I'm not computer-savvy enough to link to YouTube videos but if you get a chance, go to YouTube and search for "Louis C.K. hates cell phones". Then watch the video of the comedian Louis C.K. on Conan explaining why he doesn't want to get cell phones for his kids. It's great -- funny, sad, and true. As someone who watches people all day with their nose in their cell phones, I realize that the loss of eye contact caused by technology (and other kinds of personal contact) has really been a bad thing for our society. It also makes it increasingly hard for anyone in the service industry to do their job. I lament this and I refuse to give in to the zombie-like behavior of those I am supposed to be helping. And it's not just the customers. I work with pharmacists who see themselves as paragons of professionalism but apparently have no problem whatsoever being distracted by stupid texts and stupid Facebook crap on their personal cell phones. All day long. While they are checking your prescriptions. I don't accept that. I love my iPhone, but it has no place in my workspace when I am doing my job.
I understand that the airlines are contemplating allowing people to use their devices all the time, including during takeoff and landing. I am totally against this. Make people turn the goddamn things off for 10 minutes and listen to what's going on around them. No, your iPad cannot be used as a flotation device.
I didn't participate in the recent Pharmacist Tweet-A-Thon. I just wasn't in the mood. My first customer of the day handed me a letter that said his $300 prescription had received prior approval from the insurance company. He spoke not one word of English. When the prescription was filled and I prepared to collect a $3.00 copay, he looked at me quizzically and shrugged in the universal "no money" gesture. Another person haughtily informed me that she did not have $1.00 for her copay. When I indicated I was not going to just hand it over, she reached into her purse and pulled out a dollar.
Someone else told me I was "full of shit" when I tried to explain the rules regarding quantities of diabetic test strips when covered by Medicare.
I have a few tips for everyone who is entering the health care market under the new legislation (and I'm truly glad you are getting health care, by the way):
1. READ.YOUR. POLICY. You, and only you, are responsible for understanding it.
2. Understand that everything is not going to be free. Being 'covered' by insurance also means that you might have to pay $3 ( or $100) out of a $300 prescription. This is nothing new. Even my long time customers with good jobs and good insurance have trouble grasping this. The payer makes the rules.
3. You have to be able to communicate. Please learn the language or bring someone who speaks it.
4. Be patient. Be courteous and respectful of people in health care. We are human too. I will move heaven and earth for someone who gives me an ounce of respect and practices common courtesy.
And please don't walk up to me with your face in your cell phone.