My fairly non confrontational nature has always made it hard to stand up for myself. Not that I’m a pushover, but it takes a lot of emotional effort to go out of my way to make my feelings known (especially to a stranger). Luckily for me I’m married to someone who has no problem making those phone calls or sending those emails (thanks hon!). This stems from years of shyness in my childhood that was only partially overcome through tons of effort once I realized that I wouldn’t get anywhere in life living in a self imposed bubble.
Sometimes however, like in the past few weeks, I put on my big girl panties, take a deep breath and stick my neck out to make sure I get what I need.
At the beginning of the year, I learned through the fabulous online working mommy community that insurance now covers the rental of, if not the purchase of, a breast pump. My electric pump that I use 3 times a day at work was already second hand when I was nursing Rose 3 years ago and has been starting to sound a little sickly. I took it apart the last time it stopped working and found a manufacturing date of 1997! Thus started the saga of me forcing myself to be an adult and my own advocate.
1st phone call: To the insurance company to ask how I would go about getting a pump. I got no details other then I needed to go through one of their supplier for it to be covered. Cool beans.
2nd phone call: To the supplier who turned out to be a middle man for an actual supplier (and you wonder why our insurance is so expensive). They said all I needed was a prescription from my doc and they would do the rest.
3rd phone call: To the doc to get a prescription. Found out I needed a physical anyway (oh joy) so made the appointment and got the prescription.
4th phone call: To the middle man (previously known as the supplier) who told me to fax over the info.
5th phone call: (Big girl panties #1) To the middle man as it had been a week and I hadn’t heard anything. They said they sent the info onto the supplier and that I should call them (heaven forbid the middle man do it).
6th phone call: (Big girl panties #2) To the supplier who was totally unprofessional. First she didn’t know what I was talking about then suddenly ‘remembered me’ and said she didn’t have any rentals available for another month or so (so why didn’t she call me to tell me this!). *Side rant: I totally support people working out of their homes (I could hear her kids screaming in the background) but please try to be professional about it. Answer your phone with the name of your company. Speak to me like a valued customer, not someone who interrupted you day. Make your answering machine state the name of your company not just leave the automated message on there. Sheesh! Rant over.*
7th phone call: (Big girl panties #3) To complain to the middle man who said that the lack of rentals was a problem with all their supplies (why didn’t they tell me that before) and if I changed suppliers it would put me at the bottom of the list.
8th phone call: To the insurance company who said I could do a purchase instead of a rental (total pat on the back moment to myself for realizing I should ask that question).
9th phone call: To the supplier who said they could drop ship me a pump if I changed the order to a rental.
10th phone call: To the middle man who changed the order to a purchase (I finally got a fabulous woman who spent 30 minutes just to make sure everything was right).
11th phone call: (Big girl panties #4) To the supplier because it had been over a week and I hadn’t heard anything. On a really weird coincidence, the middle man called me as I was leaving a message to the supplier asking if I had received the pump. I think they lit a fire under them as the supplier called within 2 hours and said they would ship me the pump.
Phew! That was, count them, 11 phone calls (not counting the 2 that I received) that I had to make in order to get this pump shipped to me. Every single one of them took a lot of emotional effort make. Every single one of them was needed for me to get this pump before I was done pumping and/or my pump gave up the ghost. Every single one of them was worth it.
*On a side note: I know by typing “big girl panties” 6 times I am going to see traffic to my site from strange men looking for pictures of large women in their underwear.
A thing of beauty