another.

Four phone calls – waiting on hold for hours, transferred to 3 different individuals in 3 different departments – I was finally directed to “Joe”. Joe assured me the record for Mother would be deleted and the record for Father would be updated to reflect the dates of both of their deaths. Joe also assured me the refund check would be reissued again.

It has been 8 months since the first check, payable to Mother, was issued and 5 months since the reissue, also payable to Mother. Today, 8 months later, a letter from AT&T Benefits Center arrived notifying Mother of a uncashed check. I can assure you again that a dead woman cannot cash that check.

I am tired of this fight. I am frustrated with the incompetency and the insensitivity of the customer service representatives employed with AT&T Benefits Center.

Editors note:  I have reached out to AT&T through both Twitter and Facebook, with no response.  I can only assume that their social media accounts are “one-way” only and used solely for propaganda. It is truly a shame that a company as structured as AT&T would not have someone monitoring their own social networks. I would like to think that the representatives Wifey® spoke to are only limited in the scope of what they can accomplish and are not incompetent, lazy or downright uncaring. But it looks otherwise, and AT&T just doesn’t give a rats ass.

It’s Been One Week (Since I Had A Beer)

(With apologies to The Barenaked Ladies)

Well, I’ve made it one whole week.  And what a week it was.  As I’ve posted before, the job is causing lots of stress right now.  To quote one of my favorite movies;

drinking

Last night we took the girls for Mexican food. Somehow I had the will power to just have a glass of water and not a Negro Modelo as I usually have with Mexican. It didn’t help the heartburn any though. Today’s grocery shopping will be even more difficult when walking down the beer aisle.

Which leads to this.  Lots of folks have told me when you quit drinking lots of “good” things happen.

  • You’ll sleep better.  Bullshit. I have had more weird dreams in the last week than the rest of my life combined.  It used to be if I dreamed, I didn’t remember them when I awoke. Now, the weirdness just keeps following me all day long. Most of the dreams seem to put me back in the military, but I don’t recognize the locations.  One dream was supposed to have the whole family back in Fort Greely. It was very lush, with palm trees and other tropical like vegetation.  Problem is, Ft. Greely is in Alaska.  Damn near the middle of Alaska.  It’s rather remote (89 miles to the closest McDonalds when we were there). It did reach 95F one summer, for about 15 minutes.  But it was usually about -50F. Needless to say there is no lush tropical vegation. In fact all there is are gnarled pine trees.  And not much snow as it was to cold to snow. Yes that’s a real thing. Too damn cold to snow.
  • Your digestion will be better.  Again, not true.  I have had the worst heartburn for the last week. Now this may have a different cause. My insurance will no long send me Nexium for the usual $9 co-pay, it went up to $40. But, I can get a generic brand for free. So I gave my doctor the list of alternative choices and she picked one. I started that one about two weeks ago, so it may not be working as well, or it’s taking my body some time to adjust. So the jury is still out on this count.
  • Your mind will be clearer.  Clearer than what?  I still sit and stare at my computer at work trying to remember my password. It’s not all that difficult of a password, and I have to use it at least 50 times a day, but still, I sit and ask myself “What’s the password again?”. Not to mention I mistype it constantly. But I never did take typing lessons, so that part is understandable.
  • You’ll have more energy.  Maybe this goes along with the dreams and not sleeping well, but I am dead tired by 2PM every day. That makes going to gym in the evenings just about impossible.
  • Your mood will be better. Seriously? The frustration level is through the roof. (See this post).  Wifey is constantly reminding me to mellow out.  And I need it. It seems the granddaughters and the stupid end-users at work get the brunt of my frustration. Sorry folks.

So having said all that, I still plan on going 30 days or so without beer to see if things clear up (7 days isn’t a long enough time for a valid test). I have dropped two pounds during this week, so maybe it will facilitate some weight/fat loss.  And I’m sure some of this is age. I am getting to that special age where you go to bed just fine and wake up in stage 4 of something or other. As my brother says, “We ain’t spring chickens any more.” (Were we ever?)

I’ve posted the video that I stole the title for this post from below.  I like this song a lot for several reasons.  I really dig the cars; the General Lee from “Dukes of Hazard” and the Grand Torino from “Starskey and Hutch” (complete with requisite hood slide).

I also like the line;

“I wear my mind on my sleeve, I have a history of taking off my shirt.”

I really do feel like I’m losing my mind some (most) of the time.

And what about the line;

“I’m the kinda guy who laughs at a funeral”.

 

At my grandmother’s “viewing” (what a stupid concept – have a wake instead. Get drunk and tell stories. Not just walk up to the casket and say “He/She looks so natural”.  They’re dead. (“He’s dead Jim!” ~ Bones McCoy) Say good-bye and go get a drink, and pour one into the coffin for the dearly departed as well. Can’t hurt.).  Sorry, where was I? Oh yes, my grandmother’s viewing, we were in a small room in the funeral home off to one side. Apparently there was a rather large funeral going on in the main chapel. Even without the booze, a staff member had to come in several times to ask us to keep the laughing down.  We were disturbing the funeral guests.  We were just sitting around telling stories of Nanny, as we called her. Easily the best viewing of all time, hands down, if we had some booze we would probably been asked to leave.  Hell, I’ve been thrown out of better establishments. I can’t wait for someone to say “He looks so natural” when I’m dead. I plan on being cremated, so if an urn of ashes looks “natural”, then I’m worse off than I thought.

So I present to you The Barenaked Ladies and “One Week”, enjoy! (And I can’t understand half the words either…)

I think somebody should have made me sign a waiver or something before I started this.

Peace,
B