Since I last wrote about this topic I have been offered a job at small medical billing office. I took the job with much trepidation. It appears that fear motivated me to accept the job although I had a very uneasy feeling about it. Yes, I said fear, as in fear of poverty. I live in a poverty-infested area where drugs are rampant and crime is on the rise. Good paying jobs are few and far between.
My first day started with the usual necessities such as filling out a W-4 form and providing emergency contact information. I watched a few training videos explaining how to use their software program. After the preliminaries were completed it was time for lunch. I was only afforded 30 minutes so I hurriedly ran down the stairs out into the open air of freedom. I raced to my car and went in search of a cheap, but delicious lunch. I belatedly realized that there was road construction going on in several areas of the city. I got caught up in traffic and barely made it back to work on time, but I made it and on time.
As I went to my desk to sit down I noticed one of the owners standing outside of my cubicle. I hadn’t met him yet so I thought he had come over to introduce himself and get to know me a bit. I began talking about very mundane things such as my educational background, etc. I noticed that he began looking to his left and seemed to lose interest in what I was talking about. I stopped talking at one point and turned around thinking that he was brushing me off. Finally I made the excuse of having to go to the restroom. He just kept standing there. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. He was clearly not interested in a conversation with me. When I returned back to my desk I noticed he was gone. A few minutes passed and my boss who is also the CEO of the company approached me and asked me to meet her in one of their conference rooms for “more training.”
Once I was seated in the conference room with her she didn’t seem to be in any hurry to start the meeting. Finally after a few minutes of chit-chat she mentioned that we were waiting on one of my co-workers to join us. Once the co-worker joined the room our boss asked her to close the door for privacy. She then proceeded to explain to the two of us that one of our other co-workers had just been fired and that’s why the other owner had been standing next to my desk. He had been watching the recently fired employee to make sure that she packed her things up quickly and didn’t try to take any company materials. I was shocked. I had not realized what was going on at the time, but then it all began to make sense. If that wasn’t shocking enough our boss then began talking about her in the most unprofessional way by resorting to name calling and accusing her of intentionally making mistakes that cost the company money. At one point, the boss and CEO of the company called the recently fired employee a fat heifer. She stooped even further and began talking about another of her employees to the two of us. Nervous laughter abounded in that small room with neither of us knowing how to respond to what was being said. I was still reeling from the fact that the woman I had just met earlier in the day had been fired right in front of me. Our boss began laughing and making fun of one of the employees who said she would be leaving soon to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a country music singer in Nashville.
The reason for the meeting was so our boss could explain what was expected from the two of us. She went on to explain that the two of us were being assigned to one of her biggest clients. We would be required to process 300 medical claims a day making sure that all the information is correct. We would also be required to research the denials, fix the claims and resubmit to the patient’s insurance company for payment. I found out over the course of our conversation that the other co-worker in the room with us had only been hired three weeks prior. I kept trying to figure out why our boss would give one of her most important accounts to two brand-new people. She then proceeded to shock me even more when she told us that on top of our “normal” workload we were going to have to work 8 months’ worth of collections that our former co-worker had neglected to do. The collections work was to be completed by the end of the year, five weeks later. The “normal” workload was to be completed by the end of the month, 8 days later. We would be expected to complete all of the work and absolutely no overtime was allowed.
When our “meeting” was over I went to my desk to sit and ponder all the new information she had just imparted. Within 5 minutes I was moving to a new desk again – this time to the desk of the co-worker who had just been fired. Her desk looked like an explosion of papers had gone off, which it probably did in her haste to flee with her sanity from the bowels of hell. It took 3 hours to clean up her desk. I had just cleaned my last desk earlier that morning. About halfway through cleaning up the mess my boss came up to me and said that she was too upset to continue training me and that we would start fresh the next morning. About 10 minutes later I heard her telling some of the other workers that she was going home. I had no idea how long I was supposed to stay. I didn’t have a login ID or password to get onto the system. I had just finished cleaning my desk so I left.
I went home and explained to my husband all that happened on my first day at work. We both thought that the events were strange simply because of what all had happened. I vowed that I would go to work the next day with a positive mindset and get busy soaking up all the training information. My boss decided that she didn’t feel like training me until after lunch. She gave me a login ID and password and told me to “play around” on the computer to get acquainted with the software. I diligently tried to learn as much as I could referring back to my notes from the day before while watching the training videos, which was about 30 minutes of actual training.
Back from lunch, she asked me to come to her office, to shut the door for privacy and have a seat. She began the “training” by talking about my co-workers again in a disparaging way. She showed me a few things on the computer, told me to take notes and then explained that she had fired another co-worker just a week before. So two people had been fired within a week of each other for making too many mistakes. At this point, I had become very uncomfortable and realized with much clarity that my boss was bat-shit crazy! Her moods swung like a pendulum on a clock. One minute she would be laughing and the next she was snap in anger. She then reiterated to me what my job duties were going to be and told me that I would be responsible for cleaning up my former co-worker’s mistakes. All of sudden she looked at me square in the eyes and said in a menacing tone, “don’t make mistakes or you will deal with me!” I don’t know how I was able to maintain my composure when the woman was clearly threatening me. I think I was just shocked. I have never had a boss like her before. I was still trying to process what she had just said when my user ID began popping up on her computer screen. “Why is your name on here?” she demanded. “Have you been posting payments already?” she accused. Now mind you, this was my second day. I didn’t even know how to post a payment using the new software that I had been given 30 minutes of training on. After a few minutes I explained that there was no way I could have done anything with her accounts. “Well, your user ID is on here. It has to be you!” I should have gotten up and left right then, but for some reason I was stuck to my seat. It’s like my legs had a mind of their own.
Several harrowing minutes went by and she realized that it couldn’t be me after all. Then she began accusing my co-worker of using my user ID. “Why would she use my ID?” I asked her trying to get her to see the logic behind her accusation. Finally she called the other owner and asked what could be going on. Turns out – it was a computer glitch. At that, I wanted to get as far away from her as possible so I began gathering my stuff to leave. I began to summarize what my job duties would be so that I completely understood what she wanted me to do. I asked her a couple of questions and then out of the blue, she says, “I thought you said you’ve done this before.” Her scowl deepened to a growl. I left the office, went to my desk fuming in frustration and anger.
Just like the day before, a few minutes later she exited her office and announced she was leaving. I waited about 5 minutes, gathered my personal belongings and left. I had been accused and threatened, been privy to her madness and mocked. I had had enough. I left and I will not go back. This latest job from hell lasted 2 days and in my opinion it was 2 days too long. The woman clearly makes money in spite of herself. In my mind, she is a malignancy – a soul-sucking infestation of mental and emotional imbalance constantly on the prowl to abuse anyone that she can.
Until next time….