Thursday, January 25, 2018

Paper vs. Plastic Thursday 13

New Thursday 13

1)Tried to connect with our local phone company about a simple question, and I was told online that if I wanted the answer I'd have to join the online happy family of phone users.  And if I did that our paper copy would no longer be coming in the mail, and all of our business would be done over the computer.   Not a chance.

It does seem a very large step to take,  just to ask a simple question about a bill item.

2) There was a time when your doctor's office would call to remind you personally about an upcoming visit.  Now we are barraged with automated swoopy voice reminders that end with "press one for yes and press two for no".  I think it's those strange robotic voices patched together that does it.  It's very creepy, like an out-of-sync  Greek Chorus. 

3) And after the visit (they only remind  you three times, isn't that nice) they auto dial you again to THANK you for coming and would you mind taking our quick online survey?  Yes, I would mind. click.

4)Annnd two days later they call again to remind you that your next appointment will be in six months...

5) They now call around 5 PM to thank us for visiting their office, and remind us that they are there for us.

6)They call three days ahead of our appointments, to remind  us that they will be calling us in three days to remind  us...most of this, understand, is robotic, so that you don't dare  hang up because you might miss something REALLY important.  And sure enough, just as you're settling in to supper, the office calls you to remind you that your appointment is tomorrow, etc etc...and if you do hang up they will call you back so that you can press 2 to end this call.

7) Every doctor's office now has a "portal" that you sign into, with your terribly seekrit password,  so you can have  a secure way to view your records.  If only it worked.  They still send you your records through the mail, but I suppose this is a way of ensuring that no one, including you, will be able to access all those records.

8) We share a physician.  We each have a portal to his office. However, only one of us can use it, since we also share an email address, and that isn't allowed.  Sigh.  I suppose it would be even more impressive if it worked at all.

9) The pharmacy also has a Fake Cheery Voice that reminds you that your prescription is ready, but when you rush down to pick it up you get that fisheye look and they say, um, not for a week.

10) My husband  had to go into the hospital a while back for a possible problem that he didn't have, and the day after he got home they called to remind him to take his meds and that he had an appt. in a month to see the attending physician.  Which he did not have, nor did he have medication to take.

11) They called him again later to suggest he might like to MAKE an appointment and he said, probably not. It's a nearly two hour drive. I don't THINK so.

 12) The dentist's office sends an email to me after every visit, asking if I'd like to take the survey. Not really.  If you ignore it, they send it again, until you do answer it. They really really want to know.

13).  Doctors now have begun massing together in 'doctor's parks' which resemble a warren of badly laid out low income housing.  Sometimes ten or more doctors, each in their own separate building,  spread out over several acres and unmarked driveways that lead to other driveways.  There is, however, only one way in, or out.

I realize that a lot of this is age-related and they want to make sure the old and fuddly don't end up drinking the bathsalts instead of their meds, but still...


  1. Yes, I see some of that.

    At least my Dentist is now sending a text message reminder instead of a phone call. And I can reply by text message.

    The worst for me is my eye doctor. After a checkup, I get an email saying that I should log into their portal where information has been added. And I get about 3 messages per day for the next 3 days. So I wait 3 days before I login.

  2. I would frankly rather have the phone call, just the one the day before. It becomes an endless stream, if you have multiple appointments in the same month...

    My eye doctor has a portal, but merciful heavens it doesnt work. and I don't think he really cares.

    Much of this is a fad, and much of it is still in the new stage, which means it is nothing I will trust for quite some time. Most of the office staff will tell you to just ignore it, but if you do, as you say, it keeps regurgitating in your in box. and you can't really block it, because it might be important.

    And while it's helpful to the doctor to have your records on his laptop, many times the doctor spends his time reading the records and not the patient. sigh.

  3. I got the opposite treatment from my doctor. I know I'm supposed to go in for a post-op sometime this month, but they still haven't contacted me - Except for a notice from my insurance company saying the doctor's assistant, who had retired, was dropped from their coverage.

    1. just a thought, you might want to contact them, in case your paperwork or whatever got juggled to the bottom of the stack...

  4. Have I also experienced this, also had much the same curmudgeonly reaction? I'm pressing 1 for...

    1. Curmudgeonly is acceptible. They have invented a new wrinkle. Instead of "press 2 to end this call" some of them now want you to press 0. If you press 2 first, the phone apparently blows up.

  5. I still have actual people reminding me, once, about my doctor's appointment,or one text about the dentist. But the rx is bonkers. Repeated texts and emails reminding me to refill, then several more after ive done it to say I still have to, etc. Can't seem to turn them off!

    1. I think you might be able to put them on ignore or spam, depending on your email package. If you have Yahoo, you can just click them as spam.
      and a lot of those computer generated reminders, at the bottom , down there in immensely teeny print, have a very small "unsubscribe' thing.