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You’ve Been Terminated

“I’m sorry,” the pharmacist said, handing me back my prescription card. “The system is rejecting your card.”

“What?” I was already overheating in my winter layers, having waited in line fifteen minutes to drop off my prescription. “Are you sure?”

He sighed, no doubt used to this useless question. “I’d be happy to try again,” he said, though I’m sure he was anything but. When it was rejected a second time, I took out my credit card.

“Okay, I’ll just pay. How much is it?”

“One hundred-fifty-nine dollars,” he said.

Shut the Front door! I walked away and called the number on the back of my card. The first voice confirmed that, yes indeed; my prescription plan had been terminated.


“Have you changed jobs?” Voice One asked.


“Been fired?”

Was she serious?

“Let me transfer you to someone who can help.”

Isn’t that you? After repeating my story to Voice Two, there was some keyboard tapping before she said, “According to our records your prescription plan was terminated on November 7, 2013.”

Almost three months ago! “Why didn’t anyone contact me?”

“Let me transfer you to someone who can help.”

Seriously? It was Friday afternoon. If this wasn’t resolved soon I wouldn’t get my prescription until Monday.

Voice Three and Four weren’t much help. For all I knew it was the same two women passing me back and forth like a hot potato.

Finally Voice Five offered good news, “We should be able to fix this within 20 minutes.”

“Thank you,” I said.

“I will call you back.” Famous last words.

Back home – over 20 minutes later without my prescription – I made some calls. Turns out someone in payroll made a mistake. In all honestly, dealing with hundreds, maybe thousands, of pieces of paper, it’s a wonder they don’t mess up more. As an organizer I understand how easy it can be to misplace something. That’s not the upsetting part. It’s the disorganized system. While the procedure was quick to notify my union to remove me from the benefits package, why weren’t they as quick to alert me so I could have rectified the issue then and not three months later when I’m burning up in a CVS?

At 5:15 p.m., over four hours later, my phone rang. “You can pick up your prescription,” said Voice Five.

“Thanks,” I said, my faith restored.

“Oh, but you have only have a little window. The problem’s not resolved.”

Of course it isn’t. Faith now terminated.

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