Sunday, December 14, 2014

It's just a game

Tomorrow is the deadline for getting my health insurance on the exchange.

I've been trying to get this decided for the past 4 days, but my log in information isn't working.  I get an error message that says 'Authentication Failed'.  I finally called their help line.  After being on 'hold' for a total of 8.5 hours, longer if you count the time I had to wait overnight since they closed before it was my turn in the wait line, it was a lot longer.

I've come to the conclusion that dealing with the government is just a big game of Hide and Go Seek.  If you approach them with a fun and playful attitude, it really helps your mental stability.  Instead of wanting to go postal on them, you learn to just laugh.

For instance...The first person I talked to about the log in problem said, "Well, our website is having problems.  We will get it fixed and then everything will be fine."  Oh...Okay, the website is down!  of course it is!  Of course it wouldn't work the week of the deadline for getting insurance.  Makes total sense.

The next person I talked to about the problem said, "Well, it's because the link you are using expires after 48 hours."
"Oh...that's fun, because the email said the link was good until February 2015 but what you really meant was 48 hours!  That's so funny...I totally fell for the 2015 line!"  (Yes, I said this...literally, word for word...because as I said, you just have to approach these matters like it's a fun game wherein the rules change continually!)  Then I said, "Okay, so do you think you might be able to send me another link that is good for another 48 hours and expires in March?"
"No, I can't." She said, "That's not my department.  Here is the number you can call for that department."
"Super Duper...that's great!  Thanks so much."

I called the next player in this game of 'hide and seek for your health insurance' and they said my hold time was only 5.5 hours!  What a deal.  Sure enough, 5.5 hours later, someone called me.

This person had some exciting news!  The real problem wasn't the website or my link, it was that I needed to clear my cache and eat some cookies...or maybe it was hide my cache and share my cookies...I don't really know exactly.  It was something about my cache...which they were already taking from me and my cookies.  Don't try to take my cookies please!!!  You can have my cache, leave the cookies alone!  In times like these, it helps to have a snack, a little comfort food.

Anyhoo...she went on to some lengthy instructions about what to do to access the website.  It was no less than 8 steps!  8 confusing steps.

"Oh..." I said, "I was under the impression that I could just log in.  I didn't realize there were these hidden steps.  Secret combinations to get in to the government website.  That's so fun.  I love a good game!!"  (Yes...I said that too! To her face through the phone.)

In reply she said, "Okay, do it now."
"I can't.  I am not at my computer."
"Okay, I will call you back in three hours to make sure you did it."
"Alright you do that."  I wasn't even home. I knew I wouldn't be home but I just thought she might like to be part of the phone game.

Low and behold, I forgot all about it.  Until...Saturday night!  I got a call..."Did you do it?"
"Did I do what?"
"This is the exchange, did you do what I told you to do?"
"No.  I really am not smart enough for all those steps."
"Oh well, that's fine.  That wouldn't have solved your problem anyways.  We just sent you a new link.  It will work now."

The past three days have been so much fun.  I can't even remember when I had so much fun. Excitement.  Mystery.  I hope I can do it again soon!


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