I'm cleaning up my room at school this afternoon and I get a phone call. "This is the operator, is this Mark Riggs?"
I confirm that I am one of the several Mark Riggses on the planet. She asks me to hold.
When you've had a history of financial success like mine, you know when you're going to be talking to a collection agent. The problem was, I had no idea who would be collecting for what. I thought I was making progress in that department!
So when this guy comes on (I can't remember his name, so I'll just refer to him by his initials: A.H.) and says he's from some company or another (one obviously made to sound like its employees are anything but bottom-feeding buttwipes), and asks if I'd like to make a payment today, I have to ask...
Question 1: A payment for what?
He tells me he is collecting for St. Joseph Hospital and something else hospital-related... some sort of lab or another, I think.
Question 2: For what?
He tells me he doesn't have access to medical records, and asks if I'm going to be making a payment today.
Question 3: Where is this hospital?
Question 4: When was this?
He tells me it was November 24, 2000 and again asks about a payment. At first I thought he said November 24, 2004, and I was positive I had not been in the hospital that day. Then I heard the 2000. But it still wasn't ringing any bells. I don't know about you, but when people call me up and spend the conversation constantly asking for money without giving any seemingly-valid reason for me to cough it up, I tend to think "Am I being scammed or what?"
I tell A.H. (who is about to earn his initials) that I have no idea what this would have been for.
A.H. is incredulous. "How could you be a patient and not know what it's for?" He confirmed my name and my birthdate.
Yes, good plan. Piss me off. The checkbook will be sure to come right out. He apparently didn't check to see that I have NO credit rating whatsoever, so he probably should have kept the vinegar and used more honey.
I informed him that I had recently been called by a hospital about an appointment for some sort of kidney thing or another... that would be an appointment I knew nothing about because I'd never called to set it up. So, basically, good sir, I'm not 100% positive that all hospitals keep good records.
A.H. then says (while I'm still trying to remember what I was doing on November 24, 2000), "So you're saying you're not going to be making a payment?"
"No, I'm saying I have no idea what this is for. I'm trying to think back to then."
"Okay Mr. Riggs, do you have any questions for me before we end this call?"
"Other than the one I already asked you that you don't have the answer to, no," I reply.
Then comes THE pisser: "You haven't asked me any questions."
Oh yeah. Call me up and start pressuring me to send you money for something I have no immediate memory of, then flippin' pull that sort of stunt...
So Mr. Riggs the Teacher came out, and I said (in a very teachery tone), "Don't lie to me! I asked you what this was for and you said you didn't have access to medical records."
He thanked me and asked me to have a nice day, and I told him he should do his best to have one, too.
Once he was no longer in my ear, I could think a bit harder about the date.
November 24, 2000?
I knew I'd been teaching, so I should have had insurance at the time... albeit crappy insurance (FYI, males who are thinking of becoming teachers: it is assumed you are a female with a male spouse who will have a "real & respectable job" that has ACTUAL good insurance... so there's no need to provide decent insurance for you).
Then it hit me: Oh... THAT November 24, 2000! I twisted my ankle. Bad. To the point I thought it was broken. While working. There were calls to my doctor (because god forbid you just go to the emergency room the day after Thanksgiving... no, first you have to track down your doctor so he can approve your going). There were discussions about how the employer in question didn't really have workman's comp insurance, and they'd pay for the visit if my insurance wouldn't cover it, but it would be best if the insurance covered it...
And they gave me money. I just don't know that a bill ever showed up at my house.
So, I get to call them and find out what the aytch-ee-double-hockey-sticks is going on with this.
November 24, 2000 indeed. Well, wish me luck!