Saturday Evening Post

macchiatoWhat a wild roller coaster week this has been! The fans are chasing off the breeze. Fall is trying to arrive. Grab a cuppa and snuggle into a rocker. Just some short news before Clyde has his say. Let’s talk.


This week has been über-filled with words. Some I could read, some I could not find. The week started with a scare. The book I wrote over the previous two weeks disappeared. Poof! After 48 agonizing hours, the cloud churned it back to the surface. The painstaking process of recovering the edits done during the 48 hours of reconstruction will be complete in time for release next week.

You played a big part in the book. It answers questions The M3 Readers and RedmundPro authors have asked. Plus, it is a workbook. It put the book word meter over 300,000. I cannot wait to see what it looks like when I finish the two in my hopper.

Another word meter has reached a milestone. Today, The M3 Blog has over 800,000 words. (The meters are now only visible on the front page to help your content load faster.)

My return to M3 more regularly has helped. Turns out the people who (must have) answered my questions about blogging (nearly) every day were the Friday Follies participants who lost their platform.

I want to thank, again, Laurie, Janet and Tess for their guest posts on writing, reviews and flash, respectively. Thank you to you for all of your talking back as well. I am very open to guest bloggers. If you have no idea how to reach me, comment; I will reach you.

Right Turn, Clyde!

Clyde has long wondered why humans think their communication is advanced. Despite the technology responsible for computers communicating to humans, machines remain only as smart as their programmers. Despite laws against sharing health-related information, law and programming do not go hand-in-hand.

Customer service is not known for employing those with higher cognitive function nor a clear understanding of the language of their callers. Every single one of them must pass one aptitude test of one question: Is the company ever wrong? The test scores applicants correct if they answer “No.”

You might need this...

You might need this…

Orangs like naps. Twice per day, Clyde’s nap is interrupted by a courtesy call from a national pharmacy’s demon dialer. It calls to inform La Maison de Dwyer a prescription is ready to be refilled. On the surface it sounds like a pretty handy call one would want to receive. Under assumed circumstances, it would be true. We all know what assuming gets you.

Turns out, the prescription is in the last name “Vincent”, a rather common surname in the TCH. After a few of such calls, Red was tired of the cranky orangutan and called said pharmacy. She explained in very small words the telephone number they had did not belong to any “Vincent” and was attached to her account. The pharmacy tech took the number assuring Red the number would be removed from the incorrect account.

You should have been wearing your collar.

Would it clear the name confusion?

Fast forward two days. The demon dialer is calling again. Seems this particular “Vincent” is a sickly person. Another prescription was up for refill. Red, in an tried show of patience (no pun intended), calls the pharmacy again. As luck would have it, the original tech did take the telephone number off of the “Vincent” account. Unbeknownst to the original tech, the telephone number remained on a different account. Tech2 took it off that account.

Despite a plethora of laws prohibiting such information exchange, Red was informed no one in either account had medicine refilled. Red took the time to explain the protocol to the tech, who thought the entire service (which the company requires techs to promote to patients) was ridiculous.

Fast forward two days. The demon dialer is calling again. Apparently, “Vincent” could be terminal.

Enter Ape

Are customer service programmers so out of touch with the world they are confident information never changes? Perhaps, they are firm in their belief all patients are diligent in reporting their telephones have been disconnected for non-payment, especially when said patients are paying an inordinate amount to the pharmacy.

What is most disturbing about this entire process?

Fact 1: Information is passed to a computer without human intervention or check.

Fact 2: Information is never processed after transfer to ensure no changes have been made.

Fact 3: Despite disinterested party informing pharmacy of incorrect information, human input does not change the computer application.

Fact 4: Information delivered to disinterested party is unlawful.

Fact 5: Disinterested party has no apparent avenue to rectify situation.

It is enough to make an ape wonder.

Until next time,

Red Signature

Are we so lazy to think computer programmers know what we intend or do we never use the software to assure it does what we think it does? Are we as a society so in need of nannies this type of reminder service is the only way we remember medication?

If you did not take the poll on Wednesday, please do.

Hashtags: #HIPPA #pharmacy

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  1. Sometimes your name gets so stuck in a database that seemingly only the destruction of the server will clear your name from it.
    Binky recently posted..Philosophy of Ice CreamMy Profile

  2. I’d prefer it if the pharmacy would have an actual live person to call and let me know when a prescription was ready for pick up instead of having to drive out and guess. I hate having to stand and wait. What I really cannot stand is when they take it upon themselves not to refill the prescription but instead to call the doctor for approval on multiple refills instead of the one I ask for because they offer it cheaper per prescription without consulting me or what my wallet can handle. It should be illegal for them to do such things without first consulting the one that are paying. I do not need a reminder for refilling prescriptions. I need money to do so, common sense tells you if the bottle is empty it needs refilling if you are not yet through with the medication round. If I’m terminal and a machine is calling me I’m going to be ill. They’ll be interrupting me finishing out my life in peace.
    Laurie recently posted..All Things Being UnequalMy Profile

    • I have the whole Nanny State issue with this. I think the users should be able to opt out during the “reminder” call.

  3. I find that loud, obnoxious complaints made in public sometimes do wonders to grease the wheels of technology.
    MJ Logan recently posted..Basic Campfire Building is an Adventure SkillMy Profile

    • I used to think that until I realized the ones listening to said complaints had no tech to back up their empathy. Ugh.

  4. Since my pharmacy has screwed up more often than I’d care to think about I am just glad that I have to call THEM to make sure my meds are ready for collection and I have a month’s reserve should they screw up again.
    Given they are of the caring profession I find amazing that they have no concept of the harm they do when they screw up and then try to cover their tracks… 🙁

    Love and hugs sweetheart! 🙂

    Prenin recently posted..Saturday – Quiet day.My Profile

  5. Oops!

    Forgot the notify flag… 🙂
    Prenin recently posted..Saturday – Quiet day.My Profile

  6. Raises hand from back of room.
    Wildly waves hand when Red fails to see.
    Jumps up and wildly waves hand screaming, “pick me, pick me I know the answer dammit!”

    Yes, code monkeys honestly believe nothing will change, ever ever and forever amen. That is the answer.

    Valentine Logar recently posted..Fall Flash 13My Profile

  7. Well, at least in this case Disinterested Party’s frustration led to a few hardy laughs here in the galley! Hope that helps, DP…
    Yes, even those in the pharmacies that really pretend to care can one only shrug her shoulders and raise her eyebrows when the price for one of xx monthly Rx’s was increased by 1000%. Not a mistake, not a typo on my part. It has been one of the cheapest drugs around for decades and suddenly I must now pay $40 instead of $4. Apparently they did that because they can!
    And because computers made it so easy for them to do so!

    BuddhaKat recently posted..From Friday to Fractals…My Profile

  8. I am aghast how freely one’s personal information is thrown about but I have been lucky not to be involved in anything this life threatening.
    I received a hydro bill once with a different name on it. I called to say that was not my name. “Who are you, then?”
    “I’m xx and I have lived here 10 years.”
    “No, that is the wrong name. You do not live there.”
    So now I don’t know who I am but some stranger who has never laid eyes on me does. Huh. I can’t recall how long it took to straighten out.
    Address databases are not managed well. 🙂
    Tess Kann recently posted..Hot Flash – EmbarkMy Profile

    • I argued with my retirement fund one year for an entire year. They told me I could not access my information without my birth date. I informed them I had input said date in the format they desired to no avail. When asked which date I used, I provided my birth date. The man told me (who was flabbergasted), “Well, that is simple. You were not born on that date. It says right here another date.” After 18 telephone calls and three faxes of my driver’s license and birth certificate, I finally found someone who understood someone had keyed it improperly. xxx

  9. On the other hand, there are some customer service reps who are good, and some companies with good policies.
    El Guapo recently posted..Friday Foolishness – Immaculate EditionMy Profile

  10. Sometimes the idiots outweigh the intelligence of the few, in other words not all are in the category of stupid, but an awful lot are, which is rather annoying at the best of times 🙁

    This is a great posting Red 🙂

    Andro xxxx


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