Even the part that I mooch off of.
The VA will never cease to be surprisingly frustrating.
Even when they make things better, they're dicks about it.
Today I got a note saying I needed to schedule a visit with my VA PCP. Fair enough. I've got nothing better to do most days, and it's been a couple of years since I've seen the guy.
Traditionally, when the scheduling operator asks, "when do you want your appointment," you give them a time of day that works for you, and they say something to the effect of, "OK, your appointment is three months from today at the time of day you requested (+/- 4 hours)".
So I call today, tell the guy what I need and when works for me and he gets all fucky, wanting to know when I want the appointment.
"Dude, I just said 'mid-morning'. What's the problem?"
"I can't get into the calendar with 'mid-morning' as the date, sir," he starts to get petulant.
"Since when do you guys have a calendar? I thought you used a Magic Eight-ball or something!"
To his credit, he doesn't directly rise to the bait, instead attempting to sound high-minded and superior in a breathy, nasal whine, "I need a date to check the calendar so that we can serve your needs as best we can."
Glancing at the wall calendar, I rap off the first date I focus on: 10 March 2011.
"What time," the operator asks.
"What's the first one you've got?"
He tells me 0700.
"No, that won't do. Next?"
We eventually settle on 0830, pausing to haggle over 1030 for a couple of minutes -no, I don't know how we got that far, either.
The point is, the Portland VA Medical Center seems to have stepped up it's game, splitting off into a handful of clinics in the metro area rather than trying to keep everything packed into the big morgue on the hill.
The price, it seems, is having to work my way through people who probably define 'repartee' as "the barbecue the day after the SuperBowl".