July 17, 2013

SVB, here we go again...

SVB, 3 simple letters that makes most shiver with fear (At least on Curacao).

For those that do not know, SVB is basically our health insurance, the place to go when you are sick and so to get sick days, approval for surgery and get a free doze of insanity.

Once again I bring you a lovely story of this building that very clearly is a portal to hell.

Actual picture of SVB patients.

It seems that SVB seems only to exist to create more insanity in the world. Don't believe me, well lets see what you think after my new experience at SVB.

A few months ago I have injured my knee pretty badly in a fun game of beach volleyball. Ever since I've had to go back to SVB to see if they will give me more sick days to recover. Previous times have been bad experiences, but nothing to weird for SVB. However, stupidity can always be improved upon.

I walked into SVB, a building Indiana Jones would run out screaming. I walk straight to the security guard. You have to go to them to get the a number, so you can start the process of torture through governmental mandated health insurance. 

I got the magical number 463.

Why can I still remember this number so clearly you might ask? Am I a genius? Do I have photographic memory? Did this number come up so many times that it got burned into my brain and most likely will haunt me till my deathbed?

Well, if you choose the deathbed scenario you would be correct and won nothing.

463 463 463.......

Not knowing yet the patience I would need to muster I gladly took the number. Knowing from past experiences that I need to look at the number boards hanging from the ceiling to tell me when it was my turn. So I looked at the bright LED lights change numbers. 451, 452, 458, 456, 460, 450, 462 and then suddenly 463. You might have noticed that the numbers went a little weird there, don't ask me what the logic is but that is how they where announced. 

It showed I had to go to counter 10, which is the first counter you usually go to at SVB so they can take your information, after which you can sit down and patiently wait for the doctor to see you.
As I walked to the counter with my forms, SVB card and ticket number ready to give to the kind and gentle lady behind the counter.

Nothing says "Happy to help you" like looking angry.

I was a bit overwhelmed with the amount of eye roll, angry looks and plain being uninterested I was greeted with. The woman looked at me like I was a little kid that had been jumping up and down her car for the past 3 hours. In a very cold voice she told me "It is not your turn". I felt puzzled and confused. I looked at my ticket, it said 463. I looked at the LED hanging signs and it also said "463" and that I had to go to counter 10. I looked at the sign above the counter, it showed 10. I looked at the lady again and showed her my number, and explain calmly that according to the sign I had to go too this counter. The lady just shrugged a little and told me in an even colder voice to sit down and wait till my number would be called. So I sat down.

453, 468, 481, 482, 483... My brain was trying to understand what was going on. People that came in after me where going before me even while they had higher ticket numbers. And you might think, well maybe they came on appointment or they here for different reasons so can go before you. No, that's not how it works, it says even on the ticket "Walk-in". Basically you walk in and get a number and it goes through the numbers logically. That at least is how it went for the past 15 years I've had to go through this crazy fun fair. When the numbers reached to around 486 I decided to walk to the counter again and ask if there might have been a mistake. I once again showed the lovely lady my number. She replied this time with a lovely voice as sharp as a needle entering my colon. "You didn't come when your number was up". My blood boil went up by at least 20 degrees, as I had been staring at the numbers on the sign for the past 30 minutes and it never came to 463 again! But I kept my cool and asked if she could help me now. So she took my information that she could have taken 30 minutes ago when it actually was my turn, but at least I was going to be helped.

So I sat down and massaged my now hurting knee. It hurts when I sit to long and as I was already there for a nice hour it felt a bit stiff.

I watched the numbers go by once again and suddenly! 463 too counter 3. As some of you, that know SVB like I do, know. The doctor counters run from 12 till 18 (Think it is 18 can also be higher but it around there). And the lower counters are for "other" things. For instance counter 3 is to receive special forms for "things". What these "things" are I am not sure as I never needed a form. So with great confusion I walked to counter 3.

At counter 3 the previous customer was still being helped, so I waited. To the right of me a lovely lady asked if she could help me. And for the first time that day I was shown a smile in that hell hole. She asked me my number and I said 463. The lady looked at me confused and said "Not sure if you are at the right place". My brain felt something growing inside pressing against my nervous center. As the previous customer got up and walked away from counter 3 I approached and sat down. I greeted the lady who ignored it while she was still typing away on her computer. After a few minutes she stopped her typing with a hard hit on the enter key of her keyboard and finally looked at me. 

"How can I help" she asked me. My brain felt something growing even more. "Well" I said "The signs outside showed I had to go to counter 3" as I showed her my number "463". The lady looked at it confused and actually looked up to see that the LED sign above her counter showed "463". I could read in her eyes the following "But that can not be, by the fires of our job my counter doesn't serve those numbers! We serve 100-300 range and not above!". As she got up to talk to another person I felt  my confusion level rise even higher. The lady came back and said I was at the wrong counter. But how could I be when the counter showed the right number. It called me to counter 3 for some reason! So what was the reason, why did I had to go there. Was I to receive a magical sword to defeat the witches of OZ? Was I to become the king of the rusty throne of slight pointy things? Nope, I was there to receive a new number and a note so I could go to counter 10 to once again give my information. With the new number being, 492. With great joy and excitement to what I would find at counter 10 I returned there to find my lovely ice witch! 

 What a witch...

She looked up at me with her eyes looking right through me. I gave her my new number with the note. I saw one of her head veins pump as she took down my information again and told me to sit down and wait again.
I spend my time waiting mostly by trying to figure out who are the real sick people and who are not. There were for instance 3 ladies next to me loudly talking and laughing while eating breakfast. Clearly you could see they were not sick, and by the way they jumped up and walked away when their number was called there was also nothing physically wrong. Yet apparently one of them got 2 weeks sick days, because that what she told with a smile to one of her friends when they where done. They skipped away, half dancing and singing. I in the meantime could feel my heart beating in my knee again from the pain, and as I had been standing up and sitting down for what was now 3 hours of waiting I had reached my limit. 

But suddenly my name was called, so I got up and walked into the doctors office. She greeted me, asked how I was doing. I told her I was doing better and would like to try to work again, or at least try to. She told me "Good, you can work half days till the end of August", signed a paper and told me to return by August 22. From the time my name was called till the time I was outside the building about 3 minutes had passed. This I still find strange because they just take my word for it that I'm healthy enough to work again. They never checked the leg, my scars, or that I was grunting now with pain while walking.

But I was out now, walking to my car. It took in total 3.5 hours but it was once again done. I almost lost my temper a few times, but I kept my cool. Mostly as if you go shouting inside SVB they will not help you at all. 

So there, another fun story of my dealings with the SVB of Curacao. What did I learn from all this! Nothing at all, there's nothing to learn. Everybody knows it is a giant pain in the ass to deal with SVB. But is one of those pains you just got to bite through. Like going on a place and dealing with airlines.

Well my friends, not looking forward to August 22, but I can tell you one thing. I will never forget the number 463.

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