Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I completed my refresher course for Election Judging last week. It was a quick, efficient one evening workshop. Our next election is April 2 and I doubt most people know there is another election. I’m baffled as to why we have another election, which is fairly expensive, when we just had one in November. I know that the City of Chicago is electing a new mayor and they want the focus on that city race and have traditionally elected mayors and aldermen in the spring. That makes sense. I have no idea why there’s a suburban election.

The weather’s still bleak, though warmer. It’s that ugly pre-spring time with lots of brown, some patches of dirty snow, a bit of sunshine, but more gray skies.

I’m still watching the news about the College Entrance Scandal. The people arrested, from what I understand, were in California. I’ve got to think that in all the big cities this sort of corruption exists.

Saturday I attended a program for aspiring writers at my library. The speaker gave tips on revision, which is a challenging part of writing for me. I did come away with some good ideas and verification that what I’m now doing is good practice. I’m lucky to have a library that supports the local writers’ endeavors.

I enjoyed watching Michel Simon in Le Poison and will soon post my review on this French film.

I’m finishing up The Old Wives’ Tale and just love Arnold Bennett. I also started reading Lisa See’s newest book The Island of the Sea Women. I’m surprised that See has written about Korea since her other books that I’ve read are set in China. This book covers the women on Jeju Island, who support their families by diving for seafood.

What would you share about your past week?

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At the Hospital

I just heard this from a friend at my book club. I was stunned.

He went to a local hospital for a blood test. Before the test, he had to sign a form. Rather than sign on the electronic device with a stylus, he asked to sign a paper version. When he read the form, he noticed that it said that by signing the form he gave up his right to sue the hospital, healthcare personnel or to join a class action suit.

He crossed out that wording, even though he doubted he’d sue. The woman at the desk said he couldn’t do that. After he disputed her, she told him that if he amended the form, the hospital would not submit his claim to his insurance company. He’d have to pay for the test himself.

He asked to see a manager. When he did the manager admitted that the hospital couldn’t refuse to submit a claim for the blood test to insurance, but that he just instructed his staff to tell people that. Thus the manager was telling his staff to lie to patients to compel people to give up their rights.

If you encounter such a requirement, know that you’re probably being hoodwinked.

My friend is planning to contact the nearest city newspaper. I hope people learn that they’re being lied to. Another woman at the book club shared that she went to a new doctor and was given a similar form and was told that if she didn’t sign a paper waiving her legal right to sue, the doctor wouldn’t see her.

I understand that doctors worry about law suits, baseless and not, but that’s been the case for decades and they do have insurance for malpractice. Yes, that can be expensive depending on the doctor’s speciality and other factors, but it’s part of doing business.

I just spoke with my brother, who’s a lawyer about this. He says these “I won’t sue” clauses aren’t enforceable. You can sue. Still this practice is deceptive.

I’d refuse to waive any rights.

Poem of the Week

A Purification

by Wendell Berry

At the start of spring I open a trench
in the ground. I put into it
the winter’s accumulation of paper,
pages I do not want to read
again, useless words, fragments,
errors. And I put in it
the contents of the outhouse
light of the sun, growth of the ground,
finished with one of their journeys.
To the sky, to the wind, then,
and to the faithful trees, I confess
my sins: that I have not been happy
enough, considering my good luck,
have listened to too much noise,
have been inattentive to wonders,
have lusted after praise.
And then upon the gathered refuse
of mind and body, I close the trench,
folding shut again the dark,
the deathless earth. Beneath that seal
the old escapes the new.