"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer


Thursday Hate

Anyone can be an asshole. The truly great ones can do it without trying, simply by only thinking of themselves.

Classic examples, especially as see through the cycling focus of this blog, are the cagers that pass us with inches to spare, honk, swerve in our right-of-way, only because they can’t be put out to get to that red light 10 seconds later, or because they didn’t see us at all, since they were texting their idiot trixie-friend Ashlee about meeting up at John Barleycorn so they could get groped on the dance floor while getting dizzy on the GHB that’s been slipped into their Cosmopolitans.

And how about drivers who insist on proceeding into the intersection even though it is backed up, and when the light turns red, they block the oncoming traffic from getting through?

There have been roommates who don’t give you phone messages, or check the mail. There are people on the train who take up an extra seat with their bag, or even their feet, and then look at you like you have an anus in the middle of your forehead when you ask them to clear it so you can sit down. I also love the two dipshits that leave the “fag” seat in between them at the game or the movies. And the group of people that will sit at the bar, leaving only one seat between them and then next group, so when you and your friends come in, there’s no where for you to sit because there’s only (five) single seats.

Group dynamics on that one, I suppose. And I must have a thing about seats.

The common thread, regardless, is that all of these examples show a distinct characteristic, that of not going one iota beyond giving a shit only for you.

If you are an asshole, you could give not a fat…fuck.

Now take an individual who is either a sociopath - this includes drivers, who operate within a supposed acceptable range of behaviors on the road that say, in the grocery store, would get them punched in the face - or a psychopath, who simply does not distinguish right from wrong, and acts ONLY on the base instincts of satisfying the self. There is no moral restraint. And given our animalistic and violent instincts, this actually moves way past just being an asshole, into the realm of harming others.

Some notable psychotics include Jeffery Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Richard Nixon, and Enron.


Yep. The Supreme Court in their landmark 1886 decision, Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, ruled that corporations are individuals and therefore covered by the same rights afforded by the constitution to you and I. The rub lies in that it’s soul - or rather, the lack of one - is merely other human individuals acting on behalf of it, with their liability shielded by it. They are only following orders of the shareholders.

A 2003 documentary covered this sickening dynamic by discussing the symptoms of psychosis and their correlation with corporate behaviour; with notable examples including Enron’s manipulation of the California power market, Shell’s incitement of civil strife in oil-producing African countries for it’s own benefit, and Wal-Mart’s mistreatment of its workers, and cost-cutting measures that literally destroy American producers and small-town city-centers overnight.

Now, I must be really mad to write such a long introduction as all that. And after typing all that, what I’m about to share with you isn’t nearly as bad as all those examples I just provided. But the fact is, that as of yesterday, I am still dealing with Norwegian American Hospital nearly a year after getting hit by a car and spending the better part of the evening there strapped to a gurney with my neck immobilized...

And what they’ve most recently done to me, however inconsequential and minor it may be, is really pissing me off.

Fuck you, Norwegian!

A recap. June 14th of 2007, a driver turns left in front of me near El Cid in Bucktown, I go flying across his hood, and get an ambulance ride to Norwegian American Hospital courtesy of his auto insurance.

After spending three hours staring at the ceiling with not one person coming in to check on how I was doing, I finally started screaming at the footsteps I heard passing the doorway until someone came for me. That finally got the job done, and after X-rays showed there was no major damage to my spinal, I was finally freed from my prison, of sorts. My right arm and hand were still fairly numb and I still had eaten nothing since the Clif bar I’d had upon finshing my intervals on the lakefront and heading home.

There was only one ER resident and two nurses to care for the other patients besides me, four of whom had all apparently been beaten up by their husbands or boyfriends. One had a black eye that looked like movie make up, and worse than Rocky’s. Everyoneinawhile the smell of shit and vomit would pass by.

The entire facility was filthy, with dust bunnies below the beds, empty juice cups and napkins on the counter, and - naturally - full trash cans. Then the night began to resemble the last 15 minutes of Jacob’s Ladder, for as I went back upstairs for my CT scan, I spied a bloody gauze pad staring at me from the corner of the elevator. Any minute I expected severed body-parts.

By time I did get out of there at 02:30 and head over the fire station at Courtland and Damen to pick up my bike, I expected I would begin to see a bright light and wake to find out I was dead.

Instead I woke up the next morning with a bear trap clamped around my shoulder and I spent the day gulping 600 mgs of Motrin.

Fast forward two months later when I got the bill from Norwegian for my deductible. It was obviously a photocopy of an original invoice, and a bad one at that. It looked like it was sitting on the copier glass askew. And had highlighter marks on it.

I called the called the hospital and told them that I’d opened a claim against the dude’s auto insurer, and that they’d be paying the bill, once my treatment was finished and the case was settled. That was the last I heard of anything.

Typically, the insurer wants to settle in no more than 6 months, and by October, my treatments had been completed and I was no longer feeling the numbness in my arm and hands. I sent all my bills to the claims rep, and by late November, they made an offer, which I accepted. All the bills were paid as soon as I sent them, and by December, I received a check for my pain and suffering, as well as all of my out-of-pocket.

Then in January, I receive a call from a collections agency, on behalf of Norwegian American Hospital, for the ER bill on my deductible.

“I’m sorry, but the insurance agency paid that bill back in October. You must be in error.”

Typically, the rep for the collections agent said, very unprofessionally, “I don’t know nothin’ about that. I’m calling to collect this debt and that’s all I know. So will you pay this so we can stop calling you?”

“Um, I’m not going to pay it, and you’re going to stop calling me. You’ll hear from my claims representative. Don’t call me again. Have a nice day.”

I called my rep at the insurer, but she was on vacation, and I had to fax a copy of the invoice from the collection agency to her cover. But, since I didn’t hear anything further on the matter, I figured it was all put to bed.

Until Tuesday: “I don’t know nothin’ about that. I’m calling to collect this debt and that’s all I know. So will you pay this so we can stop calling you?”

Called my claims rep. She said to please fax the invoice again, and apologized.

And then yesterday (different person this time): “I don’t know nothin’ about that. I’m calling to collect this debt and that’s all I know. So will you pay this so we can stop calling you?”

Fuming and frothing more than my chamois crème was last night as I chased down Andy Daley, I called my rep. Voicemail. Not directing any anger at her, because quite frankly, my claim process over this whole ordeal had been completely painless until now.

Later that day, as I am on a conference call, the phone rings with the 800 number I recognize and I send it voicemail. A couple minutes later the message light turns on.

I play the message. It’s my rep and someone from Norwegian conferenced in:

“I’m sorry to have to conference you like this, but I just wanted Mr. Morrissey to hear this: so you’re telling me that you’ve had payment from us all along?

“Yes. I’m sorry.”

“So why was it sent to collections? Why wasn’t vendor notified?”

“I don’t know, I’ll have to ask my supervisor.”

Upon calling my rep back to thank her, she told no thanks was necessary and that she was disgusted by the whole process. Her opinion was that what happened was this:

Even though the hospital said they’d wait for the insurer’s payment, they sent me to collections anyways. The collector didn’t have their shit together to start harassing me until January, but when Norwegian received the payment directly, they didn’t bother calling the vendor because then they’d have to pay the % on it for the fee. For a goddmamn measly $275. Fucking up my credit and ruining my day with harassing phones from illiterates in the meantime.

Hey, Norwegian American Hospital, and any other corporation that screws over people instead of doing the right thing because profit is more important:


Jeff said...

Did that asshole in the yellow SUV buzz you too? I almost caught that f'er at the light. Good thing I didn't, I suppose...

The Car Whisperer said...

No...this actually goes back to my stay at Norwegian Hospital last summer...

On and on and on and on.

Erik said...

Still? I thought you said it was resolved as of yesterday.

Maybe we need to redirect Jeff's SUV Hate at the hospital so they can get a double dose.

Jeff said...

Fucking Yellow SUV...

The Car Whisperer said...

Do tell...on your blog?