I just returned from three weeks away to get a good head start on my next book.
I have been running from one person to another who just needs to see me. I don’t care how far technology has come, people want to actually see you. My mom, my friends, my book club, my uncle, my sisters, even my cleaning lady. And I want to see them. It has made an impact on me. I realize that human contact, not just phones, or email or even Skype take the place of eye to eye, hand on the arm, hugs and kisses. Actually talking in person to someone can make your life better.
Never more so was this clear, yesterday when I sat with my Mom as we made yet another phone call to the Veterans Administration. It was not frustrating or anger-inducing as I have recounted in the past, but it was a hoot.
It was reminiscent of a phone call I had made just days earlier to Medicare.
This was the Medicare call with a robot voice who was trying to get me to the right place:
Robovoice: Please state the purpose of your call.
Robovoice: I heard ‘disability’ . Is that correct?
Me: “No, Claims.”
Robovoice: I heard ‘enrollment’ . Is that correct?
Me: “No, Ugh. I just want to talk to someone!”
Robovoice: I heard eligibility. Is that correct?
Lest you think I’m making this up, my friend was in the room listening, so she can confirm that this was a real conversation. I hung up and started all over again. My friend said, ” well there’s a blog.”
With my Mom and the VA however, we used this great service where they called us back rather than keep us on hold. In 10 minutes, a real person was on the phone answering our questions. She was kind, courteous and extremely helpful in leading us to the correct information.
The only problem was the phone connection was so terrible that she and I had to repeat every single sentence. I don’t know why, but neither of us got crazy over this. We just kept repeating. Finally, she said she could send me an email to make sure we had what we needed. Of course, do I have an easy email address? No, why would I?
This is how that conversation went:
Me: My email address is my name. I’ll spell it c-a-t-h-y
VA lady: Is that J-R-P-P-I?
Me: No, it’s C, my name is Cathy.
VA lady: Okay, Jathy
Me: No, it’s C, like in chocolate. (Now I know ‘military C’ is Charlie. I have no idea why I said chocolate)
VA lady: OH “C”! Okay you’re name is Cathy!
Me: Yes, My last name is Sikorski.
My mother sitting next to me says: “Oh God, this will never work!”
I just jump in and spell my last name : S as in Sam, I as in Ink, K as in Kitchen, O as in Olive, R as in Radish, S as in Sam, K as in Kitchen, I as in Ink. I don’t know the rest of the military alphabet. This is my version.
VA Lady: Okay, I’ll send you the email.
Me: You will send it by mail?
VA Lady; No, the email, I’ll send the email.
I had no hope of this ever happening.
And five minutes later, there it was in my inbox.
If only we could have seen each other, it would have been so much better. But my Mom and I had a great laugh as we sat together at her kitchen table.
“You Just have to Laugh….”
© Cathy Sikorski 2016