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Friday, May 19, 2017

I rode my bike into the CVS

Prologue: 

A few weeks ago, I switched OBGyns and went to my new dude. He wrote me a prescription for birth control because I take hormonal birth control in pill form because I'm a woman who doesn't want any more children and who doesn't want an IUD and this is how society solves that problem.

Anyway.

A couple days later, I get a call from my pharmacy. A life-saving call.

"Hi, we noticed your doctor prescribed Ortho tri cyclen lo for you. Is that correct?"

... ... ...

"Oh my GOD, NO. Change it, CHANGE IT. That is how I got twins the last time. They switched me to lo."

They laugh. Everyone loves the twin joke that is actually not a joke at all but truth-to-life facts what happened for real.

We hang up.

I live my life. I had two weeks left before EMERGENCY FILL YOUR PRESCRIPTION time, which is when I like to fill it. I'm deadline oriented, guys, okay?


Present Day:

Okay, so today it was definitely EMERGENCY FILL YOUR PRESCRIPTION time. I called the pharmacy to make sure they still have my order.

They've never heard of the prescription. No record of it. No idea what I was talking about at all. Even though they called me about it literally two weeks ago.

I called the doctor's office. I got a great woman on the other end of the line who was incensed for me even though I wasn't even mad yet.

"We FILLED that through ESCRIPT on APRIL 26th at TWELVE FIFTY NINE PEE EM" she half shouted at me. "YOU TELL THEM THAT."

I called the pharmacy back. I told them. I really did!

They still had never heard of this. Couldn't find it in their system. I told them about the previous mistake, low to regular, and they checked their mistake order files. Nothing.

I call the doctor's back. I get the same woman. She has the people who resend orders resend the order.

By this time, I'd wasted nearly an hour going back and forth and explaining my situation to each new person and the twin not-a-joke joke was getting really old to me.

I decided to kill two birds with one stone and cycle to the pharmacy which is three miles away. I threw my credit card in my pocket and put my phone in the holder with Runkeeper on cycle mode.

I had forgotten one thing. The bike belongs to my husband and it's one of those new-fangled electric bikes. I didn't have a bike lock, and I'd have just left it if it was mine, but it was not mine. And if it got stolen, I would not only not have a way home other than walking (and the girls would be getting out of school soon), but I'd have to explain to my husband that I rode his bike to the pharmacy and left it outside while I argued with the pharmacist tech for an hour and let it get stolen. No thanks.

So, what was I going to do?

I decided to try to go through the drive thru pharmacy window. But I wasn't sure about it. Can a bicycle go through the drive thru? I didn't think it could. But then again, why not? I was on wheels. Wasn't that the requirement? I didn't know, but I got in line behind a very old woman who took about 20 minutes to fill her scrip and sign.

Finally, I walk my bike up.

"I'm sorry ma'am but for your own safety, you have to be in a vehicle to use this lane."

Now, I have dealt with this tech before, and he's nice and I like him, and I wasn't mad that I couldn't use the drive thru because, honestly, I was pretty sure I couldn't use the drive thru. I was pretty irritated that he'd let me chill behind that lady for 20 minutes without giving me a heads up. I mean, for my own safety is fine, except what about my safety for the 20 minutes I was sitting between that pristine 1975 Lincoln and the Dodge Ram just behind me. Plus, I was back to my problem of not being able to leave the bike.

"I'll have to ride the bike in!"

The dude didn't make as if to stop me, so I rode my bike in. I probably should have walked it in, but, like I said, I was pretty irritated.

You would hope it would be all badass, like you cruise in gracefully, stop right at the right desk and order your refill, but, alas, I live in real life, and I maybe almost fell, and definitely somehow upended the pile of hand baskets for people who get a billion things in the pharmacy and then pay for them with coupons and change. After that, I threw down the kickstand and asked the same guy who had just seen me at the window for my birth control now that we were both inside.

And

The pharmacy still had no record of this prescription. I talked to the pharmacist tech. It was noon, so the pharmacist was on lunch break. Which meant no answers were coming.

But then

I remembered I had my phone, a phone that actually makes calls when it's not being used as a fitness tracker. I called the doctor's again, had the woman repeat the scrip to me, then I put her on my phone with the pharmacist tech who was really doing a phenomenal job putting up with my shit. He really is a perfectly sweet guy. Hell, maybe he even was concerned with my safety, I don't know.

He listened to them, and I heard him repeat, Low in the bc name. I mouthed NOOOOOOOO at the cool tech, and he thumbs-upped me. He knew what was going on.

He hung up the phone and said, "hey, I remember this now. You're the woman who had twins on Low, and we called them to have them change the prescription, but they never did."

So, he straightened it all out and they're going to text me when it's ready, hopefully before Sunday, and, bonus, there were apparently some unfilled mail-order birth control pills and the tech said he could get those for me too.

"I don't think I can get them before Sunday though," he said.

"I don't mind that, I just need the one before Sunday. I want the rest just as soon as we can get it, since Trump is our president, and who knows how long we'll have access to this stuff."

He laughed.

And now I have a new joke that is actually not a joke at all but truth-to-life facts what happened for real.


FIN.





Monday, May 8, 2017

How to Teach College Students About Financial Responsibility - Guest post


When it comes to financial matters, twelve years of primary education and four years of college do little to prepare students for the real world. In most schools, math classes focus on algebra and geometry instead of interest rates and budgets. That means it’s up to you to teach your kids about financial responsibility. When I graduated from high school, I had nothing but a checking account and the promise of scholarship money. I learned these four financial lessons the hard way, but your kid doesn’t have to.

1) The Importance of a Credit Score
When I was younger, it was hard for me to understand why bad credit is considered better than no credit. Eventually, a helpful loan officer explained it this way: your credit score represents the likelihood that you’ll pay back a loan. If you have a bad credit score, the lender can still review your history and make an informed decision. If you don’t have a credit score, the lender has no idea how to evaluate you.

If you want to help your teen build and understand credit, consider adding them as an authorized user or helping them get a secured credit card.

2) The Value of a Vehicle
I inherited my mom’s old Buick at the age of 16, and it served me well until my junior year of college. When it finally died, I was 20 years old and making $7.50 an hour. I had no idea how to fix it, so I bought a used Volkswagon Bug from a shifty dealership. Two weeks later, the car started shooting flames from the radio. Save your child from similar mechanical difficulties with these tips:

  • Schedule routine maintenance and seasonal maintenance for your vehicle. This will prevent a costly repair or replacement.
  • Consider leasing, buying, and public transportation when evaluating new transportation options.
  • Value efficiency over brand name. A Volkswagon Bug won’t serve a college student as well as a 4-door sedan.
  • When buying, focus on important features like a collision warning system, electronic stability control, lane-keep assist, or handsfree bluetooth.
  • Shop around for car insurance. Don’t settle on your first quote.

While it’s difficult to purchase a car in college, it is possible. Before you purchase a new or used car, read up on tips for purchasing a vehicle in college.

3) The Essentials of Budgeting
Budgeting was also a significant challenge during my college years. Between school books, car maintenance, and a mean latte addiction, I found myself “broke” at least twice a month. Teach your child to budget for these essentials before they spend their money on expenses:

  • Debt payments
  • School expenses (tuition and books)
  • Rent and utilities (electricity, gas etc.)
  • Transportation (gas, auto maintenance, etc.)
  • Communication (internet, phone bill, etc.)
  • Medical expenses (prescriptions, co-pays)
  • Food and household goods (groceries, cleaning products, etc.)
  • Pet expenses (food, vet, etc.)

After these essentials are locked down, calculate the subtotal and subtract it from your teen’s total income. With the remaining funds, make a budget for these flexible expenses:

  • Personal expenses (haircuts, clothing, toiletries etc.)
  • Eating out (Starbucks, fast food, sul-service restaurants etc.)
  • Entertainment (movies, eating out, drinks, etc.)
  • Savings (emergency fund, deposit for larger

The key to a good budget is realism. If you create an impossibly strict budget, it will encourage overspending. If you need additional help in this area, check out this digital budgeting tool.

4) The Importance of Saving
I never saved my money in high school. I squandered my graduation money on a summer road trip and never looked back. Now that I’m in my late twenties, I have very little in my emergency fund and even less saved for retirement. I’m starting to change that, but I wish I had started sooner. That said, you can save your child from wanton spending with these tips:

  • Teach your child to keep a 6-month emergency fund for unexpected expenses
  • Visit with a financial planner to learn about an independent retirement account
  • Teach your child to look for jobs that offer a 401(k)


While this guide is by no means complete, it will give you a way to start discussing financial responsibility with your child. Above all, I encourage you to be honest. Discuss your own struggles with money and describe the repercussions. This will help to transform “financial responsibility” from a vague concept to a set of daily choices.



Jason Goetz is an aspiring writer who graduated from Arizona State University with degrees in communications & media studies. He enjoys hiking & world travel in his free time. If you have any other questions, email him: jaysongoetzz@gmail.com.



Thursday, March 9, 2017

Lessons from a locksmith: How to avoid locking your kids in the car, s post

If you are like most people, you probably have been locked out of your car at one point or another. Imagine just how frightening it would be if your child was locked inside.

As much as I pride myself on being a good parent, I have to admit that this happened to me. I had just finished shopping at Costco and was loading the groceries into the back of my vehicle. My son climbed into the back while I was dealing with the groceries. As I was closing the back hatch of the vehicle, I suddenly realized that my purse was sitting in the back of my car and that my keys were inside. It was too late, however, and I wound up locking my child inside. Fortunately, I was able to get help right away from a local locksmith.

Mornings are incredibly hectic in most households. There are countless tasks to take care of before you can get out the door and get on with your day. With so much going on, you may find that you are incredibly distracted. How many times have you shown up at your job only to realize that you left something important at home or that you forgot to do something before you left your house?

Distractions are a normal part of parenting. There are so many different situations that need to be dealt with at any given moment that it is hard to keep up with everything.

With so much going on, it is extremely easy to forget important things. Do you ever find yourself questioning whether you unplugged your curling iron after you left your house in the morning? Have you ever headed out the door only to realize that you forgot your diaper bag? Worst of all, have you ever accidentally locked your child in your car?

Although it may sound impossible, it is actually far easier than you might think. If and when you do mistakenly lock your child in your car, you need to contact a locksmith right away. The following tips will help you avoid making this common mistake.

Never leave your kids in the car alone. It is tempting to just run into a grocery store to grab what you need without making your kids get out and come in with you. In many states, however, you are required by law to take your children with you. If you never leave your child unattended in a vehicle, you don't have to worry about accidentally locking them inside.

Never let your child play with your keys or leave them in a place where they can access them. Most modern key fobs have a button that allows you to automatically lock or unlock the doors on your vehicle. If your child happens to hit this button, they can lock themselves inside. If nothing else, make sure that you have a spare set of keys handy all the time so that you can unlock your car doors if needed.

As a backup safety check, make sure that the person who cares for your child will contact you if your child happens to be absent. Although it may seem like you would never forget your child in the car, it is easier than you might think. Every year, parents throughout the country wind up devastated after forgetting that they have their child with them and leaving them in a hot car all day.

Get in the habit of looking at the car seat in your car every time you get out of your vehicle. You may want to put reminders in your car such as a note on your dashboard. That way, it will be easier for you to remember to check each time you get out of your car.

Finally, be sure to keep the phone number of a qualified locksmith with you at all times so that you can get help right away if you need it. If you’re in need of a locksmith local to Tampa, Florida check out America’s Lock and Key.





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