In a Sow’s Ear

by Gwen Petersen
Big Timber, Mont.

Having been “denied” a particular medication from “Prime Therapeutics,” a mail-out drug company, I decided I’m fed up, ticked off and ready to spit. The following is dedicated to all fellow oldsters. It is politically incorrect, so perhaps you ought to don protective dark glasses before you read on. The patronizing letter from the Company is in regular type. My responses in italics.

Prime Therapeutics

Dear Gwen Petersen,

No doubt Prime T., you’re using the appellation, “Dear” because you know and love Gwen Petersen?

As your mail pharmacy, …

You are not Gwen’s pharmacy; you don’t belong to her; you’re a company hired to send the cheapest of the cheap pills to old people.

… it is our commitment to you as our customer …

… your “commitment” means you think you have the right to manipulate the elderly ” like jerking strings on marionette wooden dolls.

… to provide you with the highest quality of service …

… your “quality of service” means your minions have been assigned the right to make multiple annoying phone calls, usually recorded for “quality service.” If an actual human calls, the individual rattles off his/her aggravating words from a printed script, usually speaking faster than it’s possible to listen. Which sends the oldster’s blood pressure sky-high.

… while ensuring that you receive the correct medication as quickly as possible.

… which means “ensuring” you can change medication ” that has served the aged person for years ” without a by-your-leave. At what point did you become a Doctor? Screwing with oldsters’ prescription programs is not acceptable or in your words, “it is denied” ” by me, the target old person.

We are also obligated to inform you of any problems that may be encountered should there be any issues with your prescriptions.

You are obligated? By whom? Inform you of problems? There were no “problems encountered” till you got your mitts on this old lady’s medical business. When and how did you acquire the right to mess with changing people’s prescriptions to suit YOU? The elderly individual does not have “issues”. They know what their medications are. How dare you try to make the oldsters guilty of “issues”!

We are unable to process your recent request for Synthroid 125 mcg because the medication is not covered by your plan.

It is not that you are “unable to process” requests, it’s that YOU REFUSE to send the correct Doctor-prescribed medication. Having gone through the hoop-jumping previously, this old lady finally received the correct medication prescribed by her Doctor.

Time passed. A reorder was called in using the usual button-pushing, non-human electronic-phone to reorder. YOU REVERTED TO TRYING TO MANIPULATE THIS


all over again with the robot phone calls, the exploitation, the sheer, revolting, anger-inducing exchanges with under-paid phone clerks.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Apology? For what? Driving the old, the ill and the befuddled up the wall? Apology does not make a wrong a right. You do not give a large rodent’s posterior for any “inconvenience.” This letter will no doubt go on the company bulletin board where you post all the responses received from exasperated customers. The ever-changing staff minions will get a good laugh. Nice of you to provide your workers with entertainment.

If payment was received with your order a credit will be applied to your account.

This old woman paid for the entire year. Now her money is in your pocket while her medication needs are being withheld.

If you have any questions, or if we can be of further assistance, please contact our Member Services Department at 1-877-35 PRIME (77463).

You already know the question ” where are this antique woman’s correct medications?

Further assistance? Oh, come now. Member Disservices Department would only chase the old crone around the squirrel cage once again and NOTHING WOULD


The reference number for the order is 5742846.

Of course, a number. This biddy shall wear orange and embroider the number above the pocket as an indentured, prisoner, captive.

We also suggest that you follow up with your doctor to avoid any delays or interruptions in your treatment.

You “suggest”? So now an antediluvian woman has to visit her Doctor ” at her expense ” to jump through more hoops that YOU set? Before she joined YOUR arm- twisting company she had no delays or interruptions in treatment.



Sincerely? When have you ever been “sincere”? This is obviously a form letter sent to anyone you deem has “issues.”

Since no name was signed to your letter, the obvious conclusion is that it was printed in multiples by a well-oiled machine.

“Sincerely,” Gwen Petersen, a fed-up, old, but not stupid, woman.

(Dear Reader, watch this space for PRIME THERAPEUTIC company’s reaction. If you don’t hear from me, send a posse). v

Editorial note: The opinions of our columnists do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Fence Post staff members.