Monday, May 24, 2010

Serviced Again, Ontario

Last week I received a phone call from the local medical clinic asking if I had found my Health Care card.

"I didn't lose it," I said.

"The last time you were here you used a card that was later identified in our computer as 'lost'," insisted the receptionist.

"Oh?" My eyebrows were furrowed in puzzlement. I had no idea what she was talking about.

"You'll need to phone this number and straighten your problem out."

I definitely wanted to 'straighten my problem out' so I hung up and obediently dialled the number she had given me.

"Service Ontario," was the crisp salutation when we were connected.

Oh no! The enhanced driver's licence swindlers! My heart sank.

"Um...Hi... The medical clinic says I've lost my health card," I said bravely. (I mean what were the chances that anybody who worked there had ever googled 'Service Ontario' during their coffee break and happened upon my sarcastic blog, Service This, Ontario 2/28/10).

"Where did you lose it?" asked the voice with the sigh of one who is forced to deal with the imbeciles of Ontario day in and day out.

"Well, actually I didn't lose it - the medical clinic thinks I lost it. I'm looking at it right now."

"Humph. What is your health care number?"

She took my number then said, "When you applied for your new health care card last year it was returned to us because your address was incorrect. Your card has been cancelled."

My health care cancelled? What good is a Canadian without health care?

"Well! I'd like you to know that Canada Post delivered my Health Care Card right to my house and I'm holding it in my hands as we speak!" I let a lot of annoyance creep into my voice. Some things like health care are worth fighting for, (unless you are from the U.S. apparently).

"Yeah? Well what colour is your card?"

"What colour is my card?" I gave a nervous laugh.

I was stalling because I was 98 % sure my card was the same colour as everybody else's card but I was beginning to feel guilty about something. I just didn't know what I had done.

" Well I used to have a red and white one but now I have a green one and ..."

"Dark green or light green?"

Yikes! Was this a trick question? Dark or light green compared to what?

Hoping we could meet half way I opined that it was sort of a medium green. My hands were starting to sweat.

"Well, Frances...

"Here it comes," I thought. I gripped the phone and braced myself for whatever bureaucratic nonsense was about to befall me.

"I'm going to send you a new one! Have a good day."

I'm sure I imagined it, but I could have sworn I heard the laughter of a room full of civil servants before she clicked of.


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