So my kid is in various camps all summer long. I plan these way back in January, which I know is insane in the first place (seriously, I have a spreadsheet and a color-coded Google calendar and everything, I kid you not) but actually it's what you have to do if you want your kid to be in some of them, which is crazy, right? I KNOW. But hello - some of us work for a living and HAVE NO CHOICE. I'm not going to let my kid just sit around by herself watching tv all summer, so yeah, thanks for the info on those hour-long art camps y'all send home from the school in May, but our summer's already booked with 9-5 camps that cost me an arm and a leg, asshats. And no she can't meet you at the pool at 2pm on a Wednesday, little 4th grade friend, even if it is your birthday. Sorry.
But that's not even the true asshattery of this post.
Every single one of these camps has its own set of forms, and these forms are RIDICULOUS. Really, you need ten pages on my kid for this one week camp? You need to know what kind of diet she eats, even though I'm supposed to send a lunch - and snacks - with her every day anyway? You need me to sign waiver after waiver for you to photograph her, but you can't be trusted to give her aspirin or sunscreen, even if I say it's ok? Ok FINE, I'll do it. Like I have any choice. But really, do all the forms have to be so unique? There really isn't any way to standardize these things, so I can fill out ONE form - hello, maybe ONLINE? what century is this again?? - and I can just say "send this to this camp, this camp, and this camp" and you all get a copy? That's really too hard?? And really, do you need to me to write my very long street address on EVERY SINGLE PAGE? (curse those charming street names of my neighborhood! why can't I live on 123 Ave A or something??) And maybe you can keep the information from the previous year and I can just update it? No? Really??
And I know what you're going to say, if I've been planning these camps since January, I've had six months to do these forms so what's the big deal? Well I wish that were true my naive friend, but actually you have to fill out a form or twenty online to register, then you have to WAIT for them to MAIL you the rest of the forms later, due back immediately. WHY??? BECAUSE THEY HATE YOU, THAT'S WHY.
But again, that's not even the asshattery.
So last summer, I screwed up on one of these MANY forms and forgot to get the doctor signature one done (again, really? you need her entire health history for a one-week camp?) until it was literally the day before the camp. I know, big screw up, and I'll totally own that. We called the doctor (off hours even - Mother of the Year here!) and got the appropriately snippy "lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine" type lecture from the doc on call (not my kid's regular one, who is usually very nice and is the only reason why all of this isn't going to make me switch offices... assuming they don't ban me after this post anyway.) Again, totally deserved it, I admit. And I've been hanging my head in shame for an ENTIRE YEAR. And by the way my kid ended up being too sick for camp that week anyway so it didn't even matter (but I still filled out the damn forms and still paid the damn camp fee - ASSHATS.)
Fast forward to this year. I'm a little behind on some of these forms again (GEE I WONDER WHY) but I'm trying hard to get my act together and get it all done. So again I have the doctor form. It's basically 4 pages, 3 of which I've already filled out for them. Get that - I DID THE WORK ALREADY. All they have to do is look it over and make sure I'm not lying about anything and fill in some immunization dates and sign it. That's it. How long do you think that really would take? Compared to the umpteen pages I've got to fill out in addition to that for JUST THIS ONE CAMP? And yeah, I know, they're busy taking care of children and all and probably lots of other moms are asking for the same thing, but still? IT'S THEIR JOB!!!
So I call the doctor's office to see what I need to do about getting this form signed. It's lunchtime. This is the time of day I reserve for taking care of personal stuff - because you know, I don't need to EAT or anything. And the rest of the day I'm supposed to be doing MY JOB. Here's the recording I get: "Hello, thank you for calling Drs. So and So, our office is currently closed for the lunch hour. If this is an emergency, call 911." Ok it was more detailed than that, but that was the gist. I couldn't even leave a message. Seriously? You ALL go to lunch at the same time??? You close down the office? A DOCTOR'S OFFICE???
Ok fine. I go to their website's "Contact Us" page. There's a fax number, I type out a very courteous, informative fax cover sheet and try faxing it all over to them. The machine says "no answer" and re-dails again and again. No answer. Really, you can't even leave your fax machine on during lunch? Ok, I try scanning it to email to them. Back to the website - there's no email address. There's a FUCKING FACEBOOK PAGE (last updated 2011) and yet no email address. What am I supposed to do, post this on your wall?? Ok, ok. I wait until their little lunch hour is over and try calling. Again I get a recording, this one says to press a number for immunization forms. I press it, and get another recording saying to leave a message with the information needed, so I do so. An hour or so later someone calls back and I (very nicely, even though by now I'm seriously annoyed) explain the situation. AGAIN. They ask if I tried it with the area code? Yeah, duh, thought of that. I offer to email the scanned version as a PDF - they say "I wish we could do that." (really, you don't have an email address at all? none of you?) Their answer is "just keep trying, I guess?" Yeah ok, thanks for your help, asshat.
Only, and this is really a key point here, pay attention: I didn't say that. I used to work customer service and I know what unreasonable bitches some people can be, so I am ALWAYS nice as a customer. ALWAYS. NO MATTER WHAT. And I tip MINIMUM 20% in restaurants, always. And see how I get treated? ASSHATS. This is why I am passive aggressively flaming your ass on a blog now. You have only yourselves to blame, really.
So I keep trying to fax them. And trying. Again and again I get "no answer." I think maybe it's our fax machine here? It's been known to be a little wonky, I could see that. SEE HOW NICE I AM? It's me, not you, I assume. I give you the benefit of the doubt. I try sending a fax via Skype on this thing called PamFax - which claims to be free, but really it's only so they can get your info and let you send a mere 3 pages for free, then you have to sign up for their paid service, minimum $12. ASSHATS! So I try faxing only the most essential pages of this form this way. Even PamFax is saying "no answer."
So FUCK IT, I say, I'M DRIVING THE DAMN FORM TO THEM. That's right, I literally got in my car and took the form to them to hand in person. Again, WHAT CENTURY IS THIS?!?
Now, like many pediatrician offices, ours has separate waiting rooms for well and ill children, to prevent infecting the well kids who are just there for routine check-ups. Which is great, and as an aside, why aren't all doctor's offices like this? I could be infected by much worse stuff in my own doc's waiting room, and I don't even get a sticker when I leave (even though my visits are probably WAY more traumatic.) But anyway remember how I said I know they're busy taking care of children and all? Yeah, there was ONE well child in the waiting room when I got there. One very happy, healthy looking toddler, looking forward to her sticker. And none in the sick room. Oh my god you're soooooo busy! WHATEVER. By the way, there was a mom with this toddler, who was sitting there FILLING OUT A FORM. Solidarity, sister.
So I go in and say "I've been trying to fax this camp form for my daughter and haven't been able to get through, so I thought I would just bring it here in person." No acknowledgement that that may have been a pain in the ass for me or anything, no "oh let me see if I can expedite this, considering your trouble" or anything. She takes the form and glances over it and then asks me what instructions she can leave with it for returning the form to me. "Do you want us to fax it back to you or do you want to come back for it?" Um, I'm happy to stay and wait while you fill it out? Again, it's a handful of dates and a signature. HOW LONG DOES IT FUCKING TAKE?!
"There's a 24-48 hour turnaround time for these forms."
WHAT THE WHAT? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!?
Um, yes, there's a fax number on the front of this form for you to return it to me, I say, but I'm worried because I tried to fax it to you (ALL DAMN DAY) and couldn't get through? I don't know if the problem was with my machine or yours, but.......? A little help here? Seriously? I was SO NICE.
Another gal behind the desk butts in: "Oh, it was ours, it's working now."
Ok, here's where if I were a cartoon character, the top of my head would blow off and make a big screeching sound like a train whistle. My eyes would be jumping out of their sockets, and maybe all my fur (because surely I'd be an anthropomorphic cat or bunny or something) would jump off my skin and then settle back on again as I exploded with PMS and form-fuckery-induced rage. I mean REALLY?!?!?!?!??? I've been trying to fax you all damn day, I can't even call you during my lunch hour because you're closed, you don't have an email address, and when I finally get through to you, you just say to "keep trying" and now that I literally drove all the way over here and put the damn form into your precious physical hands, you're telling me that even though the problem was ALL YOUR FAULT, I still have to wait 24-48 hours for you to give me a FUCKING SIGNATURE??? ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!?
Apparently, yes, they were quite serious. And THAT'S the true asshattery of this post. FUCK. ING. ASS. HATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But friends, I didn't lose my cool. I paused significantly (at least I did in my mind, I probably totally didn't, or if I did it was lost on them) and then said, "Ok. Yes, faxing it back to me would be great. Thanks." And then I walked out, smiling at the happy toddler, and began composing this rant on my mobile device before I even got to my car.
Now I know what you're going to say about First World Problems or Getting A Life or Controlling My Totally Out Of Proportion Anger or whatever. Just shut your trap right now because I don't want to hear it. Sure, there are more important things to get all in a snit about, I know. But the larger takeaway for this little diatribe is this: as I drove away (in heavy traffic with even-more-inconsiderate-than-usual drivers - ASSHATS) I began to breathe a great sigh of relief, because as far as I'm concerned, the great karmic debt of last year's off-hours call for a forgotten form is now paid. My hands are clean. I was given asshattery and I ROSE ABOVE. Mother of the CENTURY, people.
(gif by These Are Things. Dig it.)
But if those asshats take longer than 24 hours to turn around this damn form.. SO HELP ME JESUS.