Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Toastmasters Times Two

Today I stopped by the Toastmasters in the building where I work. I can almost certainly get a half-hour off for the meetings (since the other half would be my lunch "hour") and it's a wonder means of professional development, plus meeting people.
I had noticed its lobby sign for about a year, and done nothing. Then I recommended it to James as a sincere attempt to help him with his professional development, after seeing him at a meeting with a perfectly decent short little idea to present, which crashed and burned because he was too shy to present it boldly. He did the work of figuring out that this organization fit our organization's professional development standards and when he told me he had gotten permission to attend, I realize that I wanted to also.
I won Table Topics. I'm good at that lol.
It was a good day!

Health Insurance Follies

During the furlough, my health insurance was continued with the premiums suspended, on condition that I repay them when back into pay status or if I accepted another job. More than a month into the furlough, a letter came with a form to fill out confirming this arrangement, to be mailed back or faxed. I mailed.
Last week I got an email at work saying they would cancel my health insurance, retroactive to the furlough, unless I called within 24 hours. Naturally when I called at 4pm (end of tour) their office was closed and no voicemail. I called the next morning and was told that very likely  they just hadn't processed the mail yet, this happened all the time, and I should fax. So I faxed, although it was not encouraging that they didn't process their mail in a timely way leaving me and all those who trusted their representations about mail to suffer.
Next I got a form in the mail saying my coverage was cancelled because I had not returned the form. This made me angry. Apart from the impact on me personally, the form was designed to anger the recipients because it told a lie: the problem was not that I had not returned the form, but that they had not recorded receiving it. It is never a good idea to say something that you don't know - all the organization knew was that they had no record of receiving the form - they didn't know whether I had received it.
The form said I could apply for reinstatement by sending in a form. I found it on the internet (in another display of lousy customer service, the cancellation notice did not include the form) and faxed it in - taking a photo this time. I will also mail it.
I am disappointed but not surprised at the incompetence of poor customer service. It makes the reactions of those I serve every day more understandable. Let's see how this goes - I really do need the health insurance.