Showing posts from March, 2009

A dog's life

As I am typing on the computer, I can hear my dog Sadie snoring in her crate next to me (I put her in there, after tiring of listening to her bark at every car and person who walked by).

Sometimes I think about how great it must be to be a dog (or at least one who is loved and well cared for). Our tan-and-white daughter has it made. She sleeps on a couch, has plenty of toys, and is well fed. Best of all, thanks to Brian's working at home and my not working at all, this dog is around people a lot. Sadie loves to be near us (anyone, really), and, strangely, she loves to be hugged.

She does not have to worry about paying bills or finding a job. She does not need to think about what she is going to wear today, what she is going to eat, or when she is going to clean various parts of the house or do laundry. She will never struggle with discipline (except she is on the receiving end a lot) or time management. No, her biggest concerns are being fed when the humans wake up and again around…

Hospital billing angst, part 2

Earlier this week, I received the actual bill for Jordan's visit to Children's Hospital in January. Since the bill was for over $1,100 (almost $600 for which we are responsible), I was fully expecting an itemized bill for this. But, alas, the bill had one line, with a date, an abbreviation of EMR and the price.

Even if I made six figures (or any figures, really) or if the insurance covered these costs, how is it acceptable not to explain this exorbitant cost, which is on top of the almost $600 bill we received last week for physician charges for the visit?!

So I called UPMC to request an itemized bill, saying I would not pay it without knowing what I was paying for. I received that "itemized" bill today. This one had two lines:


Well, shoot, that certainly cleared everything up! As you can imagine, I was not impressed with this dearth of information, so I called billing back. The same woman who sent me the itemized bill said she is…


I went through the stages of grief about my job rather quickly, out of order and skipping steps to boot. I hit depression first, and anger came a day later. Within a few days, I was fine.

But, alas, today I had a little setback. I received letters of recommendation from my boss and from the woman who hired me (another PM), and reading them made me sad. It did not help to hear about my good attributes and how I would still have a job had it not been for the current economic conditions. It kind of hit me that I might have trouble finding a job. It is bad enough not to know exactly what you want to do. But knowing what you want to do does not mean there is a job out there, especially when so many others are looking.

I keep trying to tell myself I have time, I am not desperate. It will be okay. It just has to be.

Last week was the best week of unemployment ever. Seriously. I spent a lot of time with Jordan. The weather was great. I got some exercise. I cooked (gasp!). I did not have to set …

What to do, what to do

As some of you know, I had an interview on Friday. I met with the husband of one of my (now former) work clients to talk about an office manager position. We had already spoken for over an hour Monday. We hit it off rather well; he is just a guy you feel comfortable with. I had not been on an interview since Good Friday in 1996, which happened to be the second/last interview I had for the job I just left. But I was very at ease during this conversation. I told him how during my first interview for my last job, the person who interviewed me told one of my references that she was worried I was too introverted for the job. I still laugh about that. He laughed too; he could see already the kind of person I was.

When I was done talking with this gentlemen (he needed to make some phone calls), I spent some time with his wife, who helps out in the office on Fridays. She said she does not think this is the right job for me. She thinks I am over-qualified and that I would be bored by some of th…

So this is good bye

I have to say that my last day at work yesterday went pretty well. I was positive I was going to cry, but not once did I shed a tear, even though others did. Perhaps I had cried enough earlier in the week. I think it also helped that I said my piece (and by piece, I mean peace) to my bosses at the end of the day before. I said things that I needed to, and I was pretty darn proud of myself, if I do say so myself. Even one of the bosses told me the next day he was proud of me for saying what I did, and he said he knew it was hard for me (it was).

Following is the farewell email I sent to the staff. I wrote most of it sometime between 2 and 7 a.m. Wednesday morning, although not everything made it into the final version I sent just before I walked out for the final time. I did cut out some things that although I thought were pretty good, they may have been too much for some. Some might argue that a few things I left in were probably a little much, but I am leaving true to myself, someone …

The post I already wrote in my head

Today, I got laid off.

I know this has happened to a number of my friends before, but, as Ally McBeal said in response to why her problems always seemed so big or why she focused on them so much, because they are my problems.

I am going through an array of emotions right now. Sadness mostly. A little anger. After all, I have been at my job since May of 1996. Nothingness a little too.

What will I do? Where will I go? As most of you know, I am pretty obsessed with money, so I think we will be okay for awhile. For all my anti-Obama and/or anti-stimulus package friends, the one good thing to come out of the spendulus bill is I will have to pay only 1/3 of my premium for health insurance. So it could be worse. And, as my mom said, I could have cancer. Thanks, Mom!

I know God closes a door only to open another. I just need to figure out what that door is.

More later.

No one will call me the Cat Lady

For past couple of weeks, a few cats have been hanging around our yard. The first time I heard them, while lying in bed, I thought it was a baby crying, but found out later it was just these cats. I blame Brian for these visits; he has thrown out stale/moldy bread and the like, and I surmise these wandering cats discovered the food. Then again, I am no cat expert.

My senior year of college I dated this guy Chuck, who lived with three girls and a cat they named Kitty. Kitty did not like me, regardless of how much I tried to make him/her (I cannot recall the gender); I think he was jealous. Then one fall day, when I was watching the Steelers play the Vikings at Chuck's house, Kitty jumped on my chest. I was so excited; I think my exact words were, "Kitty likes me!" Unfortunately, a few seconds after I said that, Kitty peed on me. As you can imagine, to say I did not like Kitty was an understatement. The rest of the year, whenever that cat was around, was not fun.

That summer…

This better be wrong

As I posted in January, Jordan had an unfortunate run-in with a register lever, resulting in a trip to Children's and two staples in her head. Because Brian has crappy, high-deductible insurance, we were prepared to pay about 1k in fees. So you can imagine my joy two weeks ago when we received an EOB (explanation of benefits) that said of the $586 someone decided it cost, we owed about $230. Unfortunately that joy has since turned to anger; today we received another EOB for the same incident, except this one cost over $1,100, for which we owe about $585.

Let me break it down for you:

First EOB--Univ Pgh Physicians
Medical: $210
Surgery: $376

Second EOB--Children's Hospital
Outpatient: $749
Outpatient: $353

Combined EOB total: $1,688
(this does not include the $55 for Jordan's ped to remove the staples)

I am hoping, almost praying, there is some type of mistake. Why did we receive two separate EOBs, and why is one for Children's and one for Univ Pgh Physicians? The first EOB I fu…