Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Oh, yeah

Last week we also went on a little trip. Bob had Friday off, so we went up to King’s Lynn, about an hour from here, to Caithness Crystal. It is a glass making/blowing factory with a big shop and free demonstrations M-F. I’ve been wanting to go for a while, but Bob works M-F, too. We didn’t make an early start, and just had time to watch him make 2 complete pieces – a drinking glass and an elephant – before he ran out of glass. It was very interesting and I’m glad we went.

Today I took Ella to the dentist. I’d noticed a cavity in July, and called to get it filled then. But they didn’t have any appointments until we were on vacation, and then they had none last week, so this was the first chance to go. Except they scheduled for a cleaning, because the dentist has to verify the cavity first. So there we were. As last time, they asked for Ella’s Social Security Number, but I was onto them this time and said up front, “I don’t know it, and I don’t want you to look it up.” So the dentist came in and asked me to write on the record that I refused it. I wrote the same as last time, “Dental clinic is NOT authorized to use child’s SSN for ANY reason.” SO she read it and said I needed to put something about they couldn’t treat the child without it. So I wrote “I understand that you will not give an X-Ray without child’s SSN, which violates child’s right to privacy and free military family health care. That’s your choice. I will leave here soon and take child to a real dentist where I will pay for an X-Ray if they think she needs one.”
She didn’t read that one until after she was done. Ella was a pill. She didn’t want to open her mouth, and cried all through the exam. Whaddyaknow? She has a cavity. But, with the dentist’s bionic eye out of commission, she doesn’t know if there are any more cavities, or how deep it is, yadda yadda. So we discussed how to get the cavity filled with Ella being uncooperative, and then she looked at the paper before leaving. Oh, she didn’t like what I wrote. Because it’s my choice to not give them the SSN (as if that negates their choice to not do the X-Ray?), and she wanted me to re-write it, but I wouldn’t. She went around the block with me about the personal vs the collective “you,” and finally declared that she cannot treat my child, and went to get someone else to “deal” with me. Whatever. No way they would have an appointment open within the next month anyway, so I took my coat and Ella and her toothbrush, and we just left.

For the record, ALL military records are kept through Bob’s SSN; each child has a “prefix” assigned to his number, and that’s how they keep track. But for some reason, the dental clinic (only Pediatrics, as far as I know) has decided to keep the X-Rays separate from the other records, and the only way they can possibly store the records is with the child’s SSN on it. There is no billing or insurance as we are on base, so that doesn’t even come into it. For my non-American friends, a SSN is a sort of tax-payer ID that every American is issued at birth. It’s primary purpose is to keep track of how much a person has earned throughout their life, so the government can calculate how much they ought to get when they are old. Sort of a nation-wide retirement scheme. Because of its close connection with jobs and finances, it is also used for taxes and credit scores. The cards used to say on them that they were not to be used for identification, but now they simply say to be cautious.

I went to the proper website and filled out a comment card.

Bob has been working on invitations to his retirement ceremony on Sept 20.

The house we offered on had already accepted a verbal offer, so I don’t think ours will get anywhere. Who knows? We’d already been accepted at the last place when they took another offer, but we thought that was crooked. I submit myself to God’s will for us. But I liked this place! Boo hoo. My theme song is now Kim Hill’s “There’s a place for us.”

1 comment:

Wil said...

I *tried* to follow Dad's lead about not giving out the SSN, but too many companies simply don't care.

You either give out the number, or you don't get service. If I need the service badly enough, I'll give out the number.

While it's technically my right to keep that number private, it's also their right to refuse service to anyone... So it's a catch-22 unless I give them my SSN.

(Though I have walked out of a few places that required it; I determined I didn't need their service badly enough.)