Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Failures, forms, phone calls, and faxes

I don't care for telephones.  I answer them for a living, but my willingness to do so is predicated on the understanding that I will speak for ten seconds, listen for fifteen, then get the hell off the line.  Anything more than that is hurtful.

Last week, I called Dr. King's office, sat on hold for five minutes of "At XYZ Clinic, we believe every patient deserves a close, personal relationship with her doctor," etc.  When one of the scarce receptionists answered, I said, hey, is it okay if I have some sperm shipped to you?  And they said okay.  Meanwhile, I live-chatted with a rep at the sperm bank to check that the clinic was in their database; answer: nope.  So she faxed a form to the clinic.  I called the clinic, sat on hold for five minutes of "Make regular appointments with your doctor to maintain blah blah blah," and said to the time-shared receptionist, hey, can you see if this fax came through?  Then they sent me to Records.

Remember the Records lady in Dr. King's office?  I do.  I heard that kindly, creaky voice and I knew I was back in hell.  Fuck.  This is what happened afterwards, as I reported it to my work bestie:

1)  I spoke to the admin lady at my ob-gyn for the second time so she would send the form to the sperm bank, which for whatever reason needs a sign-off from a doctor even if the doctor isn't doing the procedure.  We clarified that I didn't expect the doctor to do the insemination.  Good.
2) Then I went to Heather's office to call the sperm bank and make the order.  Then the lady there said she needed a form from me, so I raced back to my desk to fill it out and electronically sign it.
3) Then I raced back to Heather's office to call them again... and the lady said they hadn't gotten the aforementioned form from the doctor's office.  I started crying and half hung up on the lady, who was trying to be nice.
4) I reported all this to Heather.  Heather reacted by cursing about how the doctor's office sucked and couldn't get it together and she didn't understand why we were using them.  I shut the door and raised my voice, telling her that it didn't matter how she felt about the doctor's office, since she wasn't the one calling them or even going there.  She told me she hated them, and I cut her off to repeat that every time she said it, I felt like she was reminding me that it was my fault that we were using that office and that, by extension, it was my fault that we were having these problems.  She said, no, she just hated the office.  I told her that it made things worse when she said that, and that all I wanted from her was to tell me she's sorry I'm stressed and that she hates it for me.  I cried a bunch more.
5) Since Heather had ordered from them before and I was losing my shit, she called the sperm bank and tried to order it under her own name... except that the doctor's office listed under her name is the clinic in fucking Nashville, and this particular sperm bank won't ship to our house-only to the doctor's office.  So that was a wash, and I was miserable.
6) I called the ob-gyn's office to talk to the admin lady about the form.  I got stuck in her voicemail and left a very tense message for her to check on the form shortly and to call me back.
7) She did not call me back.
8) I occupied myself with a Milky Way.

At lunch, I called the doctor's office again and got the lady on the phone.  She said, hey, no, I sent the form earlier and got a confirmation email from Spermy McSpermerson.  I felt bad for being so hostile, so I thanked her profusely.  Back to the store, called the sperm bank again.  The lady said, okay, I need xyz from you.  Got it.  Then she said, hey, we don't have your doctor's form.  I said, dude, no, I just spoke to my doctor's office and they got a confirmation e-mail from Spermy McSpermerson.  Oh.  So she put me back on hold and went to see Spermy McSpermerson to find out.  Okay, found it.  After all that shit, she offered me two shipping options, and I told her that we need the stuff Tuesday, so the economy option is fine.  Nope, she said: you'll have to pay extra for the overnight shipping because we stopped shipping half an hour ago.

Only bad things happen when phones are involved.  You have to hang up on nice people, you have to leave voicemail with your birthdate, and then you cry a lot.  Someday, I will live in a hole with only my laptop and Uncrustables.

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