07/07/2021 1 By BuddyCushman

I had a phone call today. I made the call. It was a long call, and the person to whom I was speaking – no, make that begging for help – hung in the whole time. Second hand, minute hand spinning round and round. Doofus on this end of the line a technical no-nothing, and, yeah, that’s probably a bit of stress in the voice of the usually no-stress kid. Blockages and defaults, following directions into a maze and – oh, yeah – there ain’t none for back out. The woman on the other end, babysitting for sure, may have been the Buddha reincarnate, I honestly think so, sent back from the endless empty to remain anonymous amidst the depths of the “we-help-fools” section of Kaiser Permanente. Clocked in, different day, same old same old. And she remained patient beyond any expectation you’d ever have for a civil servant. For a human support worker. Pretty much for anybody – even your cousin, even your bestie. She apologized to me for my ineptness, I swear, saying “It’s okay honey, we going to get you there. It’ll be okay and even if we need to call in the big guns, the technology heavies who can peer with analyzing eyes into the very electrical innards of your desktop from a zillion miles away. I promise, darling, you gonna be alright.”

Her name was Sweet.

“Thank you for calling Medicare enrollment at Kaiser Permanente today. My name’s Sweet. How may I help you?”

Sign my sorry funky butt into Southern California health care coverage, mam. If you can.

And she could and she did, and it was righteous and it was sweet.