Jun 15, 2012

The Promotion Story

As a follow up to my post in March where I stated I was taking the plunge into managment (possibly), here is my story of how that turned out:

I applied for this position with most of my colleagues' confidence and support so I felt really strongly that I was a shoe-in.  Interviews were conducted internally, I was up against three others in my department (Snort, Mr. Race, a temp) and I had the most seniority/working knowledge of our current position so I felt really confident.  I had my turn to interview and while I felt it went well overall, I was completely pissed off by MastiffLady.  She looked like she had bitten into a cow pattie the whole time.  It was the most sour facial expression I have seen on her-ever!  Some of the questions were actually slight shots on me but I answered the questions with a calm demeanor and grace (I thought).  I have never been in an interview where I felt those interviewing me were attacking me & it was no fun!

After the interviews were all done, we were told they would be making a decision "soon".  Soon turned out to be 4 weeks later.  There was some talk from Snort that he heard it wasn't going to be either of us & I tried to brush it off as just rumors.  That guy gets so abuzz with gossip that it drives me nuts!  He was talking to a bunch of us about the same stuff for a good 2 weeks until the decision came out.  We were told the reviewers would be consulted for their opinions on each applicant.  On that note, I knew that they would unanimously state I was the natural choice.  Lo and behold, they were never consulted about any of us!

Each candidate was told that they would be informed before the announcement was made as a professional courtesy.  That didn't happen, an email went out to all staff with the announcement & my name was not mentioned as the deserving person who was promoted.  It was Mr. Race who has been here exactly 6 months and 2 days as of the announcement.  Hmmm.....nobody can be promoted unless they have been on the job for 6 months minimum!  Coincidence?  I think not.  What a slap in the face!  I almost lost it, but as soon I finished reading the announcement, I congratulated him instead.  I wanted to storm into MastiffLady's office and flip out on her but figured she may be expecting some sort of backlash so played it cool instead.  Dumb idiot! (her not me)

Just for comparison's sake, lets see how the three of us stack up against eachother:

Me: 10 years industry experience both retail & hospital, I have taught at a vocational college-developing new job candidates and subsequently turning out very competent graduates, I have been here for almost 5 years, I know almost all of the health plans' intricacies off the top of my head, I have twice flown to other states to train new hires and their supervisor for my company, and I am a constant resource for the reviewers when they need help.  I am here 99.9% on time every day.

Snort: 5 years experience in pharmacy-retail, not quite 3 years experience here, fast but not very accurate, not entirely knowledgeable of all the health plan inticacies, dodges responsibility, no leadership experience.  The reviewers can't stand him, he drives them crazy with his errors, commonly referred to as a monkey by the reviewers.  Always late by at least 7 minutes daily.

Mr.Race: 3 years industry experience in retail pharmacy, fast data entry but not always accurate, limited knowledge of all health plans, has been here (as of the announcement of promotion) 6 months 3 days.  Errors drive the reviewers nuts, knowledge is really lacking, and he has also been referred to as a monkey. Comes in on time mostly, but comes in late a lot more than I do.

Based on this information, I felt I was the clearly qualified candidate.  However, I was wrong so what happened?  Here's my theory: 

I have challenged Mastiff Lady on certain new procedures she wants implemented based in their impracticality & have suggested alternative action that is more practical, I always have pertinent questions she hadn't thought of before, I have been the only one to stand up to her, I have gone to HR about her shady antics within my department, and I have not shown any fear of her likelihood of retaliation while remaining very professional in every situation.  In my interview, I asked about autonomy level of the position-I may have sealed my fate by opening my mouth.  Last winter, we were slammed with work so they asked for volunteers to work weekends.  I voluntarily did not work weekends so I have a feeling that factored in as well.  Overall, I am too strong of a person for the position because she wants a puppet.

Snort is not afraid to speak up, he asks dumb questions-some are actually relevant & thoughtful, he shirks responsibility, feigns ignorance to get out of certain things, and is late all the time!  He was one of the "Overtime Whores" who worked every stinkin' weekend because he is money hungry.  He isn't always reliable, he isn't puppet material either.

Mr.Race goes along with whatever MastiffLady says, he is a "Yes Man" therefore, he is the clear choice because he is the perfect puppet she can control.  He was the other "Overtime whore" but is also single and unattached to much of anything so he has the time.

Any opinions?

Mar 22, 2012

Crossing my Fingers!

I haven't written in a while and a lot has happened since my last post.  I am taking the plunge into management (maybe) and I'm a little excited/a little scared.  We'll see hwat happens, I will keep the blog updated as much as possible.

Feb 1, 2012

Wow, super wow! Part One

So since my last post, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, and all of January have gone by.....wow!  I knew it had been awhile, but not that long!  So much has transpired since my last post! 

Here's the December rundown:

Two weeks before Christmas, I took my very first business trip-3 states away.  I was asked to go for 2-3 days, consented, then the bosses came back and said that actually, it would be 6 days!  I was not happy, but had already committed based on the original duration stated to me.  I went on my trip the following Monday.  Did I mention they asked me on Thursday afternoon if I could go?  Scrambled to get flight, hotel, and rental car figured out on short notice-got it all reserved and confirmed. 

During the weekend, my little family and I went Christmas tree shopping.  We found the most gorgeous Noble Fir that stood just shy of 10 feet tall, was tagged as a 7-8 ft. tree, so was $40 cheaper than it should've been SOLD!!!!!  We brought our lovely tree home, hosed it off, shook out the loose needles, and blow dried it with our leaf blower.  I was thrilled to decorate this tree that required use of our ladder to put the angel on top as well as string the lights.  It is the biggest tree we have bought to date.  I spent most of Sunday perfecting my tree, putting away the ornament boxes, etc. and packing.  Our house smelled amazing!!!  And then I had to leave the next day.....

Left Monday mid-morning from the airport & got to experience flying post 9/11 for the first time as I haven't flown since 1997!  I switched planes in Phoenix, the gate I was to go to was not displayed correctly on the monitor, so I went to the gate which told me the next flight was to Mexico.  (I was not going to Mexico!) I went to another monitor to check my gate, saw that it was the original gate displayed on my ticket, and by that time, I had to sprint thru the terminal to my actual gate to catch my connection flight.  I boarded out of breath as my asthma had flared by that point, and I tried to breathe normally as best I could to avoid stares.  It took me a good 20 minutes or so! 

When I reached ginormous airport, I claimed my suitcase, then headed to the Avis desk to pick up my rental car.  (Yes, I'm calling them out!)  By this time it was 8:45pm, I was famished, and I had a long drive ahead of me to my final destination.  I went to the desk, the guy is trying to get me to upgrade this & that and as a good active listener, I'm responding with the uh huhs as he's talking.  Little did I know that with every uh huh I uttered, he's tacking on everything he mentioned inflating my charges to almost double what I expected.  I never stated, "Yes, add that on or I want that".  He slides my credit card and announces to all around me that my card was declined!!!!!  I'm immediately embarassed, and confused at why on earth it would decline.  I ask to verify the total, to which his answer was waaaay more than I expected so I ask him where that figure came from.  Long story short, he turned me away telling me maybe another company could help me.  I go to another rental desk, stand in line for almost 10 minutes only to discover all their cars are rented out.  Livid, hungry, humiliated, and dying to get on the road, I go to another car rental desk and ask them if they have cars available.  As I'm giving the guy my info, jerkface from Avis comes over to me offering to match the price at another company if I will allow him.  I told him he better get me a damn good deal because I am royally pissed off and he better make it worth my while. 

Nov 21, 2011

Been Gone too long

It's been a month since I've posted and I missed doing it.  I have been crazy busy at work, doing overtime every day, and generally being the information outlet for what seems like a gazillion patients, MD offices, pharmacies, and health plans.  I come home dead tired, and have no inclination to much more than dinner, homework with the kiddos, dishes, and sleep.  I am recording 4 different TV series because I'm just too tired to watch at the time they are scheduled to air.

WE NEED HELP!!!!! It's out of my hands but each and every one of us would love to scream it.  I guess busting our asses catching up is better than sitting around twiddling our thumbs right?  But seriously, we all need more rest.....and appreciation.  Did you hear that managment team?

Oct 14, 2011

Worst Call at work Ever!!!!!

On Tuesday afternoon, I was training yet another new person in our department at my desk.  At about 2pm or so, my phone rang, so of course, I picked it up but did not expect what I heard on the other end of the line.  Here's what happened:

Me: Prior Authorization dept, this is PA Honeybee how can I help you?

Patient: Oh God, oh God, help me!  I am hurting so bad.  He beat the shit out of me, pushed me on the bathroom floor, and smashed my head against the bathtub!
(she sounded like she was hysterical, in agony, with a shaky voice)

Me (eyes wide, heart now racing): Have you called the police?  You need to call the police and seek medical attention for your injuries!

Patient: I need my medication so I can get out of here....Oh God, what if he comes back for me?  I need pain gel, I have already been hospitalized they let me go.  But I need it I need it, I gotta get out of here before he comes back to beat the shit out of me again!  (sounding super frantic/shaky/terrified)

Me: (heart racing, feeling helpless) You need to call the police.  You need to talk to them, not me.  They can help you. 

Patient: they don't do anything, they don't care unless there is blood!  Oh my God!  Aaaaggggghhhh!  If he comes back he could end up killing me, please hurry!

Me: You should call them anyway, this is extremely important.  Let me see if we have received a request for your pain gel.  Yes, we did earlier today, I will expedite it for you.

Patient: Oh God, Oh God!  Please hurry, I gotta get outta here!

Me (in my head): Why the hell would you be calling about a pain gel Prior Auth instead of packing up your crap and getting the hell out of there?  If you had the shit beaten out of you, that pain gel is not gonna do much to help you out unless you have some superficial contusions not major bodily injury as stated.

Meanwhile, all the co-workers around me stopped what they are doing, and are staring at me with puzzled looks on their faces during the exchange.  My mind is racing as to her rationale, my heart is racing, and I'm freaked out. 

To make a long story shorter, I got the auth taken care of for her, we disconnected, and I felt the huge urge to run down the street to the nearest bar to have a few shots to calm my nerves.  Instead, I did some deep breathing and drank water since working while intoxicated is not a good idea.  This was the most bizarre day I've had in my position to date.  I hope it's the last, but, it probably isn't.

Oct 6, 2011

Busy, busy, busy!

Now that October is here, we are increasingly busy in general, but have added a new health plan to the mix and they are fairly large.  GuitarGuy and Youngin' are doing pretty good, but aren't on phones yet :0( so the rest of us have our phones periodically ringing off the hook all day.

I had an urgent request earlier that I knew we were going to deny due to off label use but the MD office was adamant this was an emergency, so I complied and took the information over the phone.  I had it reviewed urgently so the office could take another course of action for the patient.  I am fervently hoping they don't call back to chew me out.  Offices in this situation usually do call back but hopefully they chew out Snort instead.  We shall see.

Speaking of Snort, he's trying to be "mentor-ish" to the newbies but I have to wonder, how does a stupid moron mentor the new hires?  He doesn't read everything, he blazes through triage making errors all the time, and acts like he's the "PA God" and is infallible.

GreenGirl and I let it slip to GuitarGuy how much we really dislike Snort.  We didn't say much, no details or anything, but just made a general statement....I know we shouldn't sway any opinions, we're not trying to, but if they're going to be a part of the team, I guess they should know the internal source of our frustrations.  We periodically make vague comments regarding frustration to each other after a call where we had to fix one of his errors & they look at us a little strangely.  Whatever.

On another note, I find it interesting how someone's reputation that precedes them can be turned on it's head once that person is a part of your company.  I mean this in a good way though I know it can be the opposite as well.  In my case, it is the former.  GuitarGuy had a reputation as an arrogant, woman-loathing, jerk according to a source from his previous company.  In my experience training him, he has had fleeting moments when speaking of his experience prior to working here, but is a pretty humble guy (so far), and seems to treat GreenGirl and I with much respect.  I guess time will tell & we'll see if he reverts back to previous behavior.

Oct 3, 2011


Last week, GreenGirl and I began training the newbies: GuitarGuy and Youngin'.  So far, so good; they are picking up their new roles pretty quickly with Youngin' being the faster of the two.  GuitarGuy is slower and more methodical, but is doing pretty good. 

I had to tell (demand actually) the newbies to ignore Snort's directions to leave certain information off when they triage as GreenGirl and I did not teach them that way, therefore, it is incorrect.  I must admit we're getting pretty annoyed by Snort, he isn't training (thank God!) so doesn't get a say in how they need to make changes, but tries to give them insight anyway.  We told them that if they want to listen to him instead that they shouldn't be surprised if they are presented with a stack of errors they made which may or may not threaten their newfound positions.  It's their choice.

On another note, Mastiff Lady came into the department (gasp) 4-5 times since Tuesday last week, that's been different.  She comes into our section of the department too infrequently preferring to stay in her office.  Not terribly exciting from a reader perspective, but from my perspective, she at least knows we're at our desks and physically here.

Sep 21, 2011

Packing up my desk

So, due to the newbies joining our stafff on Monday, I am packing up my crap and moving to a different desk in the corner of the department.  Apparently, this is to ensure more accessibility for one of them due to the location.  Now, I agreed to change desks a couple months ago,  as I don't like the orientation of my setup, but I'm a little hung up on the accessibility issue.  I'm moving 2 cubicles away, an equivalent of 15 or so feet away from my current desk, and within my department's area in the building. 

What exactly do they need that allows my current desk to provide better access?

Only a few things come to mind:
  • The copy machine that isn't typically going to be used by a newbie for awhile.
  • The Clinical Pharmacy staff-but we have phones to call them/legs to walk over to them and talk to them
  • MastiffLady's office but she likely won't be coming out of it much anyway, so what's the benefit?
  • The Lunch Room (?) they'd be about 6 steps closer than I will be once I move to the corner
  • the Restroom-again, maybe about 14 steps closer as the ladies' is further away than the men's
Regardless, it's just a silly statement that doesn't really mean anything-and I got hung up on that one piece of information.  Like a pitbull, I am.

Sep 14, 2011

So Slammed!!!!!

My hands are hurting increasingly.  I am typing like a madwoman, and busting my butt to get stuff done but it seems almost futile.  I'm tired, I'm achy,  I keep getting phone calls that take forever and cause setbacks in work.  We're down to 3 people this week thanks to Snort's vacation and we're drowning!!!!

Lord help us.

On the flipside, we have two new people starting next week (yay!).
We have to take time to show them how to do their new job so it slows us down (boo).

The following week we get a new health plan and a previous one back (yay for job security!)

We'll still be training the new guys, learing all about a new plan, CuteShoes is going on maternity leave, and we'll be dealing with even more workload (boo!)

Sep 9, 2011

Questions to Ponder

I just got this email and I loved it so much, I just had to post it here.  Enjoy.
Can you cry under water?
How important does a person have to be before they are
Considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

Why do you have to "put your two cents in".... But it's Only a "penny for your thoughts"?
Where's that extra penny going to?

Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the
Clothes you were buried in for eternity?

Why does a round pizza come in a square box?
What disease did cured ham actually have?
How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured
Out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?

Why is it that people say they "slept like a baby"
When Babies wake up like every two hours?

Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON TV?
Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and
Then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

Why do doctors leave the room while you change? They're going to see you naked anyway.
Why is "bra" singular and "panties" plural?
Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast
To a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?

If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, Why is there a stupid song about him?
Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane ?
If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio
Out of a coconut, why can't he fix a hole in a boat?

Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs!
If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that
ACME crap, why didn't he just buy dinner?

If corn oil is made from corn, And vegetable oil is made From vegetables, What is baby oil made from?
If electricity comes from electrons, Does morality come From morons?
Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little
Star have The same tune?

Why did you just try singing the two songs above?
Why do they call it an asteroid when it's outside the hemisphere,
But call it a hemorrhoid when it's in your butt?

Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, But when You take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?
Why Did Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Sep 6, 2011

Ah, September.....and some other crap

I love Fall!  There is something about September through December.  I really love this part of the year.  (we're far from feeling like Fall here, but that's ok, I can jump in the pool) Granted, my favorite holidays are during this period of time, but I think it is more than that.  I love the change of weather, change of tree colors, school events, the county fair in October, my wedding anniversary,  and the air seems cleaner, more refreshing. 

The weather also reminds me of our favorite place in the whole wide world: Monterey, CA.  I love, love, love Monterey!  When I open the windows every morning, if I feel a nice chilly breeze and the air smells fresh and clean, I tell Mr.CooksALot that it's a "Monterey Day".  Yep, I love Monterey.  That is our "happy place", it never gets old.  We got married there, and spend most of our anniversaries there partaking in the Great Wine Escape Weekend.  I highly recommend exploring the wines of Monterey, very satisfying, the wineries/wine estates are beautiful, and the wines are tasty!  Although we live in a lesser-known wine region, I am way more informed on the wines from the Monterey area!  Ironic, I know.  I will explore the local wines more, I should, it is my duty.

Here's the other crap: 
My kids have been re-treated for lice, they are in the clear (yay!)  For two weeks, I have been the "Lice Nazi" checking hair twice daily, washing sheets often in hot water, vacuuming like crazy, and thinking about it constantly, hoping for a quick eradication.  I however, just discovered Monday morning that I became "inhabited" at some point.  I was sitting on my bed, watching NFL Network with Mr.CooksALot, and I felt something moving in my hair.  I fervently hoped that it wasn't what I was dreading, I asked Mr.CooksALot to check my hair, and he looked at me with this look like, "Noooooooooo"!  He checked my scalp, asked me some questions to help identify, and confirmed what I was feeling was indeed lice.
(screaming incredulously inside)
How can it be, I was careful, I was on constant alert, we kept our distance just in case!  Why?!?!

So, off to CVS I sped to get a big bottle of lice shampoo, I treated myself, and very graciously, Mr.CooksALot went through my long, thick hair in tiny sections with that lice comb, ridding me of my acquired scourge.  He originally stated that he had 10 minutes to spare before the next football game came on.  I told him that there was no way in hell he could get it done in 10 minutes so he better just deal with it.  Once he finished, a little over 2 hours later, I looked like Mufasa from Lion King, I was really fluffy! 

I now look like I have fried my hair, it feels kinda like straw, and is very frizzy.  If you are a woman, you know this is not a good thing.  Conditioner is my very good friend, my hair is thick, wavy, long, and not being able to use any for 48 hours really sucks!  I may have to cut some of my hair off for my own sake as well as Mr.CooksALot so he doesn't have so much length to go through when it's time to re-treat.  What an experience this has been....it better be the first and last.

Aug 31, 2011

Fresh Meat

We have been increasingly busy, so we are hiring in my department.  Only the reviewers' numbers are growing, we have nobody new in my part of the department and we're barely keeping our heads above water so to speak.  We need at least two people as of a month ago!  There is always a lag when it comes to filling the jobs for triage so we get screwed.  To my knowledge, we have held two interviews and we need someone (or two) in less than a month or we're all gonna flip out.  Here's what I wanna know: if we have to enter everything into the system, then send the letter after it's reviewed and a decision has been reached, (that's touching each PA twice so double work) why, why, why don't we already have the process accelerated?  AAAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

The End.

Aug 24, 2011

Annoyances on multiple levels (Caution I'm talking bugs!) :0{

So, school is off to a good start, the kids like their new teachers, and are getting back into the daily routine of going to school.  So far, so good with one exception: It was discovered that our kiddos have lice on Sunday.  The SILs' kids have lice too.  We all treated like crazy, all wondered where it came from, and how long they have had this issue.  As far as we're concerned (hubby and I), it doesn't really matter where it came from specifically, who had it first and spread it, what matters is that it is treated immediately and the various household items exposed get vacuumed/treated thus eliminating the issue. 

We're not pointing fingers, but I guess it goes back to the childhood saying, "Whoever smelt it dealt it" therefore, we saw it first so it must have come from us.  Following the discovery, there have been comments made to my nephew about our home, comment to me "he was sitting on your couch", messages on the answering machine "they seem to be increasing on my daughter, are they increasing on yours?"  Um, no, I have been diligently checking twice daily and pulling off any nits I see remaining.  I have been working very hard to wipe out this crap ASAP.

It's maddening enough that we are on "Lice Alert", constantly thinking about it, wondering if we were thorough enough, asking eachother to check scalps, etc.  But it is 10 times worse when two family members blame their infestations on us and are concrete in their assumption. 

I say, think about where you have been, there is a possibility your kids got it first and gave it to my kids.  Who knows?  That's fine, it happens.  But don't go pointing fingers at me and my kids as if we are some sort of *%#$@!>?"{}+_ lice nursery that swallowed your kids up and spit them out infested.  I'm over it.  The next time I talk to either one of them, if they start in again, I'm giving the phone to MrCooksALot, he will gladly tell them off.  Hmph!

Aug 19, 2011

Dresses, work, and kid stuff

Dresses:  I just made two in the span of two lunch breaks from yesterday and today.  I have to get one more thing done for one of them but the other I did start to finish in less than an hour.  I'm felling pretty accomplished as far as my dressmaking is concerned.

Work: Overloaded!!  stressed!!  So glad it's Friday today!

Kids: Start school on Monday, are bugging me to go shopping for a jillion items that they don't know if they even need yet in addition to those we know are yearly staples like binders, erasers, folders, etc.  While I like shopping in general, I am half dreading this shopping trip tomorrow.  I get tired of the "I want, I want, I want!"  gibberish.  I always fire back with "we're focusing on You Need, you need, you need" first!  I also really dislike navigating the mob inevitably stationed in the Back to School Zone, I just want what the kiddos absolutely need, and get out unscathed. 

Since it's going to be summer until about mid-October, I'm not concerned with getting any winter clothes until absolutely needed (aka not right now)  Shoes are a big deal.  Mousie loves shoes like her momma so is particular, and isn't always receptive to what I suggest, which is ironic since I have pretty darn good taste in shoes of all sorts.   I combine my taste in shoes with practicality too, so we don't do super trendy, dumb to have in a kid's size type shoes like high-heeled boots, jelly sandals, wedge sandals (reserved only for home/going places, not school).  SoftballGirl is easier, but still picky, and inevitably wants shoes that aren't totally necessary for school.  That's ok, I always want shoes I don't always need too.

Lord help me survive school shopping this weekend!

Aug 18, 2011

Gross, simply gross

I just got a request for some lidocaine/hydrocortisone cream for a patient.  The diagnosis wasn't just hemorrhoids, no, no.  It was so much more descriptive!  This patient has. . .. . . .wait for it. . . . . .here it comes:  hemorrhoids NOS (not otherwise specified) with necrosis.  Yep, I said necrosis.  As in: Death of a cell or group of cells as a result of injury, disease, or other pathologic state. 
(dry heave)
Her hemorrhoids are likely becoming blackened as the tissue cells are dying.  The mental pictures are more horrifying than I can explain!  All I can say is EEEEEEWWWWWWWWW!  Poor woman!  Oh, and here's the cherry on top: she's got a bun in the oven. 

Here is my minimal emesis inducing example of necrosis:

And now, I have shared.  (shudder)

Well, off to lunch now!

Aug 15, 2011

Weekend Craziness and discovery

This weekend was an "adventure".  It was a learning experience in multiple ways.  On one hand, we discovered the joy of grilled potato salad, it is so yummy!!!!  On the other hand, we learned that sometimes helping out family can be a pain, and can end up becoming way more than just helping.  This will not be happening again, we have learned our lesson. (I think) ;0) 

Potato salad is just brought up a whole 'nother level if you marinate the potatoes an hour in olive oil and whatever seasonings sound good, grill the potatoes instead of boil them, then add them to typical potato salad dressing with whatever veggies you like.  We used red potatoes instead of russet, and man were they good!  Once you go grilled, you won't want to go back.

Southern Breeze cocktails are one of my new favorites thanks to our poolside bar at the hotel we stayed at in Las Vegas.  Mr.CooksALot was smitten with this new discovery as well, declaring that we must make them once we got home.  So upon returning home, I got some sweet tea vodka, Southern Comfort, and lemonade so we could continue to enjoy our newfound drink.

We helped out a family member by hosting a party for her son's birthday, he is turning 15.  Her situation is shaky right now so we (along with my hubby's parents) said we'd help.  Plus, our house is more spacious and better equipped to host 16 for dinner.  We were the hosts, but were expected to do the menu, and all the detail planning.  She originally asked if we could do it Saturday, we said fine.  She calls us Thursday, states she's going out of town for 2 days with her kids, the party is now on Sunday.  We were puzzled, but agreed.  We made the potato salad, did all the cooking, others brought things to contribute as well.  She calls me at 1:15 yesterday, asking what time it starts (???????) and if they arrive at 4pm if that is too late.  I about lost it but politely told her 4pm was no problem, we're getting everything ready.  We reminded eachother we're doing this for her son, not for her.  The party went off really well, we cooked up a storm and all enjoyed it immensely.  Yay!  Luckily, this family member tackled the hill of dishes that was building in my sink and thanked us profusely for hosting the party for her son.

Aug 10, 2011

My Daily Daydream

I want to learn something the exact same way Trinity did in the Matrix movies; I want to learn how to MMA fight so I can use those lovely skills to clobber a certain person.  I know that kicking someone's butt isn't a reasonable solution to a problem, it isn't productive, nothing gets solved, but it does allow you to work off some stress.  (there is always an up-side to everything!) 

Snort is an idiot, I have to fix his glaringly obvious mistakes, and he needs a good ass-whoopin'.  We all overlook some information periodically by mistake, but he just does not read!  Ugh!  I inevitably get the phone calls from the pharmacy or the MD office as the result of his seemingly growing mistakes that are easily prevented if.....he.....would.....just.....READ the medication request form!!!!!!!!

He's lucky I'm not the supervisor, he'd be gone by now.  He better count his blessings and shape-up because, I'm going to verbally go postal on him if he doesn't quit it!

Aug 8, 2011

Back from my Vegas Vacation

I spent Sunday through Friday last week in Las Vegas.  I saw some things I have never seen before and you may not have experienced this yourself.

  1. On the way there, pouring rain in the desert: doesn't absorb into the earth very quickly, it puddles, creating flooded areas
  2. Also on the way, an almost completely flattened top half of a Ford Explorer that rolled several times due to bad driving in the rain!
  3. A really trashy looking woman on Fremont St. (downtown) dressed as a pirate wench, with the largest bosom (like a shelf) just barely covered at the um, "headlight" area.  Many men were drooling as they stared, I almost barfed.
  4. An extremely talented spray paint artist-he created some really amazing artwork using spray paint, a crumpled up napkin, a plastic pitcher lid, and a makeup sponge. 
  5. Innumerable women brazen enough to wear a bikini with all their rolls/jiggly bits/cellulite showing.  I have heard of this, and now I can say I witnessed it everyday by the pool. (dry heave) I even saw one woman who had laid out in the sun, complain that she had lines between her rolls that didn't tan. (should've been covered then!)
  6. Women strolling down the Strip in super high heels, barely there dresses, and complaining how their feet hurt.  Um, use your brain, get some tennies dumb ass!
Overall, we had lots of fun.  We went to the Ethel M Chocolate factory and cactus garden, Hoover Dam, Lied Children's Discovery museum, GameWorks-good food and lots of games!, hung out by the pool most afternoons, wandered through some of the hotels, ate at Hash House A-Go-Go-yummmyyyyyyyyyy, got unknowingly chased then stopped by security at one of the downtown hotels because the kids were in tow and they don't allow kids in the casino-we were only there for the 0.99 cent shrimp cocktail!

We took pictures in front of the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, practically coughed and wheezed our way through the Excalibur on our way to the Luxor, wandered the Cosmopolitan-very sparkly and had some great sculptures, went to Hard Rock hotel ate at Mr. Lucky's (great steak & shrimp special for $7.77 not listed on menu), took lots of pictures of all the music memorabilia, updated our gambling cards-but didn't gamble.  All in all, it was tons of fun and I can't wait to go back-without the kiddos.

Jul 28, 2011

MD Nonsense

I got a call from an office today that ended in a disgruntling conversation.  The Medical Assistant calls me stating the doctor wants to discuss a denial we issued on a patient.  I look up the information and lo and behold, they want a narcolepsy drug that doesn't treat ADHD for a patient with ADHD.  I don't have any idea why on earth the MD would want this drug, it doesn't make sense, and is not FDA approved for this indication.  We of course, denied it for off-label use.  If the FDA doesn't approve it, we don't either.

The MD calls back ticked off and they want to speak with the reivewer, who is (hands flying to both cheeks in shock) NOT A Medical Doctor but a Doctor of Pharmacy!!!!!!  What is the world coming to????  Apparently FunnyMan's doctorate is not good enough for Mr. MD.  Oh, well!  His pharmacological knowledge eclipses yours jackass, deal with it! 

I asked FunnyMan if he queried the doctor as to why a PharmD isn't as good as an MD.  His reply: Delusions of grandeur...why bother.

My impression: good call, good call.

Feeling Naked

Yes, it is true, I am feeling naked today.  I don't know what to do.  There is nothing for me to do until I go home at the end of my day.  How am I naked at work?  I'm not entirely naked, I am dressed properly, wearing heels, and in looking at me, one would not be able to tell unless they focused on my hands. 

I removed my wedding ring and my favorite sapphire ring that I wear daily, before I got in the shower last night.  I looked at my rings on the counter this morning while I was getting ready, but they did not end up on my fingers.  Therefore, I am naked.  I don't like being naked, it actually makes me acutely aware of their absence.  I am also aware of how obsessively I touch the bottom of my wedding ring throughout the day. 

Today, I feel my finger, not my ring.  I feel guilty.  I know I didn't do anything wrong, it was 5:00 this morning, my brain was still in a patchy fog at that time, and I didn't put them back on.  Oddly I feel like I'm misrepresenting my marital status today as the result of a mistake.

Weird, I know.

Jul 22, 2011

Love/Hate fabric stores

When it comes to sewing, I am pretty new to it.  Still learning the difference between certain fabrics so need some guidance as I go along.  Of late, I have a particular urgency when it comes to obtaining fabric that I want.  We're taking a trip to GamblingVille and I want to make a few dresses for my trip.  I got impulsive, and here's what happened:

I went to a nearby fabric store and asked an employee where to find the various types of jersey fabric (there are several so wasn't sure where to look)  I was directed to matte jersey only and was told that was the only one she was aware of.  There was only solid colors and it was too see-through for my taste.  I asked another person, who it turns out was brand-spankin' new, and knew less than I did about different fabrics.  So she asks the same lady I already talked to who of course, gave her the same answer.  Being that my trip is looming, I want fabric, I have dresses on my agenda.  So, since I wasted my whole lunch hour, I came back to work and promptly browsed fabric.com, ordered my fabric, and discovered it takes up to 48 hours to ship, and 4-5 days to arrive.  Crap.  I could have driven a bit further to another fabric store the next day, gotten what I wanted, and I could've been able to begin my dresses this week.  But, I got good deals so crossed my fingers that my fabric would come fairly quickly.  Had I just gone to that store, I wouldn't be griping right now.  Grrrrrrrr.....

Yesterday, as I anxiously checked my email for a shipping confirmation, I discovered that one of my fabrics was out of stock and I had 24 hours to let them know if I wanted to substitute another or leave it off.  I called STAT, waited on hold for a good 15 minutes to have a 3 minute conversation which ended with the rep telling me my fabric would ship out Friday (today).  I told her that I was really needing it ASAP but that did me no good, she wasn't handling it personally. 

So, here I am anxiously awaiting my package that likely won't get here until next Thursday, which leaves me 3 days (during/after work only) to make 3 dresses, and pack for 3 people.  Maybe I will dial-down my ambition and just do what I can.  Imagine that!  We'll see what happens.

Jul 18, 2011

Weekend Whining/Grumbling

We hosted a birthday party this weekend for one of our girls and inevitably some drama took place.  I have one sibling-in-law that cannot mind their manners and makes scenes over stupid crap.  True to form, a mini-scene was performed in the dining room for everyone to see, and the climax occurred in the middle of the street for all the neighbors to see. 

(sigh, shaking head) 

It's a child's birthday party, can't you just mind your manners you insensitive yet overly sensitive, self-absorbed, negativity driven, overly critical, big-mouth person?  A simple request made of every parent who was there is not a stab at you or your children.  We love your kids, we always have and will.  It wasn't specific to you, but your world doesn't work like that I guess.  All I can say is thank God you left and decided not to return, you spared us and the rest of the guests your needless, childish, reactionary bullshit.

Stupid ass. (a quote from my mother-in-law)

Jul 13, 2011

Can I inflict bodily injury?

Snort is making me crazy!  I am "rescuing" him by fixing errors, making things right, and I'm done.  I snapped at him earlier because he intercepted a request I was personally handling, didn't do it right, and I could not find what I was looking for.  This request had a special process I needed to follow and when I asked if anyone had seen it, nobody knew about one but he said he saw something like that earlier.  I brought it up on my screen and asked if that was the one and he said yes. 

Two Words: So Done/Choke Him/Don't Touch!!!!!!!

(sigh of relief now that I've vented)

Jul 8, 2011

Don't you dare call me. . . . . . . .. . .

Any of the following names when we are on the phone discussing a patient or if you are the patient and I'm answering your questions.

Hon-Sorry, not your hon.

Honey-unless you are my mom, but she works in finance so doesn't fit the above description

Sweetie-unless you're one of my parents, neither of whom work in health care

Sugar-don't even dare

Babe or Baby-unless you're Mr.CooksALot

Love(y)-prepare to forfeit your ear, I will rip it off over the phone if you call me this!

Missy-I will inflict bodily injury over the phone if you use this

Child-I don't know you, I am not your child!

I recently was speaking with a patient about her prior authorization and I almost completely lost it as she repeatedly called me Honey and Hon.  I let it slide when the voice (or DOB if a patient) indicates someone who is much older than I am.  This was a 23 year-old calling me this.  I about told her off, but didn't as I need my paycheck.  It is actually exponentially worse when these terms of endearment come from a man, unless as previously stated, he is of advanced age and doesn't sound creepy or shady.  I will ask them to stop calling me by those terms and cross my fingers they don't get off subject in our conversation.  This happens rarely, as I can be a chicken and try to keep my professionalism to a maximum at all times.  It has however, happened. 

For the record, to the creepy, sleazy sounding pharmacy owner in New Jersey: NO, I WILL NOT take a trip to your state soon, you will not, I repeat will not call me babydoll, and I WILL NOT be calling you to show me around.  EVER.  The fact that you told me I sound very beautiful and like an amazingly interesting woman didn't help either.  You really freaked me out and I am now thoroughly weirded out.  Thanks a lot.

Jul 5, 2011

Chewing while on the phone

Happy belated 4th of July!  I hope all enjoyed the 3-day weekend.  I did, but it went entirely too fast!  Late nights watching fireworks don't make for wonderful (let alone easy) early mornings where one must wake up to be at work by 6am or earlier.
On to business: my first call of the day was a doctor who wanted to speak with one of the reviewers on an acne medication denial.  I answered the phone and while I'm stating my name, department, then ask how I can help, all I can hear is chewing and smacking loud and clear in my ear.  Dr. then states his name and doesn't seem to be able to get through a sentence without punctuating pauses with smacking and/or chewing followed by the occasional gulping of a mystery drink.  Now, I know a lot of us can be pressed for time and need to try to get a bite in when we can, but does it have to happen while you're talking to me? 

As I have stated in previous posts, I have a very vivid imagination. While I hear these gross sounds coming from his mouth, my imagination is kicked into gear with all sorts of unsavory images.  This morning, I imagined pints of spit flowing from his chomping jaws as he chewed and smacked away on what I imagine to be either peanut butter right of a spoon or a giant sandwich oozing condiments.  Bluto from the Popeye cartoons came to mind as well although this MD didn't sound like him at all.  I also imagined the gulping was not of water, but a giant mug of soda or beer.  Why?  I don't know, but the sounds fueled my imagination and that's what I came up with.  Supremely disgusting, I know.  I did do a couple impressions as I told co-workers about the experience...and then I got grossed out all over again.  Blech.

(tongue sticking out of mouth in disgust)

This leads me to the general question: Why would someone do this while on the phone?  How does it not occur to someone that this is supremely rude and could render someone nauseated?  I must admit later on this morning, I got caught with a bite of granola bar in my mouth and had to answer my phone.  I have the decency to at least do my very best to hide the fact I'm talking with food in my mouth and sound like my normal PA Honeybee self.  (Patting myself of the back) Ha! Ha!

Jul 1, 2011

You want what? Ummmmm......NO

I got a call today from Customer Service on the other side of the wall from me, and they had a patient on the line asking if we could issue an emergency supply of Expensiva, a costly injectible medication for arthritis, psoriasis, Crohn's Disease.  I asked if we had received a Prior Authorization request and she stated that the MD office is closed for the holiday and won't be in until Tuesday so has not submitted it yet.  The patient is pleading that we give them an emergency supply, there is a major flare occurring, they are bleeding, and in much pain.  Based on the diagnosis I knew this was a lost cause, but, being the thorough person I am, I asked RedBull if we could accommodate the patient. 

Here's how that went:

RedBull: have they had it before?

Honeybee: According to our records, nope.

RedBull: Was there previously a grandfathered PA even?

Honeybee: nope

RedBull: So, they want us to issue an emergency supply for a new start of Expensiva which costs thousands of dollars, you cannot break the box, and must fill the whole kit for a non-life-threatening diagnosis?

Honeybee: That's what it sounds like to me unless they got it under another insurance coverage which explains why we don't have claims history.

RedBull: That's a possibility. The emergency supply is not gonna happen.

Honeybee: that's what I thought but I just had to make it "official" by checking with you. My inclination is to recommend some Polysporin and bandages for the bleeding & to have them call the MD on call to see if they could do some oral steroids to help get the inflammation down & stop the bleeding, but that's just me.  Steroids will kick in fast, Expensiva needs to build up in your system, it isn't going to provide instant relief for anyone.

RedBull: good call, you need a significant raise

Callous and heartless as our exchange seems, this is reality in PA Land.  If you haven't begun therapy on a drug in the recent past, we're not going to issue an emergency supply (unless we're talking a drug for a life-threatening condition) without a Prior Authorization request.  Sorry!

Jun 28, 2011

Out of the mouths of kids

I post my monthly schedule on the fridge so my family knows what shifts I work at any given time during the month.  SoftballGirl looked at the schedule and said, "Mommy, I don't like Snort!"  I asked her why, as she hasn't met him before.  "He gets the good shift, you have to leave before we wake up, and it isn't fair!"   Of course, Mousie hears this and chimes in too, "I don't like him either, he's mean!"  I just smiled and told them that since I work early, that means I'm off early, so we get to play Mario Cart, ride bikes, go places, or play games together before dinnertime and we don't get that opportunity if I work the shift that primarily is Snort's.  I also reassured them, that once school starts again, I will be on a rotating schedule so I get to work that shift and take them to school.

I think that means my kids love me and miss me in the mornings. 

Jun 27, 2011

I'm dreading this day (if it comes)

Sometime in the fairly near future, three people from a health plan I deal with will be coming to visit so I can train them on a process I do for them daily so they can take it over. (YAY to taking it over!  I hate this task)   I am however dreading meeting one of the three people because this person is so very oblivious to so much! 

I become rather irritated as a result of some email exchanges where apparently the brain is elsewhere in the universe while the hands type amazingly stupid statements or questions.  Sometimes I am accused of being a liar in a roundabout way.  The word itself doesn't get used, thank God, because a funeral would need to be planned for this person because I will not take that crap from anyone!  As it is, I feel like I may need a medicinal intervention as prophylaxis so I don't flip out during conversations with this person and inadvertently unleash my pent up frustrations, getting myself in trouble.

This trip may not occur (I hope, I hope, I hope!) and I may be spared direct contact after all, or not.  I am a very professional person, but this individual may negate this quality in me, or, I may excel and never let on how much stress, anger, and desire to bash the empty cranium against the wall I have felt up to that point.

My reaction to the email communication with this person has continually entertained my co-workers who just laugh when I vent my frustration to them. (I'm a talker when I'm ticked off)  Maybe there will jsut be more fodder for amusement, I don't know, but, I'm dreading this training session more than I can express.

Jun 23, 2011

Descriptions of symptoms

I love it when I get a Prior Authorization with detailed information.  It is of course helpful when trying to determine whether authorization for whatever is being requested is justified.  I just did one where the patient is experiencing menstrual blood clots the size of golf balls.  YIKES!  and thank you for that descriptive information, I now have vivid mental images floating around in my head of giant blood clots being hit with a golf club on a pristinely green golf course. :0P

Jun 22, 2011

Things that drive me nuts

I was catching up on some local news via my beloved Yahoo! homepage this morning when I found an article about 4 idiots who decided to go rafting without life jackets, they overturned, and were clinging to a tree in hopes they would not drown.  Some bystanders had to call EMS to rescue them, they were all rescued, and walked off unharmed.  Here's where I want to scream because anyone with a brain in their head would realize the following:
  1. We had some unusually large amounts of snowfall in the mountains this winter 
  2. now the snow is melting, feeding the rivers 
  3. melting snow is still cold, therefore, the river is colder=more deadly
  4. rafting on an unusually swollen, exponentially swifter river may not be a good idea=bad idea, likely deadly
  5. we have no life jackets=bad idea!!!!!!!
The stupidity of people never ceases to amaze me.  Now, these idiots will (likely) be telling their story to family, friends, etc. and still may not realize just how lucky they are to be alive.  Or maybe they will.  In any case, it pissed me off.

Jun 20, 2011

Vacation Summary

Today is my first day back to work after my vacation-or I guess it was a staycation as I didn't travel anywhere out of town.  My tests came back as normal, with no indication of cancer or a cyst.  Yay!  Here are the things I did while away from the madness of the cubicle jungle:

Went to a minor league baseball game: the nieces and nephews irritated the people in front of us from start to finish.  How you ask?  They cheered.  That's it.  My thought was this, "if you are attending a baseball game, people yell, people cheer, it gets loud, this is to be expected.  We are not in a library, we're at an outdoor baseball game.  If you don't like my nieces, nephews, and my kids yelling move to other seats.

Picked raspberries every morning in my backyard: yummy

Stayed up late watching interesting shows like River Monsters, Prophets of Doom, and various movies such as: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, High Fidelity, and Letters to Juliet.

Slept in until (gasp) 7:30ish daily, sometimes 8am!: not usually a frequent occurrence, I'm usually up 2 hours before that.  I loved it!

Made two batches of limoncello: lots of lemon peeling but our efforts will pay off.  MrCooksALot did one batch that steeps for 8 days, and my batch takes 40 days.  I will be happy to report the outcome after it steeps.  The countdown is at 5 days and 38 days to go.

Made strawberry lemonade: If you have 18 lemons that have been liberated of their yellow peel, you have lots of lemons to use, so what better use than lemonade?  I made just under a gallon of fresh squeezed lemonade and added chopped strawberries to it.  The kids went nuts over it on Father's Day.  Luckily, I had enough presence of mind to hide the second half gallon jar so it wasn't gone in less than 10 minutes.

Helped Mr.CooksALot make smoked salmon: it came out a bit salty, but the slab of salmon we had was on the thinner side.  It was sooooooo good with eggs and Crystal hot sauce!  We also used it to fill portabella mushroom caps along with onions, celery, garlic, breadcrumbs, and manchego cheese.  YUM!!!!

Finally went to the Farmer's Market:  we bought peaches, cucumbers, 8lbs of oranges, locally made cheese, Thai basil, baby bok choy, squash, celery, and decided that organic eggs were not for us since a dozen costs about $5 and that's absurd when I can get 24 eggs at Costco for about half that amount.  I have been wanting to go to Farmer's Market for years but we just haven't been able to make it.  Now that we've gone, we're hooked and will be back weekly if we can swing it.

Made Cinnamon Rolls and Cherry Cobbler: double yum!

I did finish my knitting project but didn't touch the pajamas so I will work on them little by little this week.  I must say, I really had a nice week away from work.  I didn't want to come back & if it wasn't for the fact that I get a paycheck, I would have stayed home.

Vacation from PA Land

I am taking a week off; once I step out the door this afternoon, I am on vacation!  I get to be home with the hubby and kids now that they're out of school and I am looking forward to it.  But, Monday is my one cloud in this vacation.  I have an appointment for a diagnostic test that has me a little worried, but I'm trying to stay optimistic.  My thoughts are bouncing back and forth from optimism to worry.   Cancer is scary. . . . . but it might not be cancer, it could be a cyst that will be aspirated!  Within my family at present, I have two people diagnosed with cancer within the last year, so I am fervently hoping I am not number three. 

(sigh) If it is what I'm hoping it isn't, at least we can begin treatment to prevent disease progression.

On a brighter note, I will be able to get some stuff done, maybe attend a baseball game with the family, get in some much needed cooking, knitting, sewing done.  Poor SoftballGirl has been waiting a month for me to finish her summer pajamas because I got caught up in my new addiction: loom knitting.  I'll be able to devote more time to getting some exercise in (theoretically anyway), get reaquainted with my Bowflex, and possibly start on my half marathon training.  I'm talking about walking, not running. (at first)