Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A word to the wise

After many, many months of under-employment, I finally found gainful work a few months ago. In the words of Mrs. Gerbil, having a real job is "totally crazy like whoa."

Since late February I have been working the swing shift (including weekends) in the call center of a humongous behavioral health insurance company. Mostly I'm quoting benefits, issuing authorizations, and pre-certifying inpatient stays. But occasionally I get crisis calls, which are always interesting.

In addition to rather sizable paychecks, this job has provided some perspective in my quest to Fix The World By Complaining. I'm now a lot nicer to call center representatives whom I contact in my personal life--because I know now that they can't change a whole lot of anything, no matter how angry I get about it.

I've also learned that every call is documented, or at least should be documented. Details of your calls to your health insurance are considered part of your medical record--which means you can request to see those data at any time. I would hate to see the notes our former health and dental plans have on me.

And I have learned about the mute button.

The mute button is the best way to put callers on hold without actually putting them on hold. It's weird and uncomfortable to be on the phone with a stranger while neither of you is saying anything, right? and it's so much better to be on hold, right?

Okay, maybe not. But in any case: If you don't hear the hold music, you are probably not on hold. You are likely on mute. Which means that the call center representative can hear everything you are saying.

So hold thy tongue, knave.

1 comment:

Lavender said...

I can usually manage not to say anything stupid when on mute, but I do have a bad habit of forgetting I've turned mute on, and then attempting to continue a conversation when the other side cannot hear me. :-)