A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

27 February 2011

I Got Fired the Other Day

When I was working civil service years ago at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey there was a lady who used to, like clockwork, "coincidentally by accident" manage to do something which put her out of commission for 120 days. Paid leave...workers compensation...the kind you need to have a documented injury on the job and then a documented statement from a doctor saying why you can't return to work for 120 days and why it's job-related.

She had a file, no kidding, about two inches thick. Two inches thick and she hadn't worked a summer during her 28 or so years of working there. Nice. Some actual excuses were that the crock-pot of chili she, herself, brought to work - managed to "accidentally" fall on her foot when she was scooping out some food...for herself. Another year she managed to slip on a patch of ice on the steps of the Base Commander's building although there had been no temperature at or below freezing for at least seven days prior. But, that's how her luck was...she managed to slip on imaginary ice and had a doctor substantiate her claim. Another few months off courtesy of Uncle Sam.

One day the people in the civilian admin office decided enough was enough and instead of paying out this time...they aka "we" were going to haul her butt over to the federal courthouse to testify in front of a farce known as the "people who apparently don't have their act together enough to win against a lawyer who looks like he never passed the bar (without going inside to get good and drunk)".

We all piled into a government station wagon and made the odyssey to Newark. No one voluntarily goes to Newark as much as no one voluntarily moves to Wetumpka. There has to be some pressure involved in the process somewhere...and somewhere sometime someone actually managed to fire a civil service worker for skimming off the system for years; but this wasn't going to be that time. Yes, her lawyer, who looked like he had been sleeping in his car for the better part of a month, managed to have the charges dropped against all the plausible evidence against her and she probably went on to milk the system for God knows how many more years.

To make a long story short...with all the stuff we had on her...she wasn't fired. I've always heard you can't fire anyone from civil service work...but I thought it was just all hearsay. Well, I'm here to say...that rumour is true.

But what does that have to do with me and my present day situation?

As Mr. Doolittle said in "My Fair Lady", "I'm willing to tell you. I'm wanting to tell you. I'm waiting to tell you."

And as the master said in "Kung Fu", "Patience, Grasshopper."

I consider myself a nice person. Pathetic maybe...totally lacking self-esteem and prone to reading too much medical stuff and, well, I sometimes "question authority". They tell you to write your questions down when you see your doctor...well, I do. I usually have a nice handy dandy notebook with me as sometimes doctors I've seen don't have a clue. (Ten points extra for that silly reference if you caught it.)

Notwithstanding all the medical terminology I do know, I am still nice. I sit there nicely, I'm polite to everyone, I'm overly polite to everyone actually, and when I do question authority...I do so in a gingerly manner and, as my mother always said, "You catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar."

And honey, you can bet that I shower on the compliments when deal with any doctor's office. Oh, I don't lie. I've never given anyone a false compliment...and I've told on a few people who were overly nice (I believe in telling on the exceptional workers more than telling on the bad ones)...so, typically, I get a very good reception with people.


Then, one day it started. It started quite innocently.

I was fired by my gynecologist.

I was floored. This was a man I highly respected, had a great rapport with and whom I had seen for about 15 years. Fifteen years of out-of-pocket fees as he didn't accept my health insurance...but I trusted him implicitly and when I had to have an emergency hysterectomy back in 2007, I was forced to, quick like a bunny, find a new gynecologist who accepted my insurance to do the procedure. I didn't want to...I was forced by my HMO to do so. There was no way I could pay the cost of a hysterectomy and I reluctantly went to another gynecologist to have it done. Then, after the six week check-up, or as I like to refer to it, the "tell your problems to someone who actually gives a damn" period, I returned to my regular gynecologist.

He wasn't his usual self...and when he stepped out of the office I overheard his phone conversation to the place which did my hysterectomy..."She's YOUR patient and she's here. I didn't do her hysterectomy. Blah blah yadda yadda." Then he came back in and basically washed his hands of me. I asked if I was being "fired" and he acknowledged I was. I was dumbfounded - he was upset I didn't get my hysterectomy done by him and as such couldn't deal with the issues I had afterwards...to take it to the other doctor even if that doctor didn't want anything to do with me after the six-week "fly little birdie" release of me. I asked if I could come for non-hysterectomy issues and he stated he no longer wanted to be my doctor...period.

I was devastated. That was shock #1.

A little while after this happened, I was then "fired" by my base doctor and sent to an off-base physician who I'd rather chew my arm out of a bear trap than to ever see again in my life. A physician who asked me "Why do you even want to live?" A physician who told me that "God put HIM on this planet to be a doctor and didn't give me the knowledge to be a leader; he was the leader and I had better do everything he told me to do...without question." Yes, I'm serious...he said that and many other things. It was like a "Twilight Zone" episode gone horribly, horribly wrong.

I called up the base the following day. I cried and cried and, luckily, they let me come back. Afterwards I was diagnosed with heart issues - which would substantiate the things I was complaining about before I was fired for "coming to see them too often without any reason".

Then I was fired by a neurologist. A neurologist in town who assured me if I didn't get the answers to my questions he would gladly refer me to Birmingham, the Mayo Clinic, Atlanta, and so forth. He would get to the bottom of my issues...and I was happy.

After a couple tests and a screw up by the appointment clerk who insisted I come that day although I had just seen the doctor two days prior...they fired off a letter stating they were "downsizing their practice" and were "letting the newer patients go". This letter was supposedly written a few days before the clerk set me up with that appointment. Not only did they not tell me any of this when I phoned up to make sure I had to come in...they made me wait a good two-plus hours to tell me I had already seen the doctor earlier that week and didn't need to be seen again so quickly. Well, duh. When I brought this to their attention - they didn't bat an eye. Of course they didn't, they did the same exact appointment mix-up thing to the elderly lady who was waiting before me, so perhaps it's standard practice there to not care too much about inconveniencing other people.

After I received the letter in the mail, I called the office manager about being booked for an appointment after they supposedly "downsized" and considered me their "former patient"...and why they'd want me to come in a couple days after being seen anyway...especially since I was their former patient. I mean this would all be known to them, logically, if facts were facts were correct and dates were correct. She gasped and grasped and concocted a convoluted story about when and why I was "released". I'm sorry but when dates don't match and things are supposedly MAILED before they are TYPED...I kinda wonder about your story. Call me suspicious...but hey - if you're going to make up a story, at least make up a plausible one.

Then, after I finally found who I thought was a fabulous replacement gynecologist, I was fired yet again. I was fired for canceling two appointments due to my daughter having a science competition out of town and being sick. One was canceled two days before - the other the day of...but as soon as they opened. The appointment clerk asked if wanted to speak with him about my issue, I agreed, and then I was sternly spoken to regarding how I was just making and canceling appointments and expecting them to answer my questions without ever being seen. That was not at all the case. I didn't specifically ask to speak to him - the clerk asked and said it wasn't a problem at all - I took her up on it. Apparently it was a problem after all. And just to let him know, in case he's reading this, the office lady you have at your "East" office...is the most offensive and obnoxious person I've ever had the displeasure to talk to. She's an arrogant twit and she's ignorant to boot...and she talks about you to the office staff when you are out of earshot and it's not remotely complimentary. She also does this about patients who have just left the building. She's totally unprofessional and she's a brute and a bore.

Whew! Like I said - I don't like to report the bad people so I've never said anything about her before now.

But the reason I'm writing all this, and I know it's long, is because I was "fired" yet again the other day. But I think I'll stop now and take up where I left off tomorrow or Monday. This is getting a bit longer than I originally imagined it to be and I fear I'm going to be a whole different kind of bore if I don't stop at this point.

(End of Part 1)

(Everything in this blog is true and accurate...nothing has been blown out of proportion and I will not name names here as I still have respect for the doctors and people out there who do a fabulous job.)


  1. Fired seems to be the wrong choice of words, abandoned, or maybe discarded or cast off. It seems you have had a lot on your plate lately Mrs Simms. I hope things work pout for you, they say its always darkest before the dawn, but who listens to them anyway?

    Good luck Cadeaux, from edprocoat.

    Ed Normile

  2. Ed - I have always called it "fired" for lack of a better word...but you are right, it is medical abandonment if you ask me. I think they should at least give me a valid reason why they refuse to be my doctor. Worst of all I'm sure they put things in my records which they pass on to the next doctor, who, in this town, they all know each other. I think I should have the right to have it removed if it isn't truthful. (More to come on that in the next part of the blog.)

  3. Talk about a cliff hanger even though who you were fired by :D

  4. You would think they would be glad of the income after all you pay the wages. In the UK we have the NHS (for now) but you have to pay for your care either with cash or via the insurance company dont you?

  5. Wow! Is there a car chase scene in the next part? Will there be some pyrotechnics and special effects, cuz this is cool!

  6. #1) I believe you DO need a valid reason for being fired from a doctor (and the ones I read don't seem very valid)

    #2) can't wait for the next installment of the blog

    #3) I get 10 extra points!!

  7. Second installment coming tonite. I'm sure I'll have enough wine in me to muster up something. ;)

    Maybe some pyrotechnics...maybe. They all may be implied, tho.

    Ten points to Nan. :)

  8. Inviting Doctors and Dentist but no tensionlater.

  9. Surprisingly, it happened to my friend also and it really broke her heart to get fired (or should we say, "left alone" by her office). But after having some consultation, she's now okay and she now has a better job.