Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Dreaded Dependent Eligibility Review

The company for which I work has entrusted me with a crucial mission – or at least with part of a crucial mission. My duty is to help maximize the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the company’s health care plans. I feel honored, empowered, determined and, frankly, pissed off and offended. Those human resources people can GO TO HELL!

I’m sorry. I was a little premature with the acrimony there. I hadn’t even gotten to the point of my story before I went off like a boozed-up, gassy hag in a sparsely populated bingo tent. The thing is, I already thought I was helping maximize the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the health care plans. Over the past fifteen years or so, I’ve helped out by agreeing to pay larger, much larger, monthly premiums, while receiving less coverage and enduring greater deductibles and out-of-pocket maximum expenses. How much more could I contribute? They should be efficient out the ass by now. One would think.

My effort hasn’t been enough. Not only do I spend so much on monthly premiums that I can’t afford to use the insurance because I have no money left to pay for what is not covered, which is everything except catching exotic microbial diseases only found at the base of Hoover Dam during a stow storm, I now have to scrape away some of my dignity and give it to them, too.

The dignity scraping came to me in the mail in the form of the dreaded Dependent Eligibility Review form. They don’t believe that my two wonderful children are real. Or if they are real, they certainly don’t deserve coverage because I am a scoundrel and have been lying about their eligibility for the past sixteen years. Obviously, they think my kids must be figments of my imagination because I am too much of a loser to get anybody to have sex with me. That may be true now, but it wasn’t sixteen years ago. And, they think I’m using the benefits for my two fake children to support an underground network of sickly vaudevillians who cannot get insurance because the vaudevillian union is run by a dead magician who is an expert at illusions of life. Look, his eye is twitching. Maybe that’s a cockroach fluttering under his skin. The point is, they think I am a lying son of a bitch.

They did not specifically state these accusations. Instead, and I’m paraphrasing here, --- wait a minute. I’d like to take a moment to discuss the use of paraphrasing in writing. I’m not aware of any punctuation that has been assigned strictly to notating a paraphrase. Quotation marks are used for direct quotes, but what of the lowly paraphrase? Just in case there are no paraphrase marks (unless I’m just too undereducated to know any better), I would like to invent one. Here it is - :~. It is a combination of a colon and a tilde. I chose this combination of symbols because it resembles Alice the Goon from the Popeye the Sailor cartoons.

Most people don’t know this, but Alice the Goon was the first animated character to ever be paraphrased in print. It was in an essay about Goon headwear in a 1930’s issue of The New Yorker magazine. They had to paraphrase her since she did not speak in a language with words. Here’s to you, Alice the Goon! Now that we have paraphrase marks, or for short, pphrase (pronounced “pee-frahz”) marks, there is no need to set up attempts at paraphrasing with obsolete phrases such as, “and I’m paraphrasing here…” or “to paraphrase a blotchy foreigner…”. We will simply use the pphrase marks. Of course, when opening the paraphrase, you’ll use the right facing Alice the Goon (:~) and when closing the paraphrase, you’ll use the left facing Alice the Goon (~:). Like I said, they did not specifically state these accusations. Instead, they said, :~ maybe some employees FORGOT to update their dependent information when those dependents became ineligible ~: and :~ removing these forgotten, we’re sure it was just an oversight, ineligible dependents from the plan will make the benefits more affordable for me, the pissed-on employee ~: (fuck, these pphrase marks are a pain in the ass to type). I’m sure this is all being done to protect me, and the company doesn’t think I’m lying and that this has nothing to do with maximizing profits. This is great news. Because of this undertaking my monthly premiums should be cut in half next year, and I’ll finally be able to get that elbow transplant (I want to get an elbow transplanted onto my coccyx).

When I received the first notice of the Dependent Eligibility Review, I thought it was a joke – some bogus campaign dreamed up by a young upstart HR VP intent on taking an escalator up the corporate ladder. So, I threw it in the garbage. It turned out this upstart was not joking. They sent me another one threatening to revoke my monthly premium paying privileges. I can’t lose that. It’s all I have to brag about to the fellas at the pub. I agreed to send them the requested evidence of my dependents: birth certificates, samples of all bodily fluids from each child, any pictures of them taken at Chuck E. Cheese's, tire marks from a righteous skid on their bikes, three years worth of bowling scores, a hand written promise from each of them that they will not kill me in my sleep (so that the monthly premium payment stream does not dry up), and a video of each of their conceptions (although they can’t tell it is me in those videos since I was wearing an Ernie from Sesame Street mask during the boy’s conception and a welder’s mask during the girl’s conception).

I’m glad I could step up to the challenge set forth by my human resources department. As George Blansey once said, :~ The term “human resources” is just another way of saying “keep the landing gear halfway down and don’t hide under the treetops” ~: I don’t think I paraphrased that properly. It sounded much more appropriate when he said it. Maybe I should have quoted him, instead.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One time I farted so hard that my penis inverted.