Yesterday’s post was one of the most successful posts I have posted to date. That is really funny to me. Not funny ha ha, but funny ironic. It is ironic because it was an awfully written, vitriolic, reactionary, piece of hateful garbage that relied so heavily on the f-word; it reads like it was written by a 12 year-old boy trying to impress his friends. I mean, I actually suggested the poor sap who made this decision should commit suicide! Who does that?!? Well…me, apparently.
So I’ve been thinking of what conclusions can be drawn from the popularity of this post, & I’ve narrowed it down to 3 possibilities:
- People feed off of hate and anger.
- My post was reblogged by a blogger with a larger following. (Thanks, btw. That was very nice of you, & I’ll return the favor if I ever get enough unique visitors to make a difference.)
- People really, really hate the involvement of insurance companies getting between their providers and their health. (Please God, let it be this one!)
If you’re interested in signing the petition asking Express Scripts to defer to the judgment of the prescribing physicians, you can do so here.
So while I’m hoping the reason yesterday’s post seemed to resonate is #3. I fear it is more likely due to #1. This fear isn’t just the result of some paranoid delusion, it is based on actual pseudo-scientific studies conducted in loosely controlled conditions by untrained amateurs in disrespected institutions. Okay, so there is no study, just my opinion based on observations filtered through my perspective which may, in fact, be colored by paranoid delusions.
But, there is also my experiences. Before my cancer, I held many different jobs since I started working. Quite a few of those jobs were as a telephone customer service representative. One of those jobs, was a telephone customer service representative…for a health insurance company!
That’s right, I answered phones for a company in one of the most immoral industries I can think of. I would have felt better about myself if I were a phone sex operator. I hold crack dealers in a higher regard than the executives at health insurance companies. I hated that job. I hated myself for doing it. But, I needed to eat.
So don’t get me wrong here, I’m not trying to take back the hatred of the person who made the decision to deny coverage of the medication I was prescribed, or the person who created the policy and procedures that person followed in denying coverage; I am just pointing out that not everyone associated with practices we despise deserves our wrath. People need to eat.
There is no more difficult job than being a front-line employee for a company you ethically disagree with. You learn a million ways to defend policies you despise. Sometimes, the customers take their hatred of the company and its policies out on you, and you actually begin to welcome that. It makes siding with the horrible company and their evil policies a bit easier when someone describes the awful things they are going to do to your mother.
You hate the company, you hate the customers, and you hate yourself. And if you’re really good, you don’t throw your headset at your supervisor’s tiny head and scream obscenities as you walk off in the middle of your shift 6 months into the job.
And do you know what? Companies are so desperate for Customer Service Representatives that if you do that, it doesn’t prevent you from getting hired to do the same job somewhere else. After all, you’ve never been fired!
“Well Josh, we see you’ve held 18 different Customer Service Representative positions in the last 2 years. That is quite a bit of experience you have!”
“And how did you manage to hold the positions for so long?”
“Well, I’m a very patient, articulate person.”
“And if we called your previous supervisors, what do you think they’d say about you?”
“Well, you likely won’t be able to get a hold of any of them due to turnover. But I worked very hard, got excellent monitor ratings, and had the highest stats in my work group.”
“And did you quit, or were you fired?”
“Oh, I quit.”
“Would you be eligible for rehire?”
“No, they like to have 2 weeks notice which I could not give to pursue the next opportunity. I did my best to ensure adequate coverage before leaving, and, if you call their customer service line, you’ll get an answer, so I think I succeeded in that endeavor.”
“Great! Training starts next Monday!”
There are a lot of things to hate in this world. Some of it is deserved, some of it is not. I’m not anti-hate. I’m not going to say I think it is bad that we respond so enthusiastically to the negative over the positive. We need to vent sometimes, & it is nice to see we are not alone in our frustration.
But keep this in mind: You can hate the things people do, you can hate the people that do the things you hate, but you shouldn’t hate everyone you associate with the people or the things you hate. Or to put it far less convoluted…remember what you hate is bad apples in a bunch of apples that just need to eat. Okay, so I lied about the whole “less convoluted” thing.
The people responsible for the things you hate, are rarely the people you will actually be dealing with, and I think it is important we remember that.
The people fighting the battles are not the ones who create them. The people pulling the strings are not the puppets in the trenches. The people arguing with you on the other end of the phone are not the people who you really want to talk to. Many people are tools of the people doing the things you hate. Some are even manipulated into believing they are more. And I really hate that.