Check the end of this post for an update
There are days in LA when you feel like you’re cursed. You head out to drive to attend an event that’s a few miles away and end up suffering for 30 minutes in traffic–and that’s when you take the shortcut.
I am right now in “phone hell,” trying to reach a human being at the Los Angeles County Recorder/County Clerk to find out if I can vote early. When I called the first number on my sample ballot, I only got a long recorded message (in several languages), telling me how to use the automated system, but not answering my question.
When I called the number in the phone book, I got another interminable message. And I mean interminable. I was listening for about 3 minutes as a recorded message droned on and on. I wasn’t even given the option to discontinue the message and speak to a human being. So, I tried the non-toll free number on the ballot and remain in phone hell (some calls within LA County are toll calls).
This multiple language thing is particularly offensive. If people want to become citizens of America, they should at least learn enough English so they can vote.
And then there’s the awful music they keep playing.
And it isn’t just the County office. I had previously called Blue Cross to ask why they were increasing the cost of my premium by 20%. Again, I was in phone hell for over thirty minutes, with the awful music interrupted by sales pitches. They’re raising my rates and making me endure that.
Finally, I got a human being who responded to my questions like Ms. Hillary in a debate, repeating his talking points. He informed me that it was an across-the-board increase, but couldn’t explain how the company came up with that figure. I noted I worked out regularly and tried to eat well. He replied, “It doesn’t make a difference if you have good health or bad health.”
I guess I’ll stop eating those five fruits and vegetables every day and starting eating cheeseburgers again.
The left may say this is yet another reason why the government should intervene in health care, but the issue is that the government is already too involved. What’s needed is more competition. Perhaps, if Blue Cross had more competition, they would likely not be able to get away with an increase this steep and find ways of cutting costs by eliminating bureaucracy.
And I would daresay they have much of that bureaucracy to make sure they’re in compliance with state and federal mandates.
There, I’ve vented. Perhaps my first post written while in phone hell. (I wrote this entire piece while waiting to talk to a public servant at the County Clerk’s office.)
UPDATE: Soon after finishing this piece, I reached a real live human voice at the County Registrar’s Office, a very nice woman named Aqualin. I learned I could vote early. I also realized that I could have found my answer more easily on the web. In about 20 seconds, I found this letter about early voting, answering all my questions.