In talking with a good friend at work recently about, well, nothing really, just the talking that gets you through the day, he mentioned having to log into the “portal” of his medical account or something of the sort, like “portal” is somehow a normal thing.
It made me think of this post from a couple of years ago. From back in June of 2020.
(posted here in the Attic June 23, 2020)
When I recently had an allergic reaction to a medicine I’ve been taking for just a short period of time that blew my face up into a bulbous early Halloween costume winner I was relieved by a couple of things.
One, there was the relief after the urgent care Doc gave a diagnosis, that was then confirmed by my regular doctor, of it simply being said allergic reaction and that it wasn’t something that was … ya know … gonna dead me.
And two, I was relieved that my “bold” “dangerous” “fierce” “had us trembling under the bed” new look, as some influencers and trendies may have exclaimed, didn’t last very long, and, more importantly, not long enough for the villagers down in the town to make the discovery of the new monster up on the hill forcing them in anger and fear to their woodsheds and barns for torches and pitchforks and Sharpee’s for crudely fashioned and misspelled signs.
But of course that relief couldn’t be allowed to last very long now could it, as later on that afternoon, when checking my bank account online I realized that instead of just me paying my 40 dollar co-pay before I was seen, I had somehow, accidentally, paid my entire balance of 1300 hundred dollars instead. Son of a bitch.
Yeah, that came as QUIIIIIIITE a shock, even more so than my lumpy, just not quite right porridge face, though for those of you who know me I’m sure you don’t find such an accidental occurrence all that surprising, but that would have caused some serious issues in the Land of Steve if I couldn’t get it reversed.
Eventually I was able to get things worked out and get my money back but in the process I also realized, shit!, I have a balance of 1300 bucks with these folks, so I asked the woman who assisted me if I could set up a monthly thing, like I have with a number of creditors for medical bills stemming from my hospital limbo shuffling slow hallway hospital socks for nine days discovered adrenal deficiency something or other requiring a daily steroid dose now vacation a few years ago. I asked if could set something up for, say, 25 bucks a month, like I do with the others only to be told that they don’t set up automatic payments for an amount that small because, of course, why would they? I mean if you’re gonna keep up appearances of being part of the remarkably unaffordable world of U.S healthcare you even gotta have payment plan standards that are difficult.
I figured though, that I would just go to this care company’s website, find my account and start paying this 25 bucks on my own. I’d get the small money ball rolling at least.
Easy right? HeHeHe. Oh, you are so gullible my friends. No, first thing I discovered, and I haven’t been to the site in a while, not since I set up the account years ago, was that they’ve changed their password requirements “FOR YOUR SECURITY” as well as added some new steps of verifying who you are.
Now let’s get one thing straight, and I don’t think I’m alone here, I DON’T WANT TO CHANGE MY FUCKING PASSWORD!!! And it’s not like this is some monetary account, like my checking or my HSA or that stash in the Caymen’s from that last bank job (the one Billy almost fucked up by the way – and I SAID “don’t think Billy, please just don’t fucking think, just drive the car Billy … just … drive … the … fucking … car”) or the stock investment portfolio I don’t want to brag on about. I mean, what’s the concern here? That some no goodster online meanie person is going to hack my account and do what? Pay my bill?
And I don’t want to come up with a new password with a minimum whatever the hell they’re asking for now, like 37 characters, a capital letter, a number, a symbol, any town in Bulgaria but spelled backwards and a trucker handle from the 70’s.
And the other new security measures. 5 questions? Really??!!
Well, and I don’t care if you all know, but my first girlfriend, my first pet, my Grandma on my Mother’s side, my Grandad on my Dad’s side and my fourth Elementary school after I was kicked out the first three are all, coincidentally, named Bob.
But, once you get past all of this, you are then ready to log into … the Portal?!
Ok but no, hell no, that’s the last straw. It’s NOT a freakin’ Portal!!! it’s just me logging into my account at a website! If I’m going to enter any type of “Portal” it’s going be something space age and futuristic and all science fictiony and shit. It’s going to transport me to another dimension, take me to the future, drop me into a world that isn’t as batshit crazy and astoundingly dumb as this current one, it’s going whisk me away to a universe with all the rainbow of colors alien chicks Captain Kirk slept with (I’ll bring condoms though, the large size, just in case, I mean ya never know what weirdness might arise in this strange new universe. Plus, love James T an’ all, but I don’t trust where he’s been) but it’s definitely NOT going be my boring and depressing account, life, at a medical company’s website with a history that just shows me getting fucking old with a daunting balance.
Well, anyway, I stopped at “Portal” and I closed things out before it spirited me away to someplace even more exciting than my medical bills, like maybe the details of my bankruptcy 7 years ago or my tax return history.
I’ll try again tomorrow I guess.