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December 23rd, 2008

Dec. 23rd, 2008

So, as some of you may know, the first night of Hanukkah was on Sunday. My family celebrates both holidays, and I have been in a whirlwind of working retail and preparing myself for the Christmas juggernaut. Long story short, I thought we had Hanukkah candles, and we didn't, so I asked my husband to pick some up on his way home from work. The restaurant he works at is in the same strip mall as a Walmart, so he stopped in to see if they had any candles.

He first went to the holiday section, and asked the woman working there if they had Hanukkah candles. She didn't know what he meant, so he gave her a brief explanation of what he was looking for. This apparently confused her, as she sent him over to the candle section.

He thought this was wrong, but stranger things have happened, so he headed over there. The woman there also had no clue what he was talking about, and this woman, when he explained it, burst out laughing. He said he thought her response was kind of bigoted, and she looked at him blankly, asking why he would think so. He gave up and left.

When he came home and told me why he had no candles, I was pretty incensed, which is why I waited to post this. I can understand that perhaps the store doesn't carry them, but for the two employees, rather than simply saying, "Oh, nope, sorry, we don't have those," to act like he was asking the most bizarre question of all time really pushed my buttons. I understand there's this whole "War on Christmas" fallacy out there, and that Walmart has sort of been at the center of it, but for two women who live in Las Vegas, a fairly multi-cultural city, to behave as though they have never heard of Hanukkah and my husband was some kind of freak for asking about the candles pretty much boggles my mind.

We will no longer be shopping at Walmart. I already didn't care for their business practices, but we shop there occasionally because of its convenient location and the fact that it's open 24-hours, unlike Target, and my husband usually works fairly late (although not that particular Sunday). No more- I'm done with them. I wanted to complain, but my husband is very mellow and didn't want to.

BTW, found the candles at Target, with the help of their very friendly and knowledgeable employees. They were in the stationary section, which was odd, but at least they had plenty of them and the employees a) knew what Hanukkah was, and b) knew where to find the candles.

Towing companies...

So my husband forgot to get our block heater repaired and now the car won't start as it is really really cold. Yes, this is completely our fault. I'm accepting complete responsibility for this.

That said, when I call a towing company at 8:30am to have a tow truck sent out so that we can have said vehicle towed to the dealership for repair and the operator tells me there is an eta of "an hour" this means I anticipate the truck will be here an hour/hour and a half later.

10:40 rolls around and still no truck. I call the towing company again and am told the truck is on it's way and will be here very soon.

11:30 Comes. Still no truck, husband is starting to get grumpy as we wanted to have the car at the dealership prior to 11am so that it would for sure be serviced today and we would have it back in time for actual Christmas. I call towing company and again they assure me that someone is on the way, and that it's busy for them right now.

11:45 the tow truck driver calls because he is confused about where he is supposed to be going. He's on the 3900 block of the street we live in but can't find building 4040. I give the driver directions.

It is currently 10 after 12. Truck is still not here. WTF?

Medical Records

My family used the same family practice doctor for years (we liked the doctor, the location was convenient, etc . . .). My youngest sister was getting ready to go into the 7th grade and needed to get certain shots required by the school/state. So my Mom called the doctor, found out the doctor had moved across town (20+ minute drive), but still made an appointment. My Mom took my sister to the doctor’s, she got her shots, etc . . . The next day, my Mom searched through the list of family practice doctors our health insurance covered, found one closer to my mom’s office who was accepting new patients, and set everything up to have our families records transferred from our normal doctor to the new one. (Our family rarely goes to the doctor and convenience was a deciding factor in switching doctors.)

Exactly one week later, we find out through the news that our original family practice doctor had died from a brain aneurysm while on vacation. (This was sad – she was a great doctor, a nice woman, was with her two children when it happened, and there were no symptoms/warning signs.) A few months go by and my mother needs to get my youngest sister’s shot records for summer camp - none of us have been to the doctor within this timeframe. The school, which has a copy, has limited summer hours and won’t mail the records to my mom – instead she’ll have to pick them up. Since both my parents work in a different town than where we lived (and have a 45 minute commute to and from work), my mom figures she’ll just get a copy from our new doctor’s office since they’re next to her office – otherwise she’ll miss at least half a day from work.

My mom calls the new doctor. They never received our medical records from our old family practice doctor (the one who had died). My Mom calls the old family practice doctor’s office . . . disconnected (no surprise there). My Mom calls our health insurance. The health insurance tells my Mom that Dr. X bought our families medical records from our old doctor’s practice after she died. My Mom figures that in the confusion taking place from the old doctor’s death, the records were never transferred to the new doctor. No worries – my Mom will just call Dr. X, explain the situation, and request they transfer them to new doctor. Nope. Dr. X’s staff says they will transfer them . . . . for a fee of five cents a page . . . . for all 5 of us in the family . . . for the past 12 or so years. My Mom explains the situation again . . . . old doc supposed to transfer to new doc (for no charge), but the old doc died, old doc’s office got crazy, our records were sold without permission/cause/whatever. Dr. X’s staff said our records belong to them until my mom pays to have them transferred.

Since Dr. X was never supposed to have our records, we never gave permission to have our records given to Dr. X, we were never even notified about/by Dr. X, and now my mom feels like they’re holding the records hostage, she calls our health insurance to complain. Health insurance says they have no control over individual doctor’s policies, although they do see that our records were supposed to have been transferred to New Doc, which is why we never received anything notifying us of Dr. X’s takeover of the records . . . because Dr. X wasn’t supposed to have them – they were supposed to be transferred to new doc. Health insurance tells Mom that they notified Dr. X that New Doc was supposed to have our records, but Dr. X obviously didn’t transfer them or contact us.

Mom calls New Doc to see if they can call Dr. X to get records. New Doc tries, says Dr. X wants payment. New Doc points mom in the direction of her rights, under statute, to get medical records for reasonable fees, etc . . . (Apparently New Doc doesn’t like Dr. X either.)

Mom calls Dr. X and asks to purchase a copy just of my youngest sister’s shot records. Dr. X says the copies will be ready in two weeks . . . . for two pages. My mom is pissed. She shows up at Dr. X’s office one or two days later and requests copy of youngest sister’s shot records. Dr. X says my youngest sister has to be there to sign for them. My mom tells Dr. X my youngest sister is a minor and cannot sign for them. Dr. X says youngest sister must sign. My mom makes Dr. X read my sister’s birth date aloud. Dr. X caves and prints the 2 pages off a computer. Mom pays with a quarter and tells them to keep the change.

We all wonder why Dr. X is such an ass. And why it would take up to two weeks for a copy of two pages of information that is stored in a computer database. (If the records had been on charts in a locked warehouse somewhere then okay . . . . but . . . they weren’t.)

Moral: Dr. X policies and staff just plain out suck.

University-provided housing

Okay, so the guys in the apartment directly above mine went home for winter break... and they left their porch closet door open. Last night and tonight have been pretty windy, so that door's crashing against the porch railing and making a huge racket.

After a sleepless night last night, I went to the front office and requested that Maintainance go up there and close the door. The receptionist took my work order and promised that someone would be by later to close the door.

Nothing. I can still hear that door crashing around. I went back to the front office a bit before their listed closing time to complain that nobody had come, and the doors were locked, the lights were out, and no one was home.

I'm flying early tomorrow, and now I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight, either!

Dec. 23rd, 2008

Look, I get that its holiday season and the people that work at mall kiosks are trying just as hard as everyone else to make money with their neck warmers/nail scrubbers/electronic cigarettes.

But if I say no, I don't want a demo, I mean it. I don't want a demo.

So, please, please don't follow after me, especially at a jog, especially down half a hallway. One, it's creepy and rude and I'm still going to refuse. Secondly, there were tons of people milling around! Why couldn't you just ask someone else rather than chase me down?

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