You learn to love McDonald's when you're retired. Oh, you may have spurned it all your life, but not now. You can get a senior coffee for fifty cents when you're on the road. You can make a meal from their dollar menu: two cheeseburgers, two apple pies, two waters: $3 for two people.
You learn to whine, and even cry. After my daddy died, I couldn't understand why my mom was always telling people on the street, and on the phone, "I'm just a poor old widow lady."
Seriously, it was embarrassing.
Fast forward to our retirement. I'm not a widow, but I have learned to whine, and even turn on the tears when I can't seem to get any action from the Social Security people or the Medicare folks. My phrase is this: "We're living on a fixed income; what are we going to do if you don't help us? We can't get by like this."
When my granddaughter, Amber, was very young, her mom would dial me up and put my sweet little granddaughter on the phone. "Hi, Amber," I'd say.
"Hi Grandma," she'd answer in a perky, happy little high-pitched voice.
"How are you, Amber?"
Instantly she'd start crying and begin to tell me about all the injustices her mother had heaped upon her. I never met anybody who could turn on the tears like Amber.
And now I'm doing it.
It's true! I went to Walmart pharmacy to pick up the only prescription drug I take, for my blood pressure. I was informed that Medicare Complete wanted our other provider to take care of it.
We have no other provider, but I knew what was going on because I went through all this with Cliff a couple of weeks ago. Through no fault of our own, we had been thrown in pharmaceutical jail.
When it happened with Cliff, it was pretty urgent that we get that prescription that day. He had taken his last one, and it was something the doctors seem to think he urgently needs. It's no use to whine at the people working at Walmart, because it's none of their doing. So I sat on a bench at Walmart for an hour, talking on the phone to Medicare, until I had it straightened out.
For some reason, the insurance that Cliff had at his job was still listed as a provider, even though they cancelled him when he retired on July 6.
Once we got him straightened out that day, I gave it no more thought. That is, until I went for my prescription yesterday, and the same thing happened to me. I was going to have to go through the same rigamarole for myself.
My blood pressure meds are pretty cheap, even without insurance. So I opted to pay $22 out of pocket and go to the comfort of my own home to deal with Medicare. The lady at the pharmacy told me to keep my receipt; when we got it straightened out, she would run it through again and reimburse me.
I called Medicare once, talked to some guy, and got cut off after thirty minutes. I called again, and the lady who spoke with me said they would call me in twenty-four hours.
So this afternoon I called them again, and got a man who obviously could not have cared less. His only advice was for me to call the pharmacy and see if "the flag" had been removed.
I did, and it had not been.
I went outside to the shop where Cliff is spiffing up the Oliver 1855 and told him, "I'm going to call one more time, and this time I'm going to cry."
I did, and it worked.
Once you're living on Social Security, all you need to do is mention the fixed income situation and start crying. It works with Dish Network, Direct TV, and CenturyLink. Best of all, it seems to work with Medicare.
The flag has been removed and I'm out of pharmaceutical jail.
I wonder if there are any job openings on soap operas. I can cry at the drop of a hat, and I'll even drop the hat.