General office WTF-ery



  • Not quite a curious perversion in information technology, but there was a "WTF" involved.

    Onsite at a client, being subjected to office white noise [MP3 player is in the car. At my wife's office], when I overhear, post-telephonic conversation with said hair washer, sans irony (or my detector's off) from a nearby cubicle:

    "The hair washer at my hairdresser's remembered my name. Fantastic!"



  •  Some people have refreshingly low thresholds for what constitutes fantastic.

     I once went to a play and checked my fedora at the desk in the lobby.  As I headed for the theatre, I heard the hat-check person behind me tell her fellow hat-check person "I checked a hat!" with far more glee than I thought anybody could summon for such an accomplishment.

     



  •  I've had to sit next to a woman who talked - very loudly - in an open plan office about her bra collection. She wasn't young.



  • @Nyquist said:

     I've had to sit next to a woman who talked - very loudly - in an open plan office about her bra collection.
    Sweet!  I hope there were pictures and live demonstrations and--@Nyquist said:
    She wasn't young.

     Why do you have to ruin my fantasies?



  • @bstorer said:

    Why do you have to ruin my fantasies?
     

    I'm so hot right now.



  • @dhromed said:

    @bstorer said:

    Why do you have to ruin my fantasies?
     

    I'm so hot right now.

    I think you are empathizing by experiencing male menopause



  • @OzPeter said:

    menopause
     

    I'll menopause you.



  • @OzPeter said:

    I think you are empathizing by experiencing male menopause
    You can't spell "menopause" without "men."  You also can't spell it without "pause" or "amuse peon" or "emo ape sun."  I don't really have a point here.



  • Ouem, Snape enema soup: mo' anus pee.


     


     

     



  • @bstorer said:

    @OzPeter said:

    I think you are empathizing by experiencing male menopause
    You can't spell "menopause" without "men."  You also can't spell it without "pause" or "amuse peon" or "emo ape sun."  I don't really have a point here.

     

    U pee on Sam?



  • I'm happy that this thread got started.  I've got a big office WTF that I've been reluctant to post because, while it happened in IT, it doesn't really have much to do with IT.

    One of the mainframe programmers here is a fat, nasty toad of a woman.  I'll call her Boss Nass for anonymity's sake.  She's got a bad attitude.  She eats constantly.  Her jowls are epic and she sports a little boy's haircut.  Did I mention she eats constantly?  The constant gorging does wonders for her digestion.  There's an ever-present cloud of funk hanging around her cube.

    So one afternoon a few weeks ago, I and a few other devs were clustered around one guy's desk discussing an upcoming project.  This guy happens to sit across the aisle from the cluster of fancy cubes our supervisors live in.  We're standing there talking, and Boss Nass waddles up and enters the cube of the supervisor directly opposite us.  They start talking and we pay it no mind.  A few minutes later, a couple of us happened to be looking in her direction when, out of nowhere, she lifts one leg and rips a loud wet fart. She lifted her goddamn leg until her thigh was parallel to the floor, and ripped a giant nasty fart in her supervisor's cube!  With nary a blush or apology, she goes right on talking to the poor guy like nothing had happened.

    Our collective jaws hit the floor.  The poor supervisor flushed a nice shade of scarlet and started choking.  The miasma that wafted out of his cube had to be experienced to be believed.  Boss Nass turns and sees us staring at her, and instead of 'excuse me!', she says 'It's a natural bodily function and if anyone says anything I'll go straight to HR'.  One of the devs next to me told her that people like her make him sick, and, of course, a few days later he got called to HR.  He was let off with a reprimand about making personal comments like that.  Boss Nass, of course, whined about being a victim and received an apology from HR.  This place makes me fucking sick.



  •  Smitty, that was truly disturbing.  Thanks for that.  I'm thinking if "It's a natural bodily function" were stated, a good comeback might have been, "So is defection, but most people find the appropriate location for it."

    Here's an entirely unrelated office WTFontastic email message.  This email was sent to all the thousands employees at our company.  Names redacted for obvious reasons.  But at least the girl in HR might stop using 16pt red Comic Sans MS in her company-wide emails.  Yet it still strikes me as one of those lame instances of "punish the class for an individual's transgressions".  Seems like it's not P.C. to address offenders on an individual basis.  Ugh.

    ---

    Please take notice of this new email format to be used by ALL [company] employees worldwide.  You may consider this an official worldwide company policy for email format from this point forward.

    Below is a list of Do’s and Do Not’s for your email format.

    Do:

    1.  Turn HTML formatting on if possible in your email.
    2.  The font you should be using is Calibri (this is the only font you should be using for the type of your email).
    3.  Font size 11 (there may be times when you want to use another size, but this should be the default).
    4.  Use only one of the following signatures.  You can use a little bit less than one of these (in other words you can just use your title and not your phone number as an example), but no additions to this are allowed.  

    Option 1
     Name

    Option 2
     Name
     [company name]
     Official Title
     Office Phone Number(s) (with country code)
     Mobile Phone Number(s) (with country code)

    Option 3
     Name
     Official Title
     Office Phone Number(s) (with country code)
     Mobile Phone Number(s) (with country code)

     [company name] (or [brand1], [brand2], [brand3] etc)
     Corporate Postal Address
     Corporate Phone Number (with country code)
     Corporate URL as either:
     http://www.[company url]
     http://www.[brand url 1]
     http://www.[brand url 2]
     http://www.[brand url 3]

    Do Not:

    Put any personal messages or mottos at the bottom of the page.  Nothing about the environment, beer or famous people sayings etc...
    Use any background colors or patterns on the email.  
    Put any attachments in the signatures.  Do not to use a [program name] logo, a [program name 2] logo or any other company or non-company logo in your email.
    Use any color other than black or red for emphasis.
    Unless you are an official company representative on Twitter or Facebook etc..., you are not to use any additions like those listed above in your signature.  If you do not know if you are an official company representative in one of these arenas, you are not.
    If you have questions about any of this, please ask me.

    Thanks
    Joe [redacted]
    [company]
    Director of Product Development, Marketing and Creative



  • @Smitty said:

    I'm happy that this thread got started.  I've got a big office WTF that I've been reluctant to post because, while it happened in IT, it doesn't really have much to do with IT.

    One of the mainframe programmers here is a fat, nasty toad of a woman.  I'll call her Boss Nass for anonymity's sake.  She's got a bad attitude.  She eats constantly.  Her jowls are epic and she sports a little boy's haircut.  Did I mention she eats constantly?  The constant gorging does wonders for her digestion.  There's an ever-present cloud of funk hanging around her cube.

    So one afternoon a few weeks ago, I and a few other devs were clustered around one guy's desk discussing an upcoming project.  This guy happens to sit across the aisle from the cluster of fancy cubes our supervisors live in.  We're standing there talking, and Boss Nass waddles up and enters the cube of the supervisor directly opposite us.  They start talking and we pay it no mind.  A few minutes later, a couple of us happened to be looking in her direction when, out of nowhere, she lifts one leg and rips a loud wet fart. She lifted her goddamn leg until her thigh was parallel to the floor, and ripped a giant nasty fart in her supervisor's cube!  With nary a blush or apology, she goes right on talking to the poor guy like nothing had happened.

    Our collective jaws hit the floor.  The poor supervisor flushed a nice shade of scarlet and started choking.  The miasma that wafted out of his cube had to be experienced to be believed.  Boss Nass turns and sees us staring at her, and instead of 'excuse me!', she says 'It's a natural bodily function and if anyone says anything I'll go straight to HR'.  One of the devs next to me told her that people like her make him sick, and, of course, a few days later he got called to HR.  He was let off with a reprimand about making personal comments like that.  Boss Nass, of course, whined about being a victim and received an apology from HR.  This place makes me fucking sick.

    This is the best story I've read on TDWTF in a long time...



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    This is the best story I've read on TDWTF in a long time...
     

     I'm glad you enjoyed it.  The actual experience, though, was cruel and tragic.  :D



  • @Kozz said:

    <email ettiquette>

    Director of Product Development, Marketing and Creative

    Um, why the fuck is he dictating how emails should be formatted? Given the content of their message it's clearly not to do with company image (the marketing part of their job description.)



    Sounds a bit like the email that went round our place recently from the finance director about our email footers (for first instance contact with external people - said rules can be ignored for subsequent emails.) Sorely tempted as I was to reply with the universal disclaimer, I just ignored it.



  • @PJH said:

    Um, why the fuck is he dictating how emails should be formatted?

    Indeed.   They could have given a more relaxed "suggestion" to use professional fonts, reasonable font sizes, and colors.  Instead, you get the decree it must be Calibri 11pt (I wonder what the Mac users are supposed to do about this).  Just yesterday I was holding my tongue in a meeting when watching a projected image of MS Word on the screen.  I very badly wanted to say, "Comrade, I see you have made a wise choice in your selection of font and size.  You are commended." 



  • @Kozz said:

    Indeed.   They could have given a more relaxed "suggestion"
    Unlikely. These sort of things are either not mentioned at all to the slaves, or they are dictats. Suggestions are ignored by the slaves, so they are requirements, not suggestions.



  • @Kozz said:

    I'm thinking if "It's a natural bodily function" were stated, a good comeback might have been, "So is defection, but most people find the appropriate location for it."

     

    A better comeback would have been to pull down his pants and start taking a piss on her, right then and there.



  • @Aaron said:

    A better comeback would have been to pull down his pants and start taking a piss on her, right then and there.
     

     I was telling my sister about this episode and she said exactly the same thing, that she'd have dropped her pants on the spot and pissed on Boss Nass' shoes.



  • @Smitty said:

     I was telling my sister about this episode and she said exactly the same thing, that she'd have dropped her pants on the spot and pissed on Boss Nass' shoes.
    Sounds hot. She single?



  • @Lingerance said:

    She single?
     

    Nope she's engaged.  However, if you're the type to lift a leg and shit yourself in front of your boss, she might piss on your shoes for you.  I'll inquire next time we speak. :D



  • Obviously, farting is acceptable behavior, so why not fart in her cube?



  • @Kozz said:

    4.  Use only one of the following signatures.  You can use a little bit less than one of these (in other words you can just use your title and not your phone number as an example), but no additions to this are allowed.  


    Option 1
     Name

    Option 2
     Name
     [company name]
     Official Title
     Office Phone Number(s) (with country code)
     Mobile Phone Number(s) (with country code)

    Option 3
     Name
     Official Title
     Office Phone Number(s) (with country code)
     Mobile Phone Number(s) (with country code)

     [company name] (or [brand1], [brand2], [brand3] etc)
     Corporate Postal Address
     Corporate Phone Number (with country code)
     Corporate URL as either:
     http://www.[company url]
     http://www.[brand url 1]
     http://www.[brand url 2]
     http://www.[brand url 3]

     

     

     

    God, how dearly I'd like to use the last of those options.

    Exactly as shown.

    With the literal words "Official Title" on the second line and all.



  • @operagost said:

    Obviously, farting is acceptable behavior, so why not fart in her cube?

    Like, when you need to pass a good one, come by her cube and relax.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

     Eh, most places I've worked and had contact with either had a standing policy on email formatting and signatures, or desperately, badly needed one.

     

    I've got some office politics for you.

     

    I've been consulting as a security investigator with an old employer of mine whose company line (and the reason I'm on contract to them) has become "if some jackwad's PC gets compromised by a virus or malware, scan it for SSNs and credit card numbers, and pay for credit/identity theft monitoring". And then there's all the Fun that happens when a hard drive dies - which for some reason is always taken to mean Enemy Action instead of Expected Consumable Device Failure - and as such all sorts of data recovery and forensics has to be employed.

    It's fucking astonishing just how many SSNs and CC's turn up in this place - they stopped using SSNs as a customer ID number a decade ago, but somehow people still have them all over the place on their desktops (but never on the servers). My job is to grep out these forbidden numbers from compromised drives and send them up to the corporate office.

    Naturally, IT is forbidden from enforcing store-on-server or any real workstation lockdowns because they don't employ a full-time security specialist.

    The IT department would love to hire me on a permanent basis as that security specialist, but they're only budgeted for 4 salaried and 8 PT employees. Salaried employees are:

    Head of IT/General shit-taker who throws himself onto problems so everyone else can get shit done.
    Network Administrator
    Systems Administrator
    "Computer Support Specialist" - who in theory in charge of the PT employees on the Helldesk, but in reality goes for months without appearing at work, works 4 hour days, on a good week only shows up 4 days, and still SOMEHOW gets paid in full. Nobody in IT knows why in the fuck that happens, but it's beyond their control - HR is the only group with firing authority, and while they have no problems kicking out talented, well liked individuals from other business units for even the smallest transgression, this bitch is immovable. Additionally, when she does show up, she tends to either do no detectable work of any sort, or just redecorate the IT offices. Oh, and she looks like a goddamn troll. Or maybe a kobold.

    The nicest interaction I ever had with this woman was her yelling at me from across the parking lot because I was "speeding" and therefore got the last parking space up close and her "old crippled body" (Shut the fuck up and get a handicapped permit if you're so old and crippled) couldn't walk that far. Also, protip: When a car is in front of you entering the lot, they automatically get any better parking space if they want one. PERIOD. BECAUSE THAT'S HOW QUEUES WORK.

    So, this place is in desperate need of a full time security staffer - but they can't hire one because of some impossibly untouchable little troll lady - and corporate requires that they hire a security specialist before implementing any security (lolwut?) but local HR refuses to allocate any positions and most certainly will not fire a "respected and well liked senior employee" (Protip: She's unfirable because she's a woman. In IT. With "health problems". It's like she's one giant walking potential-lawsuit. (Though personally I'd be a lot more concerned with lawsuits from the craptons of people whose personal data keeps getting potentially stolen - but that's risk management's problem, not HR's)



  •  Weng - your entire story is all too believable.  It'd be no wonder if we worked in the same company -- except if we had an IT Troll like the one you've described, I'd have noticed it.  Have you divined yet what universal event caused all HR staffers to be fucksticks with bad ideas?

     The genius ideas have been things like renaming the Human Resources department to something nobody can remember to this day, then 6mos later deciding to change it back to HR because ... well, nobody could remember it and it didn't make sense.  Our HR meddles in the affairs of the cafeteria because our industry is manufacturing, but with a heavy emphasis on health & fitness.  So they heavily subsidize salad bar prices by sticking it to anyone who orders burgers or anything fried.  They also jacked up prices on a 16oz bottle of soda, just to see us squirm, I think.  Better we should be drinking mineral water or something. 

     Oh, and they installed a fucking COFFEE BAR.  Complete with industrial-sized bean grinder, espresso machine, etc.  They've got a huge painted chalkboard on the wall (like 8ftx4ft) with all the fancy coffee options for which they want to sell at high prices.  But I can count on one hand how many people buy them when right BESIDE the coffee bar are a dozen large carafes of free black coffee, including pitchers with flavored creamers, sweeteners, and the stuff people would keep at home.

    The company has the option to pay 50% of our health insurance premiums, but we have to take their health screening test.  Measures BP, glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides and all those other things.  I'm quite CERTAIN that HR and the CEO (wanker that he is) teamed up for this system:  you must earn 1000 points in a calendar year in order for the company to pay the 50% on your premiums for the calendar year after that (i.e. right now we're in the "earn it" phase for insurance that would be paid in 2011).  Points can be accumulated by working out 3x per week and faxing paperwork to an overpaid health company who verifies and tracks.  Dental cleaning?  Fax your paperwork to the company to get your 50pts.  Optical check-up?  ditto.  Now, of course you get to start with a certain number of points as automatically given to you,  but if your health check-up numbers aren't perfect, you get demerits.  BP over 125/90?  Demerit.  Blood Glucose over 90? Demerit.  Do you admit to using tobacco -- even if only a single cigar in a year?  Well, we're going to fuck you out of 350 points right there.  (note:  I'm making up the BP/glucose numbers as I don't recall exactly what they are).

    Then there's all kinds of things you have to do to earn back the points to accumulate 1000.  But there's so many goddamn hoops to jump through, the company is surely going to save money NOT having to pay healthcare premiums for the people who didn't have enough points.  Make no mistake, this is about the company saving their own fucking dollars, NOT about improving the health of their employees.

     Oh, and if my fellow employees read this, you will probably know who you are -- don't out me, or we'll probably both be fired.



  • @Kozz said:

    Oh, and they installed a fucking COFFEE BAR.  Complete with industrial-sized bean grinder, espresso machine, etc.  They've got a huge painted chalkboard on the wall (like 8ftx4ft) with all the fancy coffee options for which they want to sell at high prices.  But I can count on one hand how many people buy them when right BESIDE the coffee bar are a dozen large carafes of free black coffee, including pitchers with flavored creamers, sweeteners, and the stuff people would keep at home.
     

    Microsoft does that in their cafeterias.

    But to be fair, they are in Seattle... where the coffee shop-to-city block ratio is something like 4:1.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

     OH OH OH I forgot my favorite part of this story.

     The biggest offender as far as SSNs-found-on-hard-drive is the goddamned troll lady.

     Never in her entire career has she been in a position to handle the information I pulled off that drive. The credit monitoring for her "victims" was more than twice her salary. Her original job was mainframe operator. On her computer was what appeared to be a complete dump of the contents of said mainframe when it was decommissioned back when I was in fucking elementary school.

    Fortunately this has put her on risk management's radar, which may land her an epic huge severance package and cause a position to open up. Doubtful, though.

     Furthermore, she works in IT. There's NO FUCKING REASON her computer should have been running an unpatched WinXP RTM, with no antivirus whatsoever. When she came in and asked for a new computer because her old one is "really slow" that was essentially the biggest red flag ever and should be grounds for firing of an "IT Professional" (I hesitate to use those words in reference to her because it dilutes the meaning of the term for the rest of us.)


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Kozz said:

    The company has the option to pay 50% of our health insurance premiums, but we have to take their health screening test.  Measures BP, glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides and all those other things.  I'm quite CERTAIN that HR and the CEO (wanker that he is) teamed up for this system:  you must earn 1000 points in a calendar year in order for the company to pay the 50% on your premiums for the calendar year after that (i.e. right now we're in the "earn it" phase for insurance that would be paid in 2011).  Points can be accumulated by working out 3x per week and faxing paperwork to an overpaid health company who verifies and tracks.  Dental cleaning?  Fax your paperwork to the company to get your 50pts.  Optical check-up?  ditto.  Now, of course you get to start with a certain number of points as automatically given to you,  but if your health check-up numbers aren't perfect, you get demerits.  BP over 125/90?  Demerit.  Blood Glucose over 90? Demerit.  Do you admit to using tobacco -- even if only a single cigar in a year?  Well, we're going to fuck you out of 350 points right there.  (note:  I'm making up the BP/glucose numbers as I don't recall exactly what they are).
    This is the kind of EPIC BULLSHIT that actually makes me want to let Obama meddle in healthcare.

     It is 100% not my employer's business as to the details of my health. If it's bad and I can't work, that's one thing - but DENTAL CLEANING? My fucking BLOOD PRESSURE? If I smoke? I race cars as a hobby - I'll bet your nazi-ass meddling company would issue a few billion "demerits" for that (even though the club carries a few bazillion dollars worth of medical for injuries and post-injury care for members injured during the course of an event)



  • @Weng said:

    This is the kind of EPIC BULLSHIT that actually makes me want to let Obama meddle in healthcare.

    Why?  Do you the government is going to be less intrusive into your personal life?  Once it becomes a government budget issue, this will all be fair game.  What's more, things are going to become corrupted very quickly.  If we'd had a government takeover of healthcare in the 50s, you would have received demerits if you smoked, unless you "treat yourself to the smooth flavor of Kents, with the micronite filter", just because some lobbyists dropped off a bag of cash.  Nowadays, I guess you'll have doctors getting a tax break if they push medications from the pharma companies that backed Obamacare, instead of medications from less politically-compliant competitors.

     

    @Weng said:

    It is 100% not my employer's business as to the details of my health. If it's bad and I can't work, that's one thing - but DENTAL CLEANING? My fucking BLOOD PRESSURE? If I smoke? I race cars as a hobby - I'll bet your nazi-ass meddling company would issue a few billion "demerits" for that (even though the club carries a few bazillion dollars worth of medical for injuries and post-injury care for members injured during the course of an event)

    On the one hand, I see your point.  Nobody wants intrusion into their personal lives.  And it's very easy for things to get corrupted by fads or weak science, like if your health plan had rewarded transfat consumption 15 years ago.  On the other hand, there are real costs associated with certain behaviors and passing those costs on to those who incur them is a fair way to make people more responsible for their own health.  I smoke and drink heavily, but I don't expect anyone else to pay for my healthcare.  And I don't want to get stuck paying for some fat bastard's angioplasty or diabetes treatment after he spent decades scarfing down french fries and sweets.  Or for the office slut's abortion and herpes treatment.  Especially after she refused to swallow.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Or for the office slut's abortion and herpes treatment.  Especially after she refused to swallow.

    how did she got pregnant when she didn't swallow ?



  • @Nelle said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Or for the office slut's abortion and herpes treatment.  Especially after she refused to swallow.

    how did she got pregnant when she didn't swallow ?

    I jerked-off into her box of tampons as revenge.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Why?  Do you the government is going to be less intrusive into your personal life? 
    The government is ridiculously ineffective at everything they do - the idea of their being able to keep a finger in every American's personal lives is absolutely laughable. The IRS only barely manages to catch a few percent of fraud cases, and those are usually obvious within the confines of the paperwork they're given - and that's a clearcut issue that no sane human being argues with the government over. Healthcare has controversy associated - which means that any "enforcement agency" would be even more toothless than normal.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    On the other hand, there are real costs associated with certain behaviors and passing those costs on to those who incur them is a fair way to make people more responsible for their own health.
    There are ways of doing this without being an annoying prick about it. A time-honored favorite (which actually works) is jacking with copays and premiums of the people who require the most treatment. Oh, wait, we're not allowed to do that because it "only hurts those most in need" - frak off, asshats, this is INSURANCE we're talking about - if I make a claim on my car insurance, they're going to charge me more money. There's no fucking reason health insurance should be any different.



  • @Weng said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    Why?  Do you the government is going to be less intrusive into your personal life? 
    The government is ridiculously ineffective at everything they do - the idea of their being able to keep a finger in every American's personal lives is absolutely laughable. The IRS only barely manages to catch a few percent of fraud cases, and those are usually obvious within the confines of the paperwork they're given - and that's a clearcut issue that no sane human being argues with the government over. Healthcare has controversy associated - which means that any "enforcement agency" would be even more toothless than normal.

    It's not a question of how effective they are, but if they try at all.  We spend billions of dollars a year and incarcerate hundreds of thousands of people to prevent people from smoking a plant that makes them act about as goofy as a few beers.  And millions of people still do it and get away with it, so the government is arguably very ineffective at combatting marijuana, but the effort is still very harmful.  I also have no doubt that things will get very intrusive.  I don't think controversy has much to do with it; most people are going to end up being in favor of going after smokers, heavy drinkers, fatties and risk-takers.  Hell, 75% of people don't like the fucking bill that's before Congress right now and many have spoken out strongly against it, but that's not stopping them.  Do you really think you're going to get that level of opposition when it comes to individual regulations and incentive programs?  Especially when they will only affect 10% or less of the population and everybody else is told they will pay less in taxes or get more in services?  Don't count on it.

     

    @Weng said:

    There are ways of doing this without being an annoying prick about it. A time-honored favorite (which actually works) is jacking with copays and premiums of the people who require the most treatment. Oh, wait, we're not allowed to do that because it "only hurts those most in need" - frak off, asshats, this is INSURANCE we're talking about - if I make a claim on my car insurance, they're going to charge me more money. There's no fucking reason health insurance should be any different.

    Right, but I think some of the preventative incentives make sense.  At least with private insurance, they are generally going to be based on actual metrics and hard-nosed actuarial data, and consumers will be able to choose which incentives are acceptable and which are not.  That's something you're not going to have any choice in if the government is the only game in town.  What's more, the strength of private insurance is precisely the thing that makes so many libtards angry; the fact that it's a profit-oriented business.  It is in their best interests to price things as accurately and competitively as possible, within the bounds of what customers are willing to accept.



  • @Weng said:

    There are ways of doing this without being an annoying prick about it. A time-honored favorite (which actually works) is jacking with copays and premiums of the people who require the most treatment. Oh, wait, we're not allowed to do that because it "only hurts those most in need" - frak off, asshats, this is INSURANCE we're talking about - if I make a claim on my car insurance, they're going to charge me more money. There's no fucking reason health insurance should be any different.

    I don't think you've quite thought that through (or I've totally misunderstood what you meant by 'people who require most treatment'). When you have a car accident, your insurance pays out a one-time restitution to put you back in the position you were in beforehand (or whatever fraction of that you insured). With health cover, at least as I've encountered it, the policy pays out for ongoing treatment, but you have to keep paying your premium. If you get cancer, you'll only be covered for the rest of that year, unless you pay next year's premium. If the insurance company was allowed to put the premium up at that point, you wouldn't be insured for anything except (on average) six months' treatment. We'd have to change the rules of the policy so that you insured for all future treatment for any discovered illness.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    On the other hand, there are real costs associated with certain behaviors and passing those costs on to those who incur them is a fair way to make people more responsible for their own health.  I smoke and drink heavily, but I don't expect anyone else to pay for my healthcare.  And I don't want to get stuck paying for some fat bastard's angioplasty or diabetes treatment after he spent decades scarfing down french fries and sweets.  Or for the office slut's abortion and herpes treatment.  Especially after she refused to swallow.

     

    You do realize what insurance is right? If you adjust everyone's insurance to ensure that they'll each bear the entire burden of their own healthcare.... guess what, genius! Not insurance anymore! You see how that works? If you want to ban insurance, just say so - but adjusting insurance rates based on specific risk is absolutely absurd. Pay $0 in premiums until you get sick, and then pay premiums that match your healthcare costs plus 20%! It's the morbiuswilters insurance company fairness special!



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Why?  Do you the government is going to be less intrusive into your personal life?  Once it becomes a government budget issue, this will all be fair game.
     

    I live in a country with socialised healthcare.  The only information the government has on my health is the data stored in the confidential records that my doctor necessarily keeps, and there is no way the information in those records can possibly be used to affect the taxes I personally pay.  And people with poor health retain exactly the same right to free healthcare as healthy people; if a treatment is available to one person, it is available to everyone.

    Of course, this is real socialised healthcare, not the watered-down semi-private version that the industry lobbyists have forced Obama's administration to propose.  Maybe the American system will be a disaster.  But if so, it will be because the wonderful US capitalist healthcare industry has a vested interest in restricting access to treatment, not because socialised systems are inherently unworkable.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Weng said:

    This is the kind of EPIC BULLSHIT that actually makes me want to let Obama meddle in healthcare.

    Why?  Do you the government is going to be less intrusive into your personal life?  Once it becomes a government budget issue, this will all be fair game. 

    Massive logic fail there.  The intrusive monitoring is directly a product of privatised health-care, because employers are always tight asses.  We have socialised medicine over here and there's no question of monitoring people's private lives, access is guaranteed and equal for all.  And you are still completely free to get private health care if you actually like people meddling in your life.  So yes, I think the government would be less intrusive than that into my personal life, since in fact my government already is.



  • Congratulations moribuswilters.  I've been lurking for some time and posting in the main forum unregistered, but this post made me choose to register so I could reply.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Right, but I think some of the preventative incentives make sense.  At least with private insurance, they are generally going to be based on actual metrics and hard-nosed actuarial data, and consumers will be able to choose which incentives are acceptable and which are not.  That's something you're not going to have any choice in if the government is the only game in town.  What's more, the strength of private insurance is precisely the thing that makes so many libtards angry; the fact that it's a profit-oriented business.  It is in their best interests to price things as accurately and competitively as possible set prices as high as possible to maximize profits, just barely within the bounds of what customers are willing to accept.

     FTFY.

     Now, do I think the government will do any better?  Not really.  But "accurately and competitively as possible"??  Bah.



  • @nonpartisan said:

    Congratulations moribuswilters.  I've been lurking for some time and posting in the main forum unregistered, but this post made me choose to register so I could reply.
     

    Nothing like an off-topic political debate to bring in the new readers! I guess...



  • @nonpartisan said:

    But "accurately and competitively as possible"??  Bah.
     

    Here, in Dutchland, the system changed some years ago so that everybody would pay a minimum insurance fee for basic healthcare, and could pay more for more insurance with an insurer of their choosing. The insurnce companies then began a massive (srsly, it was epic!) campaign of offering the lowest prices to attract more customers.

    But, I am unsure how successful they were, as I loathe paperwork and couldn't be arsed to investigate a possible switch. My insurer's a non-profit, by the way.

    What this depends on, though, is culture. It's not all that connected to naive economic theory* with religious hope that The Market Will Set Things Right**. American insures may or may not wage a similar pricing war. I can't predict that. Perhaps there is a status quo that is currently in their favour and they're not willing to change. 

     

    *) economic "theory" boils down to "fuck if we know" and statistics, and both sides of the argment can be demonstrably right for any given situation.

    ) as is a religious hope that The Government will set things right. You need both. Goverment needs to be a parent who sits back and lets thos under its care fuck up for themselves, while reaching a helping hand to those in need. I guess that makes me a centrist.



  • @PeriSoft said:

    You do realize what insurance is right? If you adjust everyone's insurance to ensure that they'll each bear the entire burden of their own healthcare.... guess what, genius! Not insurance anymore! You see how that works? If you want to ban insurance, just say so - but adjusting insurance rates based on specific risk is absolutely absurd. Pay $0 in premiums until you get sick, and then pay premiums that match your healthcare costs plus 20%! It's the morbiuswilters insurance company fairness special!

    You are an idiot.  Where did I say I wanted to adjust everyone's insurance to ensure that they'll each bear the burden of their own healthcare?  I said that premiums should be adjusted based on risk factors, like with every other type of insurance in existence.  Young males with a new sportscar pay assloads in auto insurance because they are at a high risk for creating expensive accidents.  That's still insurance; not every teenage boy is going to get into a wreck, and those that do get into wrecks aren't bearing the full costs of damages, but they are paying higher premiums to cover their higher risk.  Likewise, not every tubby fuck has an angioplasty by 35, but tubby fucks in general are more likely to need an angioplasty, hence they should pay more in premiums.

     

    By flattening the risk pool, as you seem to think is a good idea, you destroy insurance.  If a healthy 20 year-old male has to pay the same premiums as the 400 pound 50 year-old who smokes, then the 20 year-old is simply subsidizing the older man's treatment.  If he has a choice, he will most certainly opt for lower coverage or none at all, so he isn't paying to subsidize the risky habits of fatties.  If he has no choice (an individual mandate is in place), then you're basically just transferring wealth from the young and healthy to the old and fat.  It should be obvious why this is a terrible idea, but if you're going to do it anyway, then at least admit that's what you are doing.  Eliminating the ability for insurance companies to price premiums based on risk factors undermines the entire market mechanism and all the efficiency that it brings.  Your definition of "insurance" seems to be quite opposite of reality.



  •  OMG! I actually agree with morbiuswilters.... Wait whats this, my abdomin is begining to implode in on itself.



  • @Iago said:

    I live in a country with socialised healthcare.  The only information the government has on my health is the data stored in the confidential records that my doctor necessarily keeps, and there is no way the information in those records can possibly be used to affect the taxes I personally pay.  And people with poor health retain exactly the same right to free healthcare as healthy people; if a treatment is available to one person, it is available to everyone.

    Of course, this is real socialised healthcare, not the watered-down semi-private version that the industry lobbyists have forced Obama's administration to propose.  Maybe the American system will be a disaster.  But if so, it will be because the wonderful US capitalist healthcare industry has a vested interest in restricting access to treatment, not because socialised systems are inherently unworkable.

     

    I don't know what fairy-tale country you're from, but here in Canada we have real socialized healthcare (private care is actually banned), and the reality of the situation is more like the concept of healthcare is available to everyone.  You can't get actual care because there are 10,000 people ahead of you on the waiting list.  And good luck finding a doctor, most of the good ones leave the country so they can actually make money, or they're swamped with 500 people coming in every day to complain about their colds and can't take on new patients.

    The reality of socialized health care is actually a completely unsustainable one.  Health care costs an enormous amount of cash and is still growing very fast as an industry as the science and technology improves; governments can only throw so much taxpayer money at it before they run out.  If it doesn't generate enough revenue to cover costs (due to price caps) then one of three things happen: (1) people are denied care, (2) the government starts printing money and you end up with obscene taxation rates and inflation on the scale of Zimbabwe, or (3) the program goes bankrupt and ends up being privatized anyway.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    It is in their best interests to price things as accurately and competitively as possible, within the bounds of what customers are willing to accept.

    Accurate? Competitive?! I hope you aren’t talking about the status quo, because things are nothing like that.

    Part of the problem right now is that the customers have no fucking clue what the price is. “Oh, my insurance will pay for it” is what everyone says as they go and have that unnecessary test done for them. Since I am self-employed and have a high-deductable personal insurance plan, I recently tried to figure out how much a particular blood test was going to cost before I committed to it, since it would all be out-of-pocket for me. This is what it took to get the answer:

    First, I call my primary care provider. They are the ones that take the blood and give me the results but don’t actually perform the test; that gets farmed out to some big diagnostics corporation. The diagnostics corporation is supposed to provide them with a book of prices, but it’s not complete and they can’t find all the prices. So they tell me to call the diagnostics company to figure it out.

    I call the diagnostics company, but they don’t have any clear option on their phone system as to where I should go to get pricing information (though they have at least two options for people that already have bills). So, I pick some random option related to billing since I figure they all will have access to pricing information. “No, sorry, this is patient billing, you need client billing.” So I get to client billing. They say that unless I have test codes they can’t look up the prices for me because they don’t have access to that information, so I get directed to billing department #3 to find out the test codes (I only have the names of the tests). Billing department #3 looks up the test codes for me and gives me some prices. I ask them if they can tell me what the insurance company’s allowed amount on those prices is. No, they can’t, but maybe client billing can. So I get sent back to client billing. They say they can’t get that information until they file a claim with the insurance company. I ask if the codes that I have are codes that I can use to ask the insurance company how much it will cost, and they say no, you need CPT codes. So then this woman spends 5 minutes reading out all seven CPT codes associated with this single test, so that I might be able to get information from the insurance company instead.

    Next, I call the insurance company to ask them if they can tell me what the allowed amount for this is. No, they can’t provide that information over the phone, but if I want they can mail me a Cost Estimate Form that I can send to the provider, who can fill it out and submit it to the insurance company, and then they will mail me an estimate of how much they will allow the provider to charge for the procedure. (Helpfully, they completely neglect to mention that I can just download the form from their Web site—I learned this when I got the form in the mail and it came with a letter that said “You can also ask your provider to download forms from [site]”. Glad my premium dollars are being spent on superfluous printing, postage, and handling.)

    Anyway, I get the form and send it to the provider, and they fill it out and send it to the insurance company. A week later, I get a letter in the mail. On a test that the provider wanted to charge $2,002.00, they will allow a charge of $720.27. I can’t think of any other industry where a company says “this costs $x” and the people responsible for paying for it can come back and say “we are only going to pay 36% of that” and no lawsuits get filed. Basically, the prices that the providers come up with are completely fake, because nobody pays them. There is no “what the market will bear”, there is no “what patients can afford”. It is all fake.

    The thing that scares me the most about this experience is that, in my state, insurance companies and hospitals are required by law to be non-profit organisations. Yet, all these sorts of shenanigans still occur. I can’t even imagine what it must be like in states where for-profit health insurance companies are allowed, and the more people they deny and the less they pay the more money they make. In contrast, imagine a single payer system where all prices are set and managed so that you always know how much something is going to cost, where you don’t need 3 billing departments and cost estimate forms and provider allowed amounts. All the single-payer opponents talk so much about how they don’t want government bureaucrats meddling and deciding what they can and can’t have covered by insurance—but it already happens, the bureaucrats are just part of the insurance companies!



  • Be glad you gave her such a thril.  Fedoras are pretty rare these days, as are hats in general.

    Last president to wear a top hat was...Eisenhower?

     



  • I call bullshit.  NO way anybody is allowed to get away with ripping farts in a supervisor's office.

    Especially no way does it get an apology from HR for somebody saying something about it.

    Sorry, I don't believe you.

    Good story though! 



  • Yes, both entertaining and beleiveable.  Thanks! 



  • @snover said:

    In contrast, imagine a single payer system where all prices are set and managed so that you always know how much something is going to cost, where you don’t need 3 billing departments and cost estimate forms and provider allowed amounts. All the single-payer opponents talk so much about how they don’t want government bureaucrats meddling and deciding what they can and can’t have covered by insurance—but it already happens, the bureaucrats are just part of the insurance companies!
     

    If only someone had thought of these ideas before!  If only, somewhere else in the world people had tried this and we could compare it to other ideas, and see how much better this idea really is!  If only, we had doctors and hospital administrators who actually knew about how these things are run, and how insurance works that could somehow advise us if there are any potential problems in this brilliant new plan!  If only we had accountants, and economists who understood how prices are related to other things, and could be determined in ways that make sure things get paid for!

    But hey, at least we have your years of expertise of that one time you were at the hospital.

    And, to be fair to your style of argument, let me reply to your single point of data with my single point of data;

    The thing that scares me the most about this experience is that, in my
    state, insurance companies and hospitals are required by law to be
    non-profit organisations. Yet, all these sorts of shenanigans still
    occur. 

    My state has for-profit hospitals and neither I, nor my family, have had trouble reducing costs for procedures or figuring out how much things would cost in advance!

    But if only there were some way we could get more than one point of data!  Oh, if only someone would have had the foresight to keep records about any of this kind of stuff!



  • @cfgauss said:

    But hey, at least we have your years of expertise of that one time you were at the hospital.

    Ooh, sarcastic ad hominems. Aren’t you an expert debater.

    @cfgauss said:

    let me reply to your single point of data with my single point of data; […] My state has for-profit hospitals and neither I, nor my family, have had trouble reducing costs for procedures or figuring out how much things would cost in advance!

    That’s not a data point. That’s not even an anecdote.

    You want evidence that our current system doesn’t work as well as a single-payer system could? I’m not going to bother repeating what other people have already said; PNHP is an organisation of over 17,000 medical professionals in the United States that support single-payer health care, so read what they have to say and research their citations if you think I’m not qualified enough to state some basic facts.


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