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From Ripped-Off to Renewal

August 2011
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What a week I’ve had. I got ripped-off by a health care clinic that claims to have “revolutionary” health care delivery but didn’t deliver and totally excused it off by stating “company policy” combined with horrible customer service. Did I mention it cost me $100 to find out how much they didn’t care? Unfortunately, many of us find out just how much we’ve been ripped off only after the money has been exchanged and the service fell flat. And it seems that nobody accepts any of the responsibility anymore. They just take our money and move on.

My halo, which I have never worn well, definitely slipped this past week. Hope and mercy pretty much got flushed down the toilet and was replaced by a lot of anger not to mention physically feeling like crap since the prescription I got to cure one thing gave me another infection that the clinic refused to treat stating “company policy.” And that second infection is now full blown. Now I’ll have to spend more money to go to another clinic to cure the infection I got from the prescription I received from the first clinic (you know, the one that claims no responsibility).

To say this has had a detrimental effect on my morning devotional time would be an understatement. I am so battle weary already from being unemployed for two years and four months with no medical insurance and no income of any kind now. And now this incredibly unfortunate incident with the health care clinic just added insult to injury, not to mention giving them $100 for a service that created more problems for me that they refused to address. I wish I had never darkened their door. But who knew???

Needless to say when I got their initial response that it wasn’t their problem (because of “company policy”) after I had spent $100 in their clinic, I gave them a piece of my mind (which I usually don’t do but my frustration level was extremely high) and when someone finally responded using an “unknown” (unlisted) phone number on my caller ID I got a heartless robot disguised as a human being spouting “company policy” and pretty much saying, “Tough luck, Cookie” (I was sure she was reading from a script and I knew my concern didn’t matter to her). And I did something I rarely ever do. I ended the conversation in the middle of her spouting “company policy” for the Nth time by stating that this conversation was over and I hung up.

Now, mind you, when I was still working I worked in student services in higher education at various colleges and universities for twenty years and on more occasions then I care to think about I had to deal with angry and hostile students, far more angry and hostile than I was to this particular health care clinic. I learned a long time ago to let those students vent their anger and I listened to what they had to say. I did not spout “company policy” or act like a mindless, uncaring robot. I listened carefully to find out exactly what was wrong and how I could help them. I never made them feel like they didn’t matter and I always did whatever was possible to remedy the situation for the student.

I think those days of “customer service” are dead. I am appalled at the lack of “customer service” that I find and a lot of times it starts by trying to get through the automated voice answering system “hell” to finally get to a real, live human being only to get an automated response that says, “All lines are currently busy. Please hang up and call back later.” It’s at that point I think we all tend to show sociopathic tendencies.

So, after my experience with the health care clinic this past week my halo is shattered at my feet and I think I’ll leave it there. I am enormously grateful that I serve a God who forgives my fractured, human side when the cruelty of this world gets to be too much and I return it with anger. I don’t like reaching that point and it just goes to show that Christians aren’t, nor will they ever be, even close to perfect until this life is over. Christianity is not about reaching perfection and pointing fingers at others. No, it’s about flawed human beings finding a Savior—the only Savior there is, Jesus Christ. Of course, society at large expects us to be perfect if we wear the name of Christ, and screams “hypocrite” at the slightest indication that we are, indeed, still very much human. But most of us never wanted that label of “perfect Christian” anyway. I have always said I am not your typical “church lady.” No, not by a long shot.

So, I think I’ll spend some time with my Savior to get my equilibrium back. It’s been a rough week after a rougher two years and four months of unemployment. I don’t know when this time of trial will eventually end and life will move on, but I know the One who holds it all in His hands. While our society presents many opportunities to get ripped off, I only know of one place to go to get renewed, and I’m headed there now.

I like what Romans 12:1-2 has to say in The Message Bible:  “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” And the New King James Version of verse 2 states:  “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).

I like knowing I have a shelter in the storm, and a place I can always go for renewal. I hope you take advantage of it, too…

Photo credit here


1 Comment

  1. sally lacey says:

    Sara, I can understand your feelings. I have had such a week myself and it is not fun. My halo got smashed this week as well butttttttttttttt thank God He understands. All we can do is keep on keeping on for whatever that means.
    I love the scripture you left at the end. I recite those 2 verses as a prayer almost every morning and have done that for a lot of years now. My FLESH gets in the way many days but I keep on trying and asking GOD to help me renew my mind through the word I read. Some days it works and some days it does not. I keep trying.
    Sally Lacey


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