So this morning I take it into my pretty little head to do the laundry in my fancy new(ish) Samsung high-efficiency top-loading washer with the fun clear lid that lets you watch the clothes sloshing around, just in case you’re feeling unusually bored.
To do that I have to…
• Sort clothes (colored, white…said not to be necessary, but watch this space…)
• Sew up the mesh bag that split apart the last time I washed a few items
• Put jeans into mesh bags, one bag per pair
• Sneak one pair of cut-offs into a mesh bag holding a pair of jeans
• Put socks, panties, and camis into several more mesh bags
• Haul bagged laundry out to the garage, whereinat the fancy washer resides
• Load washer
• Measure portion of radically expensive “high-efficiency” laundry detergent into stupid little cup from which the machine dispenses it
• Clean the mess created by laundry detergent dribs of radically expensive “high-efficiency” laundry detergent that splashed from stupid little cup onto machine’s lid and tub rim
• Set machine to “bedding,” the only cycle that dispenses enough water to get a load of jeans and T-shirts clean…in AN HOUR AND TEN MINUTES!
• Go away for an hour and ten minutes but don’t leave the house because no one in her right mind would leave an appliance full of water sloshing around unguarded for a hour and ten minutes or for any length of time unless what she most loves to do is mop up gigantic messes
An hour and ten minutes. Figure there’s got to be a better way. Now I drag the whites into the bathroom, wash them in the vanity sink, rinse them in the bathtub half-filled with cold water, traipse them out to the garage, and hang them up.
By the time I finish this job, the washer has ALMOST filled with water and started to slosh its FIRST laundry cycle.
Got that? I washed an entire load of laundry by hand, in the bathroom goddamn sink, in less time than it took the wondrous high-efficiency washer to even START to wash the load I stuffed into it.
Okayyyy…. Now we understand why these amazing machines so “efficiently” save water and power: when you don’t use the thing, you don’t use water and power.
Wash four crocheted shirts by hand and lay them out on the tile floor to reblock and dry.
These items could also have been laundered in the wondrous high-efficiency washer. But I wanted to get them clean sometime during my foreseeable lifespan.
The khaki dye and the orange dye from two of these Nordstromsy made-in-Asia shirts leak into the sink water. Therein lies the reason we STILL separate the whites from the colored clothes, even though we are assured that it’s ever-so-much more highly efficient to launder all the clothes together. No doubt it is, if you enjoy wearing grunge-grey “whites.”
Now I decide I should go online and sign up for a new Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan, since my outfit, Wellcare, is doubling its premiums. I decide to select Humana’s Walmart plan, whose premium is about what I’m paying now and whose copay is significantly (as in HUGELY) lower and which has four- and five-star ratings across the board as compared to my present plan’s three-star
complaints ratings. You can sign up for these plans on Medicare.gov, in the same app that allows you to call up and compare plans. However, what you can’t do is figure out whether signing up for the new plan automatically unenrolls you from your present plan, or whether you have to jump through 15 to 30 minutes of phone-tree hoops to get disconnected from the folks who have been ripping you off for the past year.
Navigated to Arizona’s version of SHIP, a bureaucratic fragment that usually employs some uninformed volunteers to answer your questions. Checked the FAQs; this particular (very obvious, IMHO) question was not answered. Called the phone number. Got an obnoxious robotic answering machine, saying if I would leave a message maybe someday they would get around to calling me back (fat chance!) and maybe then I could ask the question whose answer I need now, not sometime in the remote future.
Found a phone number for Humana at the Medicare.gov site. Dialed it, expecting another obnoxious robot.
Mirabilis!!!!!!!! Got a human being!
Yes. You do get disenrolled from the old plan when you sign up electronically for a new one. But would I like for her to sign me up, as long as we were on phone?
It took FORTY MINUTES to get through the tape-recorded boilerplate bullshit Humana’s doughty CSR had to play into my ear. At the end of of each of three long-winded segments of boilerplate bullshit, I had to answer, clearly and unmistakably, “YES.” This, she explained, is taken to be a telephonic “signature.”
God. All. Mighty.
The washer was almost done by the time this tedious experience ended.
So now I’m signed up for a new Part D plan, though it won’t kick in until January 1. This is good, because the plan I’ve got is the biggest rip-off ever to come down the pike.
I hope the new one won’t be a rip, too. There’s some reason to believe it will be slightly better:
• User ratings show a lower tendency to deny coverage of drugs prescribed by your doctor and to try to substitute drugs your doctor specifically says you shouldn’t be taking.
• Co-pays are much lower. In fact, if you can wait for them to send your pills by snail-mail, co-pays are sometimes zero dollah. What I’ve had is so ridiculous that I’ve given up even asking — I’ve just been paying out of pocket. The last Rx the Mayo prescribed was denied because, the pharmacist said, Wellcare didn’t like the doctor!
Got that? They don’t like a surgical resident in the service of one of the most prominent, high-powered, respected oncological surgeons in the country. The same surgical resident whose last three prescriptions were honored without quarrel.
Hauled the laundry out of the washer. Hung it up to dry. Cursed the double time-suck.