This Call Will Be Monitored: WHY?

This Call Will Be Monitored for Quality Assurance

From the Gripe Desk of Fran Lewis



I do not know why they say they are taping for quality assurance. There is no assurance and the reason they are taping is to make sure that they can play back your words but you can’t play back theirs. I find it really uncomfortable knowing that when I want to have a conversation with the phone company, a charge card company or even a doctor’s office they find the need to tape what you are saying to them. Well, yesterday one young man found out that his words were taped and I hope that when replayed his professional skills were either under higher scrutiny or maybe he was encouraged to change careers.


Whenever you call the phone company and you want to discuss your bill you find yourself trying to understand a convoluted bill that has more charges than the basic plan that are paying for. Between the surcharges and the triple taxes that are incurred for everything from the number of lines you have to the federal, city, state and other taxes, it would be cheaper to pay that than the phone bill.


This month my bill was larger than the national debt, or so it appeared to be. When you have both your cell and home phone on one bill it can become confusing. The charges are all mixed together and it looks like an invoice for tests in a doctor’s office and more rather than a simple phone bill. I sometimes think that it would be easier to say you owe this for one phone and this for the other one and all of the taxes come to this.


Of course if they made a mistake or overcharged you then you get an adjustment or a credit on the next bill or so you are supposed to get one on the next bill but not before you pay the ridiculous amount on the present one. Why not just take the amount off of that bill and not have to worry about the next one. I guess they feel we might forget about the credits, but most people don’t.  All the while you hear this awful beep in your ear because they are taping your words. I mentioned that to the rep today and she said they do it to make sure they are giving us, the consumer good service. I tend to think it is more like one more way to infringe on our freedom of speech and the right to say whatever needs to be said without having to worry about some ridiculous tape.



Well, if that is not bad enough my doctor’s office now tapes you when you make your appointment because they have an appointment line. You no longer get the office but you get some person in another state you does not know you or the doctors in the office you are going to and trying to get an appointment is nearly impossible. Now, if you are really sick and need to see the doctor it would be wise not to bother with these incompetent people.


When I tried to make an appointment with my doctor the voice on the phone said he would send the doctor a message and ask if he could see me or call me back. He never did. Why? He never received the message. I know this to be true because this doctor calls back in less than 2 minutes whenever you need him or one of his associates. It took him 7 hours to return my call. The only reason I did get him was because I called the answering service and they finally got him. I did tell him their new system was awful or worse and he said he knew.


The next day I felt worse even though I was on an antibiotic for my problem. However, I really needed to see the doctor and to figure out a way to bypass the ridiculous appointment line. Well, I decided not to bother and just show up in his office. Smart girl. That did get me to see him and get what I needed. But, if I did not have the guts to do that I would still be suffering. So much for appointment lines and for voicemails when you want to call a doctor and they put you on hold. It is even worse when you call 911 or a doctor’s emergency line and you have to wait 10 minutes until they answer.



Whatever happened to real people who answer their phones? Whatever happened to doctor’s that have real people answer without a voice telling you to wait? Whatever happened to having conversation with a company of any kind and saying, DO NOT TAPE THIS!


These are my gripes for today. I am sure I will have more.


Couda, shouda, Woulda

Couda Shouda Woulda: Why not put off until tomorrow what I can put off even longer:

This story is for all those people that complain about what they should have done but did not!



I often listen to people in my family and some of my friends complain about getting their bills paid, shopping done, or cleaning their houses.  They even complain about the enormous amount of homework their kids get and how they are so cramped for time and have so much to do that they don’t know how they will or can fit it all in.  None of these people work.  All of their children go to school full time during the day leaving this overworked person to go and do some personal clothing shopping, get manicure and pedicure and of course a facial.  There is nothing wrong with this but don’t complain when your food budget is depleted and your mortgage payment is late because you used those funds to buy the new Guess Jeans or Fendi bag that you had to have and needed.  Don’t these people work but their spouses not only provide the funds for their bills to be paid and do not ever really become aware of their financial problems until foreclosure comes on the scene.


There is nothing wrong with doing things for yourself or buying something to make you feel better or even that weekly manicure.  However, I coudda paid that bill but I thought it was due in 2 weeks not last week and so what if I am late.  I shoudda paid the mortgage but Nordstrom’s and Sachs were having sales on coats and their new line of bags, how could I resist.  My daughter needed new Uggs and my son had to have a new bike.  I cannot let them not have what the other kids do.  How can I hold my face up in my complex if my children do not have what every other child has?  So sad, but true.


People that put off doing the important things like paying bills, going to the doctor to make sure you are healthy, dealing with their kids homework first and making sure that all tests are studied for and projects are properly done, are living in a world of using one plastic card to bail them out of another one and ignoring what is really important: their kids and their life.


No child needs to have every name brand anything.  No child needs to have every toy in the world or every video game or a high-end computer.  I grew up in the South Bronx and I was taught from an early age that school was my job and only job and my payment was good grades that I got for studying and wanting to succeed.  My parents were not rich but I never thought that I was deprived nor did I ever expect them to buy me something because I had to have it some kids expect.  I never heard my mom or dad say I shudda done that or cudda done this differently or I shudda paid the rent on time instead of using the money to buy a new leather jacket.  If something had to be done, it was done and the rest came later.  My mom insisted that I get A’s on all of my tests and of course, that put a lot of pressure on me.  I wanted good grades and got the A’s but I would never say to my parents I gonna study for the test later or shudda studied harder-I knew that if the teacher said there was a test in one week to get started the day I found out.  I hear kids today and parents tell their children that homework given on the weekend can wait until Sunday night.  They can go and have fun and sometimes these kids actually do their work or they are too tired and ask their parents to write a note to excuse them.  Fridays meant do your homework when you get home from school and you have the rest of the weekend to have fun with your friends and family.  This worked for me and for my sister.  My niece, Jamie is a clone of my mom and I think that is why her two daughters are a students.  Dani Nic studies and gets A’s and no one has to tell her to get started-she just does it because she loves doing well in school.  Guess what!  She is not even paid for getting good grades like those that other kids do.  Kati Rose her little sister is doing well in first grade and is proud of herself for her accomplishments.  I never was paid for getting A’s or I would be very rich today.


Cudda Shudda Wudda done it differently- if you think before you do you might not have to say cudda, shudda wudda?  Do not complain about being behind in your bills if you forget to pay them.  Do not complain about your children if they do not do their homework if you are not on top of it and know what they are supposed to do.  Do not complain that you are too busy to help them study for a test because you need to go shopping with your friends or out with the girls and you are leaving them with teenage babysitter.


Do not put off longer what you have already put off long enough.


I’m Still Here: Fran Lewis

I’m still here: Hear My voice: I Know who you are?


I am still here although you have forgotten me

I am still here have you forgotten where I live

I am still here I am as lonely as can be

I am still here with all of love I have to give


You were my friends and I did a lot for you

Whenever you needed my help I was there

I loved you as family and you know that is true

Why is it now that you do not know that I am still here?


I know that I cannot remember you name but I know your face

I know that I cannot speak clearly but I do have something to say

Giving my all to everyone no matter what the case

You have forgotten I exist and still part of the human race



My daughters often wonder what has become of some of you

They see you in the elevator and you turn away from them

Are you afraid you catch my illness and you will understand it too?

The only way you’ll get it is if your family has it in their stem


I would do so much better if you would come and visit me

I would be so happy to see you and have coffee and talk

I would be so happy to try and greet you and we

Could go down to the stores in my chair and while you walk


But I know that will never happen I realize that too

You are too busy and I am nothing to you

So, be thankful that you are able to cope

With all that life hands out in its wide scope


I will never be able to do handle things on my own

I will never be able to speak with you and understand you on the phone

But, I am still here and I hope you will see

That you need to visit before it is to late for me.



Why is it that people shy away from those that are ill? Do you really think that you can catch this illness? What you did catch is not the illness it is fear? The fear of getting older and this happening to you. The fear of having to deal with this disease and you are too afraid that when you look at me you might be seeing yourself in the future.