Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a problem with your insurance company, cable company or bank.
Now, raise your hand if you’ve ever resolved a problem with your insurance company, cable company or your bank.
I start out cautiously optimistic when I make the first customer service call and Phyllis from Blue Cross sounds completely competent. She assures me that my policy has been reinstated. Yeah right.
“Phyllis, are you sure? Because I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow,” I said.
Phyllis chuckles in response to my anxiety.
“Have you ever known an insurance company to run as anything less than a well-oiled machine?” she asked (in my head).
“Oh Phyllis, you’re such a card,” I retort (in my head).
But the next time I go to my doctor’s office and they won’t see me because my insurance was cancelled, I realize Phyllis is like all the rest. Making promises she can’t keep, knowing I will never ever ever ever get ahold of her again. Customer service agents are like burner phones. Their slogan is ‘One call and that’s all!’.
I reassure myself that everyone’s doing their best as I psych myself up for the next call. After all, growing toward the sun = assuming the best about people.
So the next time I call, I get a brand new person to tell my life story to. I always ask them if they can “look in the notes” to play catch up because I think that’s a thing, but they never act like it’s a thing. That’s fine, I tell myself, clean slate! This will be good.
I remind myself that:
1) this person is innocent (at least until you hang up and they screw you over, too) and
2) you need this person to help you and if you’re a jerk, they’re probably less inclined to do so
So I patiently explain to Travis that my policy has been canceled even though I paid my premium. Travis says he’s going to research the problem and call me back.
“Are you really going to call me back?” I ask, trust issues abound.
“Yes ma’am,” Travis answers.
“Can I get your extension in case I don’t hear from you?” I sounded like a thirsty first date trying to wrangle a second.
“No ma’am, unfortunately we don’t have extensions,” he replied.
Travis didn’t sound like he thought it was unfortunate. In fact, I’m willing to bet that this no extensions ruse is the only thing that keeps him showing up to the job each day. He hangs up and I’m some other chump’s problem.
And I bet he didn’t even put it in the notes.