Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?

Monday, July 25, 2011

What is this world coming to?

About a week and a half ago, the tall bespectacled SnarkGirl had a dental emergency.

Despite all eveidence to the contrary (especially the fact that she's my daughter), she has a tiny jaw. One of her baby molars was coming out, but the teeth in her jaw are so tight that as the adult tooth was pushing up the baby molar was not moving. Eventually it cracked in to four pieces, and then the gum around it got lacerated and infected. One trip to the dentist later, it was disimpacted, cleaned out and we left with a script for antibiotics.

At the time, we paid our regular co-pay. I knew that there was no way Blue Balls/Poo Shield would cover the whole visit, but the admin and I agreed we'd submit and hope for the best.

Today I go the letter from the insurance company, stating that we owed the dentist $275. Ouch, but not entirely unexpected. I called the office to double-check the amount and ask when I should drop off the check. No one answered, so I left a message with my name, cell number and my questions, assuming someone would call back.

I got a call back 30 minutes later. The secretary asked me a favor: "Can I put you on speaker so you can ask your questions? I'd like the others to hear."

I assumed it was a training thing, and agreed. "So, I want to double-check that the amount we owe is $275, and I want to make sure that it's OK that I drop the check off on Wednesday morning."

Dead. Silence.

"Seriously. I can come in Wednesday and pay, right?"

An unknown voice from the background chimed in: "You're volunteering to bring payment in, without complaining or negotiating trying to weasel out of it? Really?"

"Yes. I OWE the money, and I'd like to PAY my bill as soon as I can to clear the debt. Is that acceptable?"

"Wow. That;s just...holy shit. WOW! Yes, come in whenever you want!"

That can't possibly be that rare, can it -- that an office full of people is utterly shocked that I'd want to pay my bill, in full, in timely fashion?

Good grief.


  1. Yes, it can be that rare, and is. You are good people, and that is why it's so rare.... sadly.

  2. Sigh is right... Good on ya for doing the RIGHT thing and actually paying the bill!

  3. Wow. I pay my dental bill, in full, when I leave (no insurance) and nobody seems think that is unusual.

  4. When I was nearing retirement and comtemplating the possible loss of my dental insurance, I asked my dentist if he gave discounts for cash.

    "Yes," he replied, 20% off the top.


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