It seemed like a simple request. My wife had received a notification from one of her medical providers that had been sent to our previous address and then forwarded with one of those vapid yellow labels. I had already tried three times to input our new address with this organization. After going through phone tree hell, I finally was talking to a live, semi-sentient human being.
"How can I be of service?'
"My wife was sent a notification to our old address"
"So you want to do an address change?"
"I've already tried three times."
"Since it was sent to your wife, she has to make the request for an address change. Is she available?"
"No I am calling for her."
"I am looking at her file, but can make no changes without her authorization."
"She is my wife and we live at the same address."
"Sorry sir, I must speak to her."
"I also have an account with you; can you pull it up?
"Certainly sir. Let me put you on hold"
(Ten minutes later)
"Sir, how can I be of service?"
"What is the address listed on my account?"
(She reads it to me)
"That is our current address, but my wife is receiving your correspondence at our old address."
"I can neither verify or deny that sir."
"I am holding the envelope in my hand."
"Sir, I need to speak to your wife about her account."
"You are looking at her account and my account. Can you tell me if the address is the same on both?"
"That is privileged information, sir."
(I am about to have the vapors)
"How do I get permission to speak on my wife's behalf?"
"Is she there with you, sir"
"I've already said, she is unavailable."
"You can have her fill out an Acknowledgement of Permission form."
"That lets me speak to you on her behalf?'
"Yes, it will be mailed to her. It requires being filled out in triplicate. It must be notarized and then resubmitted every three months."
"But, I don't know if you will be sending it to the right address."
"Sir, I must speak to her regarding that, unless you currently have a power of attorney filed with us."
(I'm melting into the floor)
"I give up."
"Sir, I didn't catch that?"
"It's alright. Forget it. I will have the Coast Guard airlift my wife back from an Alaskan ice flow so you can talk directly to her."
"Sir, that is the best approach. How else may I help you today?
"Does my medical plan with you cover Valium?"
"Sir, I would have to check the formulary."
"That's ok. Just send me the info to the correct address on my account."
"Sir, it was a pleasure serving you. We have a survey..."
"Thanks! You've been veeery helpful. Goodbye."