L&M Hospital…Yes, Them AGAIN


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Most of you Old Timers know about my neighborhood’s struggles with Lawrence and Memorial Hospital Corporation the nasty beast that, once upon a time, was a true and welcome part of our little City on the Thames. Yeah, they’re at it again.

Lawrence & Memorial Hospital Asks Six Towns To Help with Funding for Paramedics Keep in mind this a private not-for-profit hospital that pays no taxes, not even a little chump change out of the goodness of its Grinchy little heart, that bought Westerly Hospital, that expands and extends itself ALL over the place under a shell corporation taking countless properties off already beleaguered tax rolls, and, oh yeah, locked its staff out and threatened to cut off their health insurance. Let’s not forget the rather large salaries paid to the…people…on The Board. And the Parking Lot, of course, let us never forget that monstrosity that I have to gaze at 6 months out of the year. Probably longer this year given all the snow and the fact that there isn’t a bud or blossom anywhere in sight.

Nice people, huh? Real swell guys.

The only good thing about this article is that L&M (it’s not L+M you idiots, I keep telling you jerks to get a better PR firm. L+M=N…morons) is that they’re not just asking poor little ol’ New London to foot the bill for their overspending. That’s exactly what happened; they overspent and now they have a shortfall. B-O-O H-O-O. Don’t know what they’re paying their accounting and investing people but me thinks its too much. If it were you or me we’d just have to live with the fact that we’re in The Red and struggle to get out of it but when you’re L&M you get to hit up every Tom, Dick, and Harriet for cash.

Here’s my most heartfelt suggestion to L&M; Set up a GoFundMe Account…see how far you get. Maybe some of your ‘big investors’ will pony-up for ya. Don’t count on the Little Guy though, after all, L&M could only get 2 people to show up for it’s little Let Us Tell You Why We NEED to Keep the Parking Lot Lights on Until Midnight Meeting. I’ll bet the truth of that low turn out never even entered their bloated heads. The truth is this; no one wants to talk to them anymore. They’ve worn out their welcome with their piggish ways.

Of course, I can’t speak for the other towns who are currently looking at L&M’s open greedy palm but I do know for sure that New London has, you know, a Fire Department that also has, you know, Ambulance Service. So we’re already paying for that. I see no reason to subsidize a private paramedic crew/ambulance. None. In fact, when those paramedic jobs go, I’ll gladly hire the crew on as City Employees. Top that off with the idea that L&M thinks towns should pay based on ‘population’….guess which town has the most people out of the six? Yeah, New London, you know the town that’s already carrying L&M’s dead weight on its nearly broken back…and we’re really just once again over the top. Not that L&M cares, well, ya know, hey, at least their idiotic PR firm doesn’t try something like “The Hospital with a Heart”. At least they’re that honest.

Here’s my proposal for Cost Saving Measures for L&M

1-Stop overspending
2-Stop eating up all of the property you can stuff down your gullet
3-Stop the Valet Service for your employees and make them walk the whole 1/4 mile from the Ocean Ave. lot to the main entrance
4-The Board is obviously overpaid so a salary reduction is in order, gotta tighten those belts Fat Cats
5-The accounting/investment department is also overpaid, more salary reductions are in order
6-The PR firm is also obviously overpaid so….bye-bye

If those things are done L&M might be able to keep its paramedic staff AND FIX THE MAIN BUILDING which is starting to look like New London High School on the inside. It’s pretty bad guys and gals, pretty bad. I wouldn’t want to be sick in a room that has HOSE hanging from the water stained ceiling to direct the leak into a bucket…would you?

Don’t let them fool you with the low ball number of how many ambulance runs actually get paid due to a lack of insurance. They have no problem suing you for the money. None. In fact, they will put you in the proverbial Poor House without a thought or care. I know. They’ve done it to me. Back hospital bills. They sued. They won. My family lived on $1200.00/month for half a year because of them. Oh yeah, and most of those bills, were for my then adult daughter whom L&M thought we should pay for anyway. Let me tell you it’s a lot of fun trying to make the mortgage on that kind of money. They damn near cost me my house. They wouldn’t have batted an eye if it had come to putting us out on the streets.

So it’s their turn. Since living below the poverty level was OK for me and mine due to ‘clerical errors’ and ‘billing oversights’, I think it’s time they dipped below that line too. No more handouts, no more corporate welfare. Suck it up and pay your down damn way, L&M.

Pitfalls


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I was going to make this a pass-protected entry but I’m really not in the mood and now that my anger has subsided I think I can keep my head over this incident. Maybe. We’ll see.

Any-hoo…on Sunday I put out the news that those six stories (plus a bonus story if you can find it) are FREE on Smashwords. I made them free over there at a friend’s suggestion and it happened to coincide with Read An Ebook Week, which is Smashwords’ big yearly promotion. I put the info up on FB, tweeted it, and sent it out to my mailing list. I also told them that they would need to enter the coupon code upon checkout. I knew people would get freaked out and pissy if I told them it was FREE and then they saw the ‘list price’ but, of course, not the coupon code listed right below it.

Downloads were going well. People were coming in left and right to get their free stories. No problems. Then I get one message from Smashwords regarding an actual purchase and I thought; that’s odd, I guess they didn’t see the code. Keep in mind no e-book retailer tells you WHO bought your books just that they were purchased and when and, in the case of Smashwords, whether a coupon code was used.

A short time later I get a nasty email from a list member absolutely BLASTING me because she had to pay for the books that were supposed to be free. Well, she’s ‘furious’ and I’m committing ‘fraud’ with the ‘old bait and switch’.

Ok, calm down, relax. Take a breath. I answer her and tell her the books ARE FREE.

She answers me back with another blast again accusing me of fraud and threatening me with ‘negative reviews’ if she doesn’t get her way.

Another breath. Relax.

I go to my Gmail and plug in her email address to see that she already received a free copy of “The Heart of War”, she asked for and received the “Daughter of the Gods” series, she asked for a free book in conjunction with a promotion but was a day late with her request and was denied, finally she just received a free copy of “Fifty Shades of War”. I begin to wonder just how many books of mine she’s actually purchased or if this accident is the first one. I look at those emails and think to myself; give this history, what right/reason does she have to accuse me of fraud?

I go to the single purchase from Smashwords because, let’s face it, it has to be hers. “Genesis” and “Obsession” were purchased and “Obsession” without a coupon code, either she didn’t enter one or she entered the wrong one (and I think there’s a back-up for that which will let you know you’ve entered a faulty code).

I paste it in an email and explain to her where she made the mistake and tell her that even though her oversight is not my responsibility I’m willing to give her a partial refund out of my own funds because Smashwords doesn’t normally do refunds. I offered to give her $4.68, the amount I was going to receive out of the deal. I point out to her that at no time was any fraud committed against her or anyone else.

No response. The emails were flying fast and furious from her up to that point. I waited and waited knowing in my heart that I wasn’t getting a response because she wanted her last $.58 back as well.

Yesterday afternoon I get a very short email from her telling me Smashwords is refunding her money because the ‘code didn’t work’ (that’s crap, it worked for everyone else! She didn’t enter it.) and she’s ‘sorry about the fuss’.

Yep, that was it. ‘Sorry about the fuss’. That pissed me off more than anything else, what kind of back-handed apology is that? So I asked her; Is that your way of apologizing for accusing me of fraud? I haven’t received a response yet.

I understand that she was miffed. I also understand she made the error on her own then she expected me to pay for her screw up. On the off chance I wouldn’t pay she had the nerve to threaten me with ‘negative reviews’….most likely left for books she’s never purchased and never read. Sweet, huh?

I don’t know what you would have done but I unsubscribed her from my mailing list. She’s gotten her share of free stuff from me and given me enough grief in return. Keep in mind, I can’t find a single review by her for “Heart” anywhere and part of her receiving the book was that she would leave said review. If I can’t find any reviews by her for any of my books…good or bad. She’s never even once been in touch with me to tell me that she read a story of mine or that she liked it or anything at all. What am I losing by getting rid of her? Not much. She can follow me on Twitter or FB or whatever but I don’t have to deliver the news right to her inbox regarding promos and new releases.

I have the sneaking suspicion it’s going to be a while before I run anymore free books after the end of this promo.

The Ballad of Tiggy


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Most of you already know The Ballad of Charlie, my baby kitty that went missing for 8 months. This is sort of like that.

A few weeks ago I started noticing a new cat hanging around my neighbor’s house and thought to myself; Oh she got a new kitty. Notice, my first thought wasn’t the cat was lost or homeless so I didn’t try to ‘steal’ it as was the problem late last year with missing cats in the neighborhood. Thankfully that problem seems to have abated and all kitties are safe.

Anyway, the cat kept hanging around her house crying. It’s freakin’ cold out there and for the life of me I couldn’t understand why my neighbor, who is a very and kind hearted woman, wasn’t letting the cat in the house.

Then late last week the cat came to my deck door. OH MY! Did the fur fly! We’re sitting there having our morning coffee, watching the ‘news’, getting ready to go to work and our cats went insane. We thought something was terribly wrong as we flew to the door where they were gathered, meowing, hissing, backs arched, and Missy actually tried going through the glass but she was unsuccessful. There was the cat. He was staring inside the house as if to say; Oh, please let me in, I’m cold.

Needless to say, with four cats already, that wasn’t happening. So I did put food out for it and tried to get it to come to me. It stared at me as though it wanted to come but it backed away. I thought; that’s not a feral cat.

I took his picture

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I put it up on Facebook in a few places and on CraigsList. My neighbor responded to my FB post that the cat had been hanging around her house for weeks but she had no idea who it belonged to.

Well, that answered why she wasn’t letting it in the house! LOL I’m an idiot sometimes.

I waited hoping someone would contact me recognizing the cold kitty and a few hours later someone did. We exchanged a few emails, she told me the cat’s name, I said I’d call for it by that name the next time I saw it. I didn’t think it was her cat simply because of where her cat went missing which is quite a ways from my house as one drives but not as the crow flies. Still, it’s definitely 5 miles (or more) which is a long journey for a cat. I went to work. We exchanged a few more texts and agreed to meet at my house when I got home.

I got home. No cat. I looked around. No cat. Then I saw it walking through the snow and called for it; “Hey, Tigger, come here Tiggy.” Its ears pricked up, its eyes widened with what looked like relief until Missy spotted him and went nuts again. A little while later the lady showed up and the cat was on the deck. She saw it and said; “OH! Its him!”

He’d been missing for two months through both blizzards. Poor thing. She he was more of an outdoor cat than an indoor cat and he was known to disappear to for days to a week at a time but this was the longest he’d ever been away from home. Originally he was a shelter cat and had always been shy around people until he got to know them. I felt so bad for her, she tried and tried to get the cat to come to her but he was skittish and ran off. She started to panic. I locked Missy and Harry in my office so we could leave the door open hoping the cat would walk through it but he didn’t. Finally she went to get a Have-A-Heart trap. I scraped ice off the deck while she was gone so there’d be room for the trap. She came back, the cat kept hanging around, she baited the trap with a can of tuna and then there wasn’t anything to do but wait. She left with my promise to contact her right away when the cat was trapped.

The whole while I’m thinking; Geez, I hope I don’t wake up to one really pissed off racoon in the morning!

I walked away from the door. I sat down to watch what TV. A few minutes later Missy starts hissing. I know the cat is back on the deck. I peek outside and there he is sniffing around the trap. That cat tried everything to get that tuna just short of walking into the damn trap. I watched and waited and held my breath as he finally went inside, little by little, inch by inch, until he got to the tuna….and started chowing down. Two paws over the trap-plate and two paws behind it. I thought; you little shit! I started to wonder if I could throw up the door and tip the trap before the cat ran off again. He’s just sitting in there eating away and sneering at Missy from the corner of his eye. Finally he stepped on the plate.

That thing closed. The cat jumped! The cage rattled and I threw open the door, picked it up, and plopped him down on the table to shoot her the text she’d been waiting for.

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I think she broke the speed record for getting her house to mine! She showed up with her wife, both of them very excited, happy, and relieved to have their cat back. I was very happy, excited, and relieved for them. I know just how they felt and it was really good to be able to be the one who reunited them. Yep, as soon as they left, I did a little Happy Dance, looked up and very proudly said “Thank you!”

I have the strangest feeling its going to be a while before Tiggy goes off on any more jaunts. I think he’s locked in the house for a while just like Charlie.

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