Aetna reverses its decision

My insurance company, Aetna, which denied a $10,000 medical claim last year, has finally reversed its decision (after my second appeal) and decided to “process the claim” again.

Woo-hoo!

Let’s see how it actually shakes out, though, before I get too excited.

Amnesty day at the dump!

I know, that sounds weird. But I just returned from the dump/recycling center, in my case the one on Omohundro Drive. I dropped off the old dishwasher along with my usual recycling and household trash.

Anyway, the woman there told me that today (Saturday, May 15) is an unadvertised “amnesty day” when you can drop off ANYTHING (other than nuclear waste, probably), and you can spread it out over three trips. But hurry, I think the centers close at 4 or 4:30.

Letter to a former co-worker

I’m glad you and Cathy are doing well. Our daughter Elizabeth is doing well, too. She spent last night with a cousin north of town so she can attend that little girl’s birthday party today. Elizabeth’s own birthday party was last month.

I’m “sort of” employed, working for myself doing computer consulting fixing people’s computer problems, setting up new systems, etc. Amy has been a great customer, actually. I enjoy consulting. I never was the “corporate” sort. I haven’t been making nearly as much money, though, as I was when working for old “gravy train” [***** *****]. I’ve never gone this long without a regular job. Or, at least, I’ve never gone this long trying and failing to find a “permanent” job.

I go on these interviews, things seem to go well, then they never call me back (except for that one time when I was literally the second best candidate). Actually, half the time, it doesn’t go all that well. I can tell they really want someone with XYZ software experience (which I’ve probably worked with, but not extensively). And, in this hiring manager’s “buyer’s market” with so many IT people out of work, they know they can get that exact, perfect fit employee. That, plus I’m convinced there is rampant age discrimination out there. Everyone wants a gung-ho 20-something guy or girl who will ask “how high” when they say jump. Then I come in, nice and calm and experienced, but probably as old or older than they are, and they’re just not comfortable hiring me, like they’re afraid they wouldn’t know how to manage me, or something. I’m just guessing.

I’m probably lucky Te*** hired me five years ago. Corporate hiring managers around here never have liked me, generally. I’m not “corporate” and I’m not a good ol’ boy. I seriously doubt Da*** or Ch** would’ve have hired me on their own. Maybe I’m lucky to have gotten a good four years of steady employment when I did, but it was bad for me in a way because working for someone else made me a little bit lazy, too dependent on others. It dulled my ability to think on my feet.

I got complacent sitting behind that desk just answering the phone.

Also, if I had just kept on doing the freelance consulting like I was before (and now again), my business (computersavior.com) would have been more firmly established by now. Then again, Tara and I probably never would have adopted Elizabeth, because of the unreliable income that goes with consulting.

Anyway… like I said, I like working for myself. I’m the best boss I’ve ever had. 🙂

I just need a more steady stream of customers. If you ever have any computer problems, I can help you remotely. Da*** pretended to want to use my services several months ago, then he never called. I think he was just afraid I was a disgruntled former employee who might go on a shooting spree, and he wanted to make sure he was on my good side, so he pretended to be a prospective customer.

Well, that turned into a book, didn’t it? I guess I had a lot to say (for me, anyway). We can stay in touch through Facebook, maybe. Check out my other websites sometime, in case you want to contribute an article or comment.


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Identity theft

ATTORNEY’s ADVICE – NO CHARGE
Read this and make a copy for your files in case you need to refer to it someday. Maybe we should all take some of his advice! A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his company:
  1. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put ‘PHOTO ID REQUIRED.’
  2. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the ‘For’ line. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card companyknows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won’t have access to it.
  3. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a PO Box use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your work address. Never have your SS# printed on your checks. (DUH!) You can add it if it is necessary. But if you have It printed, anyone can get it.
  4. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. I also carry a photocopy of my passport when I travel either here or abroad. We’ve all heard horror stories about fraud that’s committed on us in stealing a Name, address, Social Security number, credit cards.

Unfortunately, I, an attorney, have first hand knowledge because my wallet was stolen last month… Within a week, the thieves ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a Gateway computer, received a PIN number from DMV to change my driving record information online, and more. But here’s some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know:

  1. We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately. But the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know who to call. Keep those where you can find them.
  2. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).
  3. But here’s what is perhaps most important of all (I never even thought to do this):
    1. Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and also call the Social Security fraudline number. I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the internet in my name.
    2. The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.

      By the time I was advised to do this, almost two weeks after the theft, all the damage had been done. There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves’ purchases, none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and the thieves threw my wallet away this weekend (someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them dead in their tracks.

    3. Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet, if it has been stolen:
      1. Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
      2. Experian(formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
      3. TransUnion: 1-800-680 7289
      4. Social Security Administration(fraud line): 1-800-269-0271

We pass along jokes on the Internet; we pass along just about everything.

If you are willing to pass this information along, it could really help someone that you care about.

Bird in the house

Woke up this morning to a bird in the kitchen. I had a hunch the cat Sunny had brought something inside because, while still half asleep, I heard her banging around outside of the bedroom somewhere.

Anyway, I walked into the kitchen, and there was a bird perched on the curtain rod over the back door. I couldn’t get the door open fast enough. The bird’s wing hit me in the head as it flew back outside. 🙂

Sunny brought in a dead bunny rabbit a couple days prior. I really wish she’d stop doing that, but how do you train a cat to, well, do anything?

Installed the new dishwasher

I finally got around to installing the new dishwasher that Tara’s sister Stephanie mysteriously bought for us. Not sure why, but I never look a gift horse in the mouth. Seriously, if anyone ever feels like giving me something, feel free! 🙂 Anyway, taking apart the old one (and its hoses) released the most foul stench into the house. When Tara got home she immediately asked about it, I told her, she opened every window she could reach, then took Elizabeth and left! I had suggested it, actually 🙂

I stayed behind and finished the job. The smell happened because we had stopped using the old dishwasher (because it was almost worthless anyway), but without that occasional hot water running through its pipes/tubes, the water that never left its system basically turned into bilge, almost sewage. That’s how bad it smelled. It’s outside now.

Anyway, the new one is installed (though I haven’t drilled/screwed it into place yet) and working fine. It should be nice having a dishwasher again.
Thanks, Stephanie!

Identity theft protection

Attorney’s Advice – No Charge

Read this and make a copy for your files in case you need to refer to it someday. Maybe we should all take some of his advice! A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his company:

  1. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put ‘PHOTO ID REQUIRED.’
  2. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the ‘For’ line. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won’t have access to it.
  3. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a PO Box use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your work address. Never have your SS# printed on your checks. (DUH!) You can add it if it is necessary. But if you have It printed, anyone can get it.
  4. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel… Keep the photocopy in a safe place.

    I also carry a photocopy of my passport when I travel either here or abroad. We’ve all heard horror stories about fraud that’s committed on us in stealing a Name, address, Social Security number, credit cards. Unfortunately, I, an attorney, have first hand knowledge because my wallet was stolen last month… Within a week, the thieves ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a Gateway computer, received a PIN number from DMV to change my driving record information online, and more.

    But here’s some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know:

  5. We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately. But the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them.
  6. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).

    But here’s what is perhaps most important of all: (I never even thought to do this.)

  7. Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and also call the Social Security fraud line number. I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the internet in my name.

    The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.

    By the time I was advised to do this, almost two weeks after the theft, all the damage had been done. There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves’ purchases, none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and the thieves threw my wallet away this weekend (someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them dead in their tracks..

Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet, if it has been stolen:

  1. ) Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
  2. ) Experian(formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
  3. ) TransUnion: 1-800-680 7289
  4. ) Social Security Administration(fraud line): 1-800-269-0271

We pass along jokes on the Internet; we pass along just about everything.

If you are willing to pass this information along, it could really help someone that you care about.

Stupid online chat with Sprint support

  • 12:32:39 PM : Bill: Initial Question/Comment: Your online form won’t let me change my contact info. It keeps saying "Oops, something’s broken" or whatever, never telling me what I’ve done wrong. I filled out all the required fields.
  • 12:34:14 PM : Vicki: Hi Bill. I am sorry for the inconvenience you have faced during creating a online account.
  • 12:34:43 PM : Bill: I’m not creating an online account. I’m trying to update that info. I’m getting this error: Oops….
  • 12:35:32 PM : Vicki: May I have your account PIN please?
  • 12:36:08 PM : Bill: ******
  • 12:36:30 PM : Vicki: I understand you want to set up a new username and password for your online account access. I will assist you with this.
  • 12:36:55 PM : Bill: No, that’s not what I want. I’m trying to UPDATE the existing info.
  • 12:37:10 PM : Vicki: Ok. Please let me know what changes you want to make.
  • 12:37:31 PM : Bill: I want to change first name from "William" to "Bill"
  • 12:37:55 PM : Vicki: Please provide the account PIN.
  • 12:38:07 PM : Bill: I already have.
  • 12:38:35 PM : Vicki: Thank you. The name on the account is William Holmes.
  • 12:39:59 PM : Bill: Yes, I know. And I want to change that to Bill.
  • 12:40:15 PM : Vicki: Let me explain this. The first name on the account is associated with the account owner. This means that William Holmes is liable for the account.
  • 12:42:12 PM : Bill: I am the account owner. "Bill" is a nickname for "William" in this country.
  • 12:42:45 PM : Vicki: The last name can be changed. However, changing the first name means transferring the ownership of account to other person. Do you want to change the ownership of the account?
  • 12:44:52 PM : Bill: No. Goodbye.

I kept from insulting her. That never does any good, as much as you might want to. And, it’s apparently no problem to change the last name on an account but not the first name? Go figure.