Category Archives: Jerks

Don’t I know you?

Today’s Holidailies luck of the click: Meeting people in cyberspace.

I take this to mean either meeting your cyberbuddies in the flesh or running into people in cyberspace you already know in person. I’ve done both, and while the former is wonderful and I’ve made some very dear “real-life” friends that way, the latter can be downright hilarious, especially when karma is involved.

Take Ken, for instance. I worked for Ken in a consulting firm that handled publications for small trade associations. He pulled a huge bait-and-switch in that his expectations and demands were about 50 times more intense and burdensome than he let on in the interview.

Those who have ever worked in publishing of any kind will nod their heads in agreement when I say that it’s just a wee bit much to expect an editor to edit, lay out, write columns, solicit articles, sell advertising space, and handle circulation all for the same publication. No-no, we have word people, we have graphic people, we have ad people, and we have circulation people. Word people and graphic people often work together, and word people are wise to know the programs the graphic people use in case they have to go into a layout and tweak a typo or something at the last minute. But by and large, those are four different aspects of publishing, something I knew at the ripe old age of 28, having spent four years and a lot of money to learn. Ken seemed to know this, too, and went on about how this person at the firm handled layout and the other person handled ads, and everyone just kind of pitched in and updated the system when subscribers changed their addresses, etc.

Well, in my first two weeks there, he expected me to do all of that for not one, but two 48-page publications. But wait, there’s more! The first weekend on the job I had to fly to a conference to man the registration booth with other staff members. That sucked up Friday through Monday, and of course no one took a day off when we came back, so my first week on the job lasted 12 days.

The following Monday, Ken requested to see the completed layouts.

Of course I had not completed them.

And Ken was displeased.

In fact, Ken was so displeased that I still hadn’t pulled both of these publications out of my arse by the end of my third week that he fired me.

Fast forward eleven years and one divorce later. Newly single, I had no idea where or how to start dating again, so I signed up for a little service you may have heard of, Match.com.

You know where this is going.

Ken winked.

Ken wrote.

Ken wrote again.

Oh, my profile was just lovely. I was witty. I was intelligent. I was attractive and vivacious, and we had many, many interests and hobbies in common. “Would a woman such as yourself consider meeting for a drink?”

Why, no. No, a woman such as I would not consider meeting for a drink. A woman such as I wound up temping for six months and maxing out her credit cards to pay her rent after a man such as he let it be known that he didn’t know his butt from his elbow when it came to publishing and fired a woman such as I, and therefore if a man such as he spontaneously burst into flames and no one else was around but we two, a woman such as I wouldn’t pee on a man such as he to put it out.

Write, proofread, and…

smite

Ah, that felt good. (Image: No idea. It’s around.)

Odd, but on Match I ran into a few guys I had previously met in real life and didn’t like. One was a former coworker of my ex-husband’s. “Wait, aren’t you that jerk who made that awful crack about Mexican women at [colleague of his and my ex-hub]’s party when you saw that [colleague’s wife] was Mexican? Something about green cards and being elevated from cleaning lady to full-time servant?”

Another was someone I had a disaster date with in college, the kind of guy who thinks you’re supposed to sleep with him if he buys you dinner.

Needless to say, I wasn’t on Match for very long. That was right around the time MySpace started taking off, and I figured if I was going to fend off jerks through my computer, I could do that on there instead, for free—but that’s something for another entry.

Silver and Gold

As some of you know, I’m a freelance writer. This means I pay for my own health insurance. The deadline to apply for for January 1 coverage is Tuesday, and I procrastinated just came off my busy season and finally had a chance to look at it today.

It started off well enough. After just 30 minutes, I managed to narrow it down to two plans. One is Silver, which has a $2,000 deductible. After the deductible, it will pay for 70% of nonbasic care (surgeries, hospitalization, etc.), and my prescriptions drop down to $10 a month each for generics. The total out-of-pocket (OOP) amount I’d have to pay all year is $6,500 (which I will illustrate with an example in a moment because a lot of people get deductibles and OOP confused). Once I meet the OOP, all pretty much all healthcare is free for the rest of the year except for small copayments if I catch a lung fungus or something and have to have a doctor’s visit. The other plan is a Gold plan, with no deductible, a set co-insurance of 30% on all non-basic care, a drug price of $5 a month each for my particular generics, and an OOP cap of $6,850.

Thinking of my monthly expenses, I decided to dig a little deeper into this because the Gold premium is $80 more a month than the Silver, so I looked at the company’s formulary (the list of drugs they cover).

When I looked up my particular medications, I saw that the combined monthly cost of the generics would come to $80 on Silver unless I meet the deductible.  I could spend the $80 on the drugs on Silver or on the premium on Gold. Six of one, half dozen of the other, it would seem.

But what if something happens? What if I break my arm falling off a ladder while trying to get Inigo down from a curtain rod, and it costs $10,000 between hospital, doctor, and X-ray?

On Silver, I would pay $2,000 to knock out the deductible, which leaves $8,000 left. Because I met my deductible, the plan would pay 70% of that $8,000. I would pay 30%, or another $2,400 after I had already paid $2,000. This means I would pay $4,400 for my arm, and I would still l have another $2,100 to go before meeting the OOP cap.

Getting bones set on a Hippocratic bench might be less painful. (Image: Wikimedia)

Using a Hippocratic bench might be less painful. (Image: Wikimedia)

Now say I break a leg skiing, and that’s $10,000, too. Being that I already crossed the deductible line, the Silver insurance will automatically pay 70% for my leg. That leaves a $3K difference, right? BUT WAIT! I only have to pay $2,100 more before I hit the OOP cap! So then it would cost me $2,100 for my leg and insurance would pay for the other $900. Now everything non-basic for the rest of the year is free. So that would be $6,500 between both mishaps.

On Gold, I would pay 30% on all non-basic health care until I meet the $6,850 OOP cap, so I would pay $3,000, for each broken bone. That would be $6,000 for both—$500 less than on Silver—but I would still have to cough up another $850 to meet the OOP cap before non-basic care is 100% covered.

Now say some jerk at the insurance company denies my claims for the broken bones and the four days I spend on the phone trying to rectify the situation result in an ulcer that requires a $3,000 endoscopy to diagnose. On Silver, it would pretty much be free, but on Gold, I’d have to pay $850 because 30% of that is $900 and I hadn’t met my OOP cap yet.

But see what they did there? Although I would still be paying $120 more a year for meds on Silver after my deductible, on Gold I’d be paying $350 more a year before the OOP cap. In other words, I’d be paying $230 more a year for health care on Gold even though Gold is supposed to be the better plan.

I guess I’ll go with the Silver to spread out the financial burden, but in the long run it makes no difference. Either way, it’s going to cost me an arm and a leg.