Thursday, August 18, 2016

Southwestern Eye Center Debacle (disaster)...

This has been a miserable day! Several things lately haven't been going the way I'd prefer them, but that's just life. My job as an active member of society is to live my life in accordance with the experience that I have gathered over the years. Some call it being judgmental, but isn't that how you learned to cross a busy street? Using judgment?

My new insurance company, Health Choice, although trying, hasn't been doing the job they represented to me, thus far. I inquired about getting a cataract removed and they referred me to The first optical company where the young girl was just plain rude to me when trying to schedule an appointment. I decided that rather than defame her, I'd just hang up and use a different optical company, enter Southwestern Eye Center. The young lady at the insurance company set up an appointment for me but at a location that was pretty far away. Upon entering their Scottsdale location, about 12 miles away, I was asked to fill out a ton of paperwork. You know the routine. After a time, I was called in and examined by a young, perhaps 20 years old, girl that was short and quite plump, but that has nothing to do with my story. In advance, I was asked to bring a list of the medications I was taking and I did. One of the meds is a soda pill that I take 3 times a week to make life for my distressed kidneys a little better. She notes the meds I supplied her with, into the computer, then asks me if I use any other caffeine besides soda. I ask how she knew I occasionally drank soda and she replies that I listed it under my meds! I laugh and explain that the soda is a pill and I certainly wouldn't list soda under medications. More importantly, I realized she wasn't smart enough to be doing this job. (Judgmental) I skipped it, as it was now time to look through their apparatus. She would tell me not to blink, but would then push the gizmo against my eye lashes which causes a spontaneous blink. It's a human reflex, try it. Each time she'd touch my eye lashes with the machine, although I really tried, I found myself doing a reflex blink and she got mad, displaying her frustration and anger. Although I didn't say anything except it was a reflex that I have no control over, she showed her anger. I realized she had no business trying to do this job with her limited intelligence and wondered who hired her knowing this. I finally completed this part of my examine and was sent to see Dr. Palmer, then the receptionist who sent me to their Tatum and Bell Rd. location for a visit with the actual surgeon. This is the first that I'm hearing that they have a location much closer to me. 

I attend my next appointment with Dr. Siemi and find her to be an intelligent young woman, but possibly too young. Not being a great judge of age, this doctor could easily be perhaps 23 or 24! NOT experienced enough to be operating on my precious eyes. So I bluntly ask her, her age and she replies that it is an inappropriate question! I explain my concerns and she says, "Let's just say I'm past my mid thirties!" Although I still have my doubts, I accept it for true. (These are the only eyes I have.) I am then sent to wait in yet another room where I am ignored for about 25 minutes to wait for someone named Eon, the scheduler to come for me. After my frustrating wait, a pleasant young lady comes for me and I'm pretty sure she's not Eon. We discuss when. She explains that I cannot take a cab out of there on surgery day alone and I'm stuck for a ride to and from, as my son, who I called from her office in planning on going out of town the week of the 8/25, so I tentatively schedule it for 9/22 to fit into his travel plans. All of this took place on Monday the 15th of August and later that day I went to the gym for my usual workout and was explaining my problem to a buddy when he volunteered to to pick me up and wait for me, then drive me home! I was delighted! Tuesday morning, early, I called their office and was put on hold for 20 minutes when I got frustrated and hung up and called back, this time pressing 0 for operator and she immediately connected me with the missing in action, Eon! I immediately noticed that from his voice and way of speaking that he was from the gay side of town, not that there is anything wrong with that. In addition, I observed that he had no personality and was like speaking with a robot, but I don't need personality from a scheduler. I explained my dilemma and he advised me that Dr. Little Girl still had the 25th open, but I would need to go to the Scottsdale office and see Dr. Palmer for a lens fitting on Thursdays, 8/18, today.I'd already met Dr. Palmer and was quite impressed with his professionalism and agreed to that appointment, today.

Last night, thinking about how uncomfortable I am driving after having my eyes dilated, I texted my son to see if he was free to come with me, just in case. He called me back and told me he'd have to rearrange a few things but would certainly come to my aid. Perfect! We are both quite punctual and everything went perfectly with his arriving about 10:25 AM and we laughed all of the way to the Scottsdale location. As we entered, there were about 5 girls behind the counter, all laughing and having a good time. They seemed shocked to have company and one asked if she could help me. I said, yes I'm here for my dance lesson! They all laughed and I told the young lady that offered to help I was there to see Dr. Palmer for my 11 AM appointment. Her face kind of dropped as she reluctantly told me it was his day off! Then she told me I was probably confused and that Dr. Siemi is at the Bell Rd. office when I stopped her and explained in detail exactly how I know I'm not confused and that I need to speak to the manager immediately!!! The manager another youthful girl came out of hiding, listened to what the first girl had told her and left, not wanting to speak with me. I insisted that she get her. She came out and didn't say a word. I pretty politely explained that I don't really need Dr. Palmer, I can see whatever doctor is working today. She explained that Dr. Siemi will not accept anyone's work except Dr. Palmer. That message is, that the other doctors aren't any good, right? 

I realized I had chosen the absolute wrong company to do business with and politely (only because my son was there) asked how much cataract surgery costs. She said she couldn't tell me that. Then I ventured a low ball guess and said, $5000, $10,000? That's how much your company just lost today... Brad and I left and he didn't even yell at me! We were almost to Portillo's for lunch when my phone rang and it was this youthful office manager calling and begging me to reconsider. Telling me of the great doctor that's been with the company for 25 years. I told her after about 15 minutes that I'd consider returning to their company but don't count on it. Portillo's was mobbed at noon! Back to step one...

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