‘Well, Forest, stupid is as stupid does’
Today's column is titled “Morons: Why So Many?” Now, don't get all offended -- we each have our moron moments. I know I do. (For the sake of brevity, I won't address my own stupidity today, except to say that it is occasionally stunning.)
Example 1: I subscribe to The Wall Street Journal (as well as The Herald-Sun). I went on spring break last week, and canceled the WSJ during that time. When I got home Tuesday, my neighbor brought my mail along with a pile of newspapers that had been delivered every day while I was away. I called to tell them they messed up: No problem, you’ll get full credit.
Wednesday, I walk to the curb -- no paper. Hmmm. I called to tell them they messed up: Oh, dear, so sorry, there’s a substitute carrier over there. You’ll get your paper tomorrow.
Thursday morning -- no paper. I'm getting a little crabby at this point. I call to say they messed up again. Yes, ma’am, I'm calling the carrier this minute. You’ll definitely have your paper tomorrow.
Friday morning comes and – I’m not making this up – no paper. Now, I am irate. I call to say they messed up AGAIN: Oh, I’m so sorry, I promise we’ll have one out to you as soon as possible. It’s delivered at 4 p.m. There’s no “news” at 4 p.m.; all you get at 4 p.m. is “used.” I tell them I really, really, really want the Saturday paper ... really!
Saturday arrives ... no freakin’ paper. The offices are closed, but I call anyway, and leave a slightly cranky, “DELIVER MY PAPER OR DIE!” kind of message. I also say I want the entire month of April free; I deserve some perks for this impending stroke.
When I get no paper on Monday, I call the WSJ lady and demand her name and home address. I threaten to put all the newspapers I received during my vacation (when I did NOT want them) on her front lawn and set them on fire if I don’t get my paper Tuesday ... plus, a free month … and a private jet to Aruba! They fold ... well, except for the jet.
Example 2: Every day on my way to school, I must drive part of the way on High School Road, a two-lane road where the traffic is just mind-numbing, and then it gets worse because everyone slows way down immediately before the turnoff to school, because so many are bringing their kids to school. (Why? These are high-schoolers, people! Why are you schlepping them to school? Why not give them a chance to bellow at their own children one day about how far they walked to school?!)
Then, the town developers (motto: Beautiful trees – what’s the point?) began building another neighborhood on this road, which made the drive even more insane, sporadic and muddy. Subsequently, they decided to put a light at the intersection of the school entrance. A wise thing to do, wouldn’t you think? But, instead of putting in a right-turn lane for those wanting to enter the school driveway, they put in a bike lane. Huh?
Yep, it’s a nice wide lane, but there’s a solid white line that you’re not supposed to cross. At first, I expected folks to ignore the moronic line and use it as a right-turn lane, thinking “people aren’t that stupid” (many years of evidence to the contrary) and some did ignore it … maybe five. The rest just move like cows through the new light, which, itself, has slowed things considerably.
So, rather than helping, again the city has devised a new way to corral and torture its drivers. The slow-down used to be five or six cars long. Now, it’s at least 12 to 15. Thank you, town fathers, for your wise -- and constant -- intervention!
Example 3: My doctor prescribed a sleep aid for me in mid-April. (I stay up most nights worrying about the growing moron problem.) I went to get it filled. The pharmacist said the insurance company would only pay for 15 pills (the scrip was for 30) and they wouldn’t even pay for that until they received “prior authorization.”
I was perplexed. “Prior authorization from whom?”
“From your doctor.”
“But, my doctor’s the one who wrote the prescription. Wouldn’t that sort of count as prior authorization?”
(The poor man, so sick of explaining the inexplicable about insurance, almost laid his head on the counter at this point.) “What they really want is for the doctor to call and tell them why she prescribed this medicine instead of a cheaper one, or the generic.
“Is there a generic?”
“No.” We stared at one another, united in our mutual disgust -- and defeat.
I still don’t have my prescription, and the pharmacist has disappeared. No one’s seen him in weeks. … I bet he’s stuck on High School Road.
Vicki Wentz is a local writer, teacher and speaker. Readers may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting her website at www.vickiwentz.com.