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Does Anybody Here Speak English?

18 Sep

Many, many years ago I worked as a customer service rep for a health insurance company.  I loved my job and most of my customers were delightful, but some of them had a rather loose grip on the English language.  I often remarked that when I retired I was going to write a book with the above title: Does Anybody Here Speak English. Last night I found a stack of notes I’d kept for this opus, so I will share them.

The lady who was upset that her daughter’s student policy didn’t cover pregnancy. It was stated in several places that maternity care wasn’t covered, and we always made certain to remind the client a number of times when the policy was considered.  The woman seemed to understand that, but she still hoped we could cover the part of the hospitalization that wasn’t related to labor and delivery.

The man who got angry when we didn’t cover a meal he’d ordered from a local restaurant because he didn’t like what the hospital was serving. “And you call yourself a service organization!”

But sometimes it was just the way they expressed themselves. “I’m gonna ask you two questions. One for you and one for me.”

The doctor took out her utrix and left her tubals.

They shown a light up the front and a light up the back, but when he operated he went right up the middle.

A note I received written on a scrap of envelope: “please Lent me know when one year BeGan’s in Ends”. Punctuation and spelling are original.

But my absolute favorite was an exchange I had with an elderly gentleman. Many of our subscribers referred to outpatient surgery as “in- and outpatient” care, which seems perfectly logical. (The term outpatient care always conjured up a picture of a patient sitting on a park bench, with the doctor and nurses bent over him.)  This man had called with a question about a surgical bill and I asked him if it was in- or out patient – to which he replied “Yes.”

Obviously, my question came out a bit more sharply than I intended. “Yes, what?”

And he replied, “Yes, ma’am.”

 

 

 

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Signs of the Times

16 Sep

Back in the late 1600s, until just after the American Revolution, Joppa Towne was a thriving seaport and the county seat. When the harbor silted up and malaria became a serious problem the people moved away. Both the church and the town were abandoned. In the early 1960s a developer bought up the farm land and established a planned community here. In doing the title search, he discovered the Episcopal Diocese had been deeded several acres in perpetuity by George II. We were not inclined to give it up, so the developer had to revamp his plans.  The diocese reestablished the parish, which is called Resurrection, as it has come full circle.

HistoricJoppaSignThis sign was originally out on the main highway, and remained there until about ten years ago, when some sort of landscaping was done. The highway department took it down and was going to trash it, until the church asked if it could be saved.

The Squire and I went up to the  country court house to see about having it replaced along the highway. The original spot was gone, so it would have to be in a new place. This is where the fun started.

We asked about getting a permit or something to set the sign, and the man was astounded. “You mean you want to do it legally?”  “Well, yes. We’re a church so we thought it would be nice to do it right.”

We needed to go to room 302 or something. That lady told us we had the wrong place and sent us to room 130. They sent us to the basement. And so it went. We went to half a dozen places, and ended up back where we started. Along the way we were told we needed to file a plat of the area. I pointed out that there was a shopping center right there. “Why can’t you pull that plat?” We don’t have one. “Did you toss it, or did they do all that work without one?” Hmmm.

In the end we gave it up as a bad deal, and the sign ended up on the church property. We didn’t need permission to do that.

Now, the Vestry wants to move it back to the highway. We are way off the beaten track, and the sign would help direct people to the area.  The Squire and I are not offering to help.

Florence Fizzled

14 Sep

deerWhile North Carolina took a real beating,  Charleston avoided the worst of the weather, and Eldest Daughter’s neighbourhood hardly even got any rain.

She has outside security cameras, and grabbed this shot of the deer in the side yard this afternoon.

So much for that!

Conspiracy Theorist

13 Sep

This morning I fetched up behind a car with two bumper stickers:

9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB            BAN FLUORIDE

What fools these mortals be!

Quick Update

12 Sep

Eldest Daughter, her daughter and grandchildren have left Charleston and headed inland. They decide it wasn’t worth trying to “see what happens” and then get stuck on the Interstate with two children under five while a million other people are headed the same direction. One of her sister-in-law lives in Georgia and told her horror stories of people running out of food and gasoline of the highway.

They had planned on heading back to Maryland but I-95 was blocked off. It runs pretty much parallel to the coast, and would be clogged with people evacuating further north. They headed inland and went to the Middle Daughter’s home in Nashville.

It is particularly frustrating because they have outside video surveillance and she can see that there is nothing going on, but she can’t get back and really wouldn’t go anyway. Still watching the deer wander around the yard is frustrating! She had grabbed a duffle bag of necessities but no clothes more than shorts and t-shirts. They are going to a wedding next weekend, but all of her dress clothes are still in Carolina. Not worth the time and money to go back.

Youngest Daughter is in the mountains of Virginia so she’s not too concerned. A bit, because it will rain and the ground is soaked, so there is a danger of trees blowing over in the wind, but when I spoke to her a little while ago she said it was sunny.

We’ll keep you posted.

Sometimes You Just Wonder

7 Sep

When I was getting into my car at the market this morning a family was climbing out of theirs in the slot next to me. It seems to be One of The Rules that no matter how many places there are, the car next to you is coming or going when you are doing the same. However, I digress.

One of the children in that car was an albino, wearing a sundress, and holding her hands over her eyes. A friend of ours has two albino children( what are the odds?), and I know these kids have very sensitive eyes, and should always have a hat, long sleeves, and loads of sunscreen. I whipped off my sunglasses and handed them to the nearest adult. “Here, put these on her. She should never be out without her shades.” The lady thanked me and admitted the little girl should also be wearing a hat. “They sell nice straw hats at the Dollar Store over there.” I pointed across the lot, and then drove off.

I know it’s hard to keep a little one covered up, but this is dangerous stuff. Albinos already have very poor eyesight and there’s no point in having the little kid go blind, even if she complains about the sunglasses.  She’s going to live with this problem all of her life, so train her early. If she had Type 1 diabetes you wouldn’t let her slack on her diet and meds; don’t do it when she has any other life changing condition.

Ah, me. It’s a good thing I’m perfect, isn’t it?

Lend Me a Hand

2 Sep

We have to clear the barn before we can move, so I’m tackling some of my mum’s boxes.

I found one good-sized shoe box (I think in may have help a pair of my dad’s shoes) marked  GLOVES.  There are ten gloves in there – three for the right hand and seven for the left. One of the right hand gloves is a long formal item in a sort of pinky-orange shade. Most of the other gloves are for driving – leather palm and so forth – and few seem to be real leather. None of them fit me, and none of them match any of the others. If there had been a left and a right driving glove, I could wear them; who cares if they match? But no such luck.

Beats me.