August 3, 2006
Dear Office of Benefits Licensing and Privacy Enforcement,"There's nothing I can do about it! .. you have
to go down the grievance path!"
But doesn't tell you how.
I hope you are well. And still alive. And strong and healthy.
So you can call the telephone number for me you see in this letter.
And find out who they all are.
Their first name will be lost in the instruction you hear at the end
asking for your ID number. I'd recommend not giving it to them.
Because as soon as you do, they'll pull up a very private picture of
you and as soon as they see it and before you can remember their
first name again and ask them how to spell it, they’ll quickly send
you on your way to some other department like some kinda "hot
potato". Until you’ve been "peeped" by enough strangers into a state
in which you no longer wish to call them at all for the benefit
you're entitled to and have been denied. Instead you are told some
truly bizarre things from their various ill-informed corporate bureaucrats along your
path commenting on your picture that I will not repeat here. Or told
this benefit you are entitled to will only be granted if it is a
life threatening emergency. And that it must be put in writing
first. And approved. Which only means more frivolous and degrading
You finally get through to their top expert, someone intelligent
with a degree who understands the issue, and ask him simply "Why?"
He knows he's cornered:
Eventually, if you have the courage to endure a second day of this
debasement, as you now struggle up the ladder getting heavier and
heavier domination each time searching for an intelligent lifeform,
hopefully with a backbone, you will eventually reach an officer holding a doctoral degree and
appeal to her:
"You're a woman, you understand humiliation issues, yes? ..
And then will hear it honestly for the first time:
how the system's set up"
Perhaps these words were accidentally spilled in a lapse of compassionate
understanding seeing you crawling into her office upon the floor from it all.
"Thank you" you will then tell her
departing in quiet humble gratitude for finally hearing the truth as
you crawl back out. And realise your cause is
hopeless and that there's nothing more that can be done.
The next week, when you realise what has just been done to you and
have recovered your dignity and confidence sufficiently enough to call
her back to verify her kind and forthright words, you will hear her denying them
in a panic and then demanding how to spell your name (perhaps
thinking you can be frightened off again). Remember to spell it for
her S L O W L Y. So she'll remember who you are. When you ask her to
spell hers you will hear nothing further.
But that was last year.
Anyway, it's gradually creeping back in all over again.
I don't know why these very private pictures are in the hands of
these unidentified and apparently unlicensed "telephone operators"
anyway. Who won't fully identify themselves to you first. Or
transfer you to someone who will. When they tell you their last name
is "Smith" or "Ford" how will you know they're telling you the
truth? You'll need to be able to positively identify them to fill
out the forms you don't have time to anyway. You will discover that
their supervisor has no last name. And if you are able to be
transferred to them it will be your lucky day. But will get no
further up the food chain or discover the last names of any supervision.
For it seems that they are all on the phone with someone else and
cannot even accept a handwritten note. Or have stepped away from
their desk. Or are on vacation or booked up with appointments for
the next several months. Indeed, I'm starting to wonder if these
"telephone operators" who eventually simply hang up on you have any
supervision whatever. You will never learn the names of who
instructed them in all this. Or full names and contact information
of anyone there whatever to communicate with. Or ever be transferred
They tell you someone will call you back. But won't tell you who or
when. If you give them your phone number, allowing yet ever
more mis-informed strangers to peek
at your private picture, you will find that no one ever identifies
themselves on your answering machine. If, in fact, they ever *do*
Convince me they're not all wearing masks. I'm not. Indeed, I've
been frivolously exposed many times by many unidentified "telephone
operators" there: "they can see everything".
So, like I said, I hope you are well.
I'm not: "there's more..". I have probably 20 pages of notes on it
all from last year. It's become so overwhelmingly bizarre and
depressing and time consuming that I'm starting to realise that I'll
probably never have time to finish writing it all up.
Originally last year, I called the (now former) secretary of the
naïve purchaser of my benefits and asked if she could help.
Who gave me the name and telephone number of their broker. Who
I called and then heard a woman lecture me in a dominating voice
about the high cost of my benefits. So I called and I called.
Hither and yon. And then called the broker back again.
Who read back to me a Benefits "Fitness Statement" I had filled out
and asked me why my private picture was left out. A picture so
private, only the underwriters were allowed to know of it. So
I called and searched and searched and called and got your form
which asks me those questions I'm still trying to answer.
For when I called the broker back again it was my last.
I asked her for her license number. Which angered and offended
her greatly asking me why I wanted this information. But I did
not tell her that it is your form which asks me for it. And
feared to ask her this question again.
But gritted my teeth and did.
With great umbrage, she told me that this was personal information.
And I gathered that I was not to have it and that she must be at her
limit with me.
As I waited in the withering silence.
Eventually someone came on the line and told me he was the owner.
I asked him to spell his name for me.
And for their address and license number.
Then I asked him: "Who's name is on that license?"
I still don't know. Maybe you could tell me.
For I was told to call no more.
The purchaser of my benefits no longer uses a broker and I don't
blame him. After what he's been through, I wouldn’t trust anyone
either. And so now I must call this sordid $Multi-Billion-Dollar-Benefits-Corporation$ telephone number instead. That just gives me the creeps each time. Indeed, I
still haven't received that letter from them I asked for last year explaining why my benefit
was denied. And still has been to this day.
"Because that's how the system's set up"
"Let's take a peek,
this is all confidential here"
"It could look like a cost savings feature" I told their corporate
privacy compliance officer who I eventually got on the phone last year after I
figured it all out. He assured me it wasn’t.
And then there was more that came out in this conversation. And when
I saw it I had to tell it to him bluntly:
and how offensive it all was particularly when it involves
someone who will see me and others like myself pro-bono.
Anyway, it's happening again. But why don't *you* call them for me
this time instead. I no longer wish to.
I know you don't know me and must be overwhelmed with it all. But it
would be nice if your licensing and oversight offices there could
spare the time to read and understand all this. And ask them who
they all are. So I can answer the questions you’ve asked me on your
forms. Indeed, I'd be more than happy to come in and go over those
20 pages of notes I have on it all so far. I just don't understand
why no one will tell me their last names anymore. Or their license
number. Or whose name is on it.
It's so easy to do to us. We just pay it and avoid complaining. Like
me. But now it's not about the money. It's about something else. A
rich man just pays for it and never has to experience that
humiliation. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
For I long to hear those words again:
"How may I help you .. SIR"
"Please do not hesitate to contact my office should you require
assistance on an issue in the future"
"Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention"
I hope you are well.