Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Monday, July 31, 2006

Brigham and Women's Hospital:

Well, it's not even the hospital's fault, it's the fault of the complete and total asswipes who run the parking garages at the hospital. The nazis in the red polo shirts from VPNE parking service I'm really irked with. Guess what their motto is? Peace of Mind. Peace of mind my ass.

Let us begin the saga with the fact that parking to go to an appointment with a physician, or to have day surgery is immoral. It isn't bad enough that you have to pay through the nose for health insurance if you're lucky enough to have it, you 60% of Americans that are covered. But to have to pay an unreasonable amount to wait in a waiting room and get pushed from one office to another while the parking tab is mounting by the second, why that's just beyond unfair.

Then you provide a parking lot that is so tiny and so dangerous that it's a death trap even to enter and exit. To top it all off, you have all of ONE collection booth, so the payment line for the 5 floor lot takes forever and ever.

Top this off with the inability to leave your car anymore on the large circle to just run in to pick up a prescription or a patient. That used to be allowed, but no more. No stopping at all. So all you new fathers, plan to have someone in your running car while you pick up your wife and baby because they won't allow you to sit with the car unattended, not even for a couple of minutes. It's so patient friendly, isn't it? Money grubbing assholes.

And finally, take away the "first 15 minutes in the parking lot are free" rule without notifying anyone, and now charge $6.00 per 15 minutes of parking in this dank and dangerous parking lot from hell. Wow, sounds like a fun ride, right?

Well, today I have to pick up my prescriptions from the hospital. I have to get them there because I'm on free care. That means that all medical services I get at this hospital are free, but I can ONLY use this hospital. Which is fine, because all my doctors are there anyhow and I'm very happy with the medical care. It's the parking lot I hate.

So I pull into the parking lot and park and run upstairs to the pharmacy to get the prescriptions I've already called in 48 hours in advance (required). There one person in line, which is miraculous. I get to the window, get my prescriptions, they don't have one so I have to go again tomorrow to pick up, which I agree to heartily, not yet aware of the parking saga I'm about to go through. Oh the innocence of the virgin parker.

Take the elevator down to the car, pull out and get in line to not pay because I've only been there 10 minutes. But the line creeps, due to only one person payment. I get to the payment window, hand over my card, confident I'm going to see the 0:00 on the display but instead I see 6:00. So I tell the woman in the payment booth that I'm not paying $6.00 since I was in their line for 5 minutes, and I was STILL under the 15 minute rule. She says I have to pay.

I now feel like Frasier in the episode where he goes ballistic in a parking lot payment line. But I don't care. It's the principle of the thing. I don't owe them a cent. The supervisor comes and says I have to pay. I say, "I"m not paying. I have no money, it's not fair that you're charging me when I was right on the dot for free parking, blah blah blah." She goes and gets some security guard. He tells me that they have changed the policy and there is no more free parking for 15 minutes. Oh...nice to let the patrons know! Then he says, "we changed the rules because pharmacy patients were TAKING ADVANTAGE of the free parking."

At this point, my head has become a boiling volcano with lava and ash spewing forth. I'm spitting mad. "The pharmacy patients are POOR. They aren't taking advantage, they are using your policy to save money." "Well, we don't have this policy anymore because they were taking advantage. I'll let you go this time, but you are BANNED from this parking lot. You can't ever park here again. We don't give away free parking. I'm taking down your license number and I don't ever want to see you in this lot again."

I mention that I'm handicapped and this is the handicapped access to the hospital, but the asshole just pulls open the gate. I drive out before he can even see my license plate. Not that it would matter. You can't ban a patron, a handicapped patron, from a public parking lot.

I'm reporting this to the hospital administration. I am outraged that they would allow these idiots to treat their patients with such disdain. Taking advantage. Why the hell does he think they're on free care? For fun? Because they can't get Medicaid. The disrespect that the poor are treated with in this state is unbelievable. Maybe Susan Wornick might be interested. I think I'll give her a buzz, too.

Oh, and the final joke. This is a direct quote from their web site:

Quality Service Guarantee

If we do not meet your expectations on any given day, we do not want you to pay us. All we ask is that you call VPNE's President and let him know what we need to improve in order to meet expectations.

Hello? Mr President Mr. Kevin J. Leary? I think I've got something that might interest you.
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Blogger Tracy said...

Thats just ridiculous. I don't have any words for it, it is so ridiculous. The poor ARE treated like crap in this state. There is always a damn Catch 22 to anything they offer. It's like you can't get out of your own way and are just plain set up to fail. Argh. I hope you do contact Susan Wornick. While your at it contact "Help Me" Hank Phillipi Ryan over at 7. Hell, contact them all! This is outrageous.

1/8/06 6:28 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

This is one of my pet peeves too! I totally see why you got so angry. Absolutely justified. When I had my pre-test appointment at Mt. Auburn Hospital it cost me $8 to park...I was only there for about an hour, maybe an hour and a half. As if they aren't making enough money off me already! And I love Mt. Auburn Hospital...it's a great hospital. Luckily when I had my surgery my boyfriend was able to park on the street because I had to be there at 6 AM, so street parking was available.

1/8/06 10:19 AM  

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