This is How Corporations Suck You In... and this is how you end a series, Rowling...
I'm putting all of this under the cut, because it is both sad and kinda mean, I guess... and one could read a bit of boasting in it, tho' the latter two are really unintentional. It's also long, so So... Orientation was today, as well as the first part of training, which included a tour of the building I'll be in.
Reminder: I now work as a Content Analyst for Wellpoint/Anthem/Blue Cross-Blue Shield. Obviously, this is a medical insurance provider—one of the biggest (if not the biggest) in the US. So one would expect solid medical insurance, yes? I'm used to paying about... $60-65 per pay period when I was at other companies, and that's not including Vision, Dental, AD&D (not Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, you nerds!!), etc..
Now, let me preface this with the a bit of a show-off. I can spot tragedy a mile away. Having worked in call centers for 10 of my 15 working years, I've developed a keen sense for those persons for whom life has got them down. Something about their swagger ("The weight of the world is on my shoulders"), something about their smell ("I work so hard, for so little, and sweat so much!"), something about the timbre in their voice ("No, I'm not catching a cold; I'm holding back the tears...") that warns me ahead of time.
Keep in mind, this isn't limited to call center mavens. Oh, no! My taste in men is also suspect for much the same reasons. There's something pleasant about the stink of tragedy, the strut of danger, and the sound of impending doom. In case you're wondering, the latter sounds like how I imagine the London sirens warning of the German's coming bombing.
At any rate, so—and prepare for The Sad—we start talking about the benefits, and the lady next to me (whom I have lovingly pegged as Tragedy #1 of 3) starts asking me questions, because I think I gave off the air of knowing how the medical benefits worked. I didn't, of course. Now when she sat by me, I said "hello, how are you?" as a nicety, of course. It was 7:45am, after all, and I had only had 4 hours of sleep, if that. Her response: a deep breath, an exasperated sigh, a carding of her hair, slouching of her shoulders, and an "I'm okay..." I use ellipses at the end of many sentences in this journal, but I've never 'heard' them before—especially at the end of a sentence. But I could hear these ellipsis marks. Every. Last. One of them. Hell, I could feel them!
So anyway, I told her what I thought about it, told her that I wasn't quite sure, and I could hear the cracking of her voice, the sharp intake of silent-as-possible breath. I raise my hand and ask the Orientation Leader a question that basically centers on how much maximum would come out of my pocket in case I got seriously ill.
$2000 is the answer. $1500 is paid by Anthem first, then I have a deductible of $1000, then for the next $1000 we split 80%/20% (my favor). Then after that, Anthem covers everything else 100%. The Lady stops breathing—I'm sure of it. I ask about pre-existing conditions (which is where many insurance plans in the US fails), and Orientation Leader tells us, "No such thing here."
The Lady next to me scurries off, after excusing herself. We take a 10 minute break immediately afterward, and the trainers calm down The Lady, who apologizes when we reconvene. Her husband and her son require monthly dialysis. It runs her close to $15,000 a month. Yes, $15,000. So long as she's at Wellpoint/Anthem, she'll never have to pay that again. Her expense for her husband and son have dropped from $180,000 a year to $4000 (it's different for her since she's covering a spouse and child).
Once Ms. Tragedy #2 and Mr. Tragedy realize what just happened—and why—it's seriously as if we had watched all the sad scenes of Ol' Yeller, Steel Magnolias, The Color Purple, and Terms of Endearment one after the other, in rapid succession... after dropping shots of Tequila... and stubbing your toe... It was simultaneously the saddest, most wonderful moment I've been a part of for a long time.
So to repeat what I had said earlier, I'm used to paying $65 a pay period for a plan that is SUBSTANDARD compared to this. How much is the above medical plan? $5.73/pay period. Seriously. And that's how some corporations trap you. I mean, even if my job sucks, it'll be hard-pressed for me to quit, because the pay is nice and the benefits are killer!
I guess my advice to anyone looking for a job—try and find one with a medical company, preferably insurance. But be prepared to wear a golden albatross about your neck.
Now later, me and Another Lady are talking about books we read. And I mentioned Bartimaeus Trilogy, which apparently she's read and loved for awhile now. Then she confesses that she cried at the end of the final book. I tell her I did too. Hell, I still do. And she says: "If only That Other series could have ended similarly." And I know she's referring to Harry Potter. I know it! I didn't say anything after that, but it got me thinking. BT is a great example of how to build a dynamic character, how to show growth and change in that character, and how to have them redeem themselves in the end, making their 'existence' worth the parchment its written on. The story of Nathaniel 'John Mandrake' is the story that Harry Potter should have been, were Rowling not too busy living vicariously through her character.
And Bartimaeus is the witty, snide, snarky Draco that fanon wants Draco to be so badly. Seriously. And Kitty is the wonderful, well-rounded, more intelligent than she realizes sort of character that Hermione should have been.
Jonathan Stroud should have written Harry Potter. Or at the very least, the last two books (despite the fact that I really like HBP as it is, which may make me one of few... Oooh, in fact: POLL TIME!!!)Poll #394 HP-Book
Open to: All, results viewable to: All
Which HP Book Is Your Fave? (yes, you must chose only one)
View AnswersSeriously, if you haven't read the trilogy, please do. Hell, I'll upload the audio-books for you if that's what it takes.
WTF R THZ!?!?!
So... that's it, really. I've an AS/S plot bunny that I'll probably talk about later—if not tomorrow—because I've homework to do, Anthem things to study, and I'm worn out. This 'real-job' shit it tough! How do you lot do it?!?!?! And damn! Some of you have kids...! MULTIPLE kids!! AND PETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mad Respect To You.
Oh, and I'm crushing on my boss/manager so fuckin' hard, it's pathetic.
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