1. I think so. And it’s funny, if so–but loses points for not making it clear. Coulda had something visible on a page that would have helped.

    One of our doctors wants such an extensive form EACH TIME that we’ve taken some blanks and fill it out before we go. Next step: fill one out with all the static stuff, don’t date it, scan it, print THAT, date, take with.

    I get why they do it, and for many folks I’m sure it’s useful, but we keep track of this stuff–also take a sheet with list of current meds etc., don’t copy it to their form (they’re just going to either file the form or input it anyway).

  2. Call, get asked if this is the # you are calling from. Yes. What is your phone # , call is rerouted to correct person, “What is your phone number?”

  3. Yeah, Mary, I used to think that was pretty dumb, “Wait, you knew my phone number without me telling you, and now you want to know it again?” But I got to thinking about it, and I don’t know if this is the way things actually work, or not, but the person picking up the call is just sitting at a workstation in a call center. The system pops up some information and they answer the call. You are just some disembodied voice on the other end. How best to make sure the information in front of them and the person on the phone are actually in sync? In this day of HIPAA, etc., it’s probably best to make sure you are talking to whomever you think you are talking to, rather than risk a violation of privacy.

  4. Different, unconnected systems. All too common. Management doesn’t care.

    Funniest part is calling using Skype-to-landline. Calls to normal lines show callerID, which maps to my cell#. Calls to toll-free numbers show ANI, which is whatever random actual line the call mapped to. So their systems don’t work worth a darn!

  5. Whenever I call on the phone, first I identify myself. “Hello, Generic Medical Clinic. How may I help you?” “Hello, this is Mark Boston. I would like to talk to Doctor Worms.” “Certainly, sir. Your name?”

  6. When ordering fast food at a counter, I almost always specify “to go” right away, in a form such as “I’d like a Gluttonburger with no Mayo, to go.” Nine times out of ten the counter drone then asks me “Is this for here or to go?”

  7. “Anyone who wants to know your birthdate can look on your Facebook page.”

    Except, of course, for the people who don’t have one (a facebook page, I mean, I’m pretty sure everyone still has a birthday.)

  8. Maybe he hasn’t been for a long while and has lots wrong with him, and that the list is the list of all the stuff he wants to discuss with the doctor.

  9. I have a FB page – but it does not have a birthday on it. And most of the online sites that are for recreation that I am on do not – or have a fake one.

  10. When Robert was still going out to work (as opposed to being home and annoying me) and I had to do something about something which was only in his name on the telephone, I would just say I was him – I was never questioned and I have far from a man’s sounding voice. Now I annoy him and make him come and give them permission to talk to me.

    I worked for my dad for some years and took over his accounting practice when he died. NYS tax was having an amnesty and sent out notices to those who were eligible to file/pay taxes and get out of paying interest and penalties. I received a notice for my dad’s practice for penalties and interest due on the withholding taxes for the last year he was alive – and there was no payroll as I was an independent contractor. I didn’t want to bother my mom and it was not their income tax related anyway. So I called up and asked for information to confirm it was what I though it was and was told that they could not talk to me – only to my dad – even though he was DEAD. I would have ignored it after being told that, but did not want them filing against anything of my mom’s that had been joint. So I hung up and called back and said I was,yes, him. They gave me the information I needed. I then wrote a letter to them explaining that there was no payroll and gave them permission to talk to me, and signed my dad’s name. The matter was corrected. Yes, it was illegal,but what was I going to do – there was no simple way to correct the matter. I later wrote a letter to the NYS tax commissioner and told him this, and said that there should be someway to deal with it – when they would rather speak with a dead person than the subsequent live owner of the business – never had a response nor did they ever come after me.

  11. Lastly, our eye doctor has joined with one of those companies as the doctor he shared his office with, retired and expenses were too much for him alone. So when we go there now we have to fill in excessive forms (and then computer questions when in the examining room). One of the forms is about the prescriptions we take. The page is labeled to list every prescription you are currently taking. We have to give the name, dosage (okay I understand those two items) the exact date you started taking the medication, and — date you stopped taking the medication. The last one confuses me – if I am listing what I am taking than I have not stopped taking it by definition. The third one – exact date? Ummm, I can estimate about when we started – let’s see, we had bedbugs in 2009, so Robert started taking this medication in April 2010… but the ACTUAL date? And then this means nothing. We take a generic medication that we ask the doctor to change to a similar one every time Walmart’s pharmacy changes which one is 90/$10. So I guess and fill in a number to keep them happy .

    So it certainly feels like the long paper that is being filled in.

  12. The right way was to have an authorized representative of his estate contact the authorities, for which they undoubtedly have a verification protocol. (By which, of course, I mean the bureaucrats have planned out exactly what paperwork they’ll need to see, and no, nothing else will work.)

  13. James Pollock – When I asked if my mom as his heir could contact them about it, I was actually told, no, as she had nothing to do with the practice. I had taken over the practice from him while he was still alive (he was hospitalized most of the last year of his life) and it became mine – going from a Schedule C for him to one for me. So they would not accept the authorized rep of his estate – my mom. Remember this is NYS not IRS and they are even crazier.

  14. I didn’t take Wills and Estates in law school (it’s one of only two “bar courses” that I skipped). If he had a will, that will would have named someone to carry it out… normally, thought not necessarily, known as the “executor”. An executor can be an heir, but doesn’t have to be and in some cases it is wise to have them not be (if you have two heirs who do not get along well, and you name one as executor, the other one may have doubts that the will has been executed fairly… this is where a lot of the law practice of wills and estates arises.)
    The executor has two basic tasks… winding up the deceased person’s affairs… collecting debts owed to the deceased, paying out funds to settle debts the deceased owed, and selling property that isn’t directly distributed to the heirs. The second being dividing up and distributing remaining assets. They also get to file tax returns on behalf of the deceased. As I’m sure you know, Meryl, this can be AMAZINGLY complicated, even for someone who didn’t have particularly complex returns when they were alive.

  15. Actually, I did take wills and estates in law school – although I was a short a year to graduate and did not get back in time to take the last year.

    Dad did not have a will – all was joint with mom and it was a rather a simple estate. Mom was administrator (as there was no will, there is no executor) dealt with it by herself (as back then she was only in her 50s).

    When my FIL died I helped my MIL with the estate and when she died, I also helped Robert with her estate. Both were simple and without wills as all of FIL’s assets were joint with MIL (thank to my yelling at him years before about nothing other than the house, not even the checking account, being joint) on everything and all went to her. MIL’s was relatively simple as SIL had already taken, umm, had the house transferred to her, and what was left was small enough to just get papers from the court for him to deal with it. Again, there was no executor as there was no will to execute, but we had his mom appointed administrator of his dad’s estate and him of his mom’s.

    None of the three even needed an estate checking account to deal with anything.

    IRS also allows a “responsible party” when there is no estate and no executor or administrator. This is basically when there is no estate, but there is a tax refund due.

    In this case since it had been a business tax matter, they would not accept my mom who was basically his administrator to have anything to do with it. He was self-employed – not a corp or even a partnership and I had basically assumed the ownership of the business as a self- employed person also, but was not him which led to the problem. I could have just left it as he had no assets for them to go against as he was dead, but I did not want mom to end up with anything being filed against the house.

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