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Rollo Coaster: A Red Pill guru gets dumped from a convention for “unbecoming conduct” and now all the alpha dudes are mad at each other

Rollo Tomassi, preaching the alpha male gospel in his favorite alpha male cap

By David Futrelle

There’s some high drama going on in a segment of the manosphere I generally ignore because I find it so tedious. Several days ago, you see, the head grifter behind a long-running series of manosphere conventions booted one of the scheduled speakers — “Red Pill” guru Rollo Tomassi — from all future events. And it’s not at all clear why.

“This removal was made for private conduct unbecoming of a 21 convention alumni speaker,” declared the organizer, Anthony Dream Johnson, in a long but distinctly uninformative statement. This unspecified conduct, he continued, was

irreconcilable in regard to his future involvement with the organization … Out of respect for my relationship with Rollo, I intend to keep the nature of this offense a private matter.

So we don’t know if the accused, say, sexually harassed someone — or if the two alpha males are just having some sort of alpha male slapfight behind the scenes. Most observers seem to think it’s probably the latter. One commenter in the Red Pill subreddit joked about some of the other possibilities:

The top 3 speculations are that he impersonated someone’s online identity, that he tried to conspire to make someone look bad, that he fed a down syndrome kid’s pet goldfish to an alligator.

But no one’s talking, at least not publicly, so the reasons for Johnson’s action remain as much of a mystery as why anyone, even the thirstiest incel schlub, would pay anywhere from $1500 to $2500 to go to one of his 21 Conventions to see a bunch of self-proclaimed alpha males regurgitate the same stale “wisdom” they serve up for free on their various YouTube channels.

For now, most of the people who care about this sort of manosphere drama seem to be siding with Tomassi, a longtime fixture in the community, over the mercurial Johnson. “This is like kicking out Van Halen from Van Halen,” one Redditor wrote.

In the several days since Tomassi’s dismissal, a number of others scheduled to give presentations at upcoming 21 Conferences have either quit or been kicked out, presumably for supporting Tomassi. And some who’ve bought tickets for the cons are demanding their money back.

Right now, it seems, everyone in this segment of the manosphere is mad at everyone else (or mad at everyone who’s mad). “21 Convention Founder Anthony Johnson aka @beachmuscles will now be referred to as ‘Red Pill Judas,'” a former 21 Convention participant known as Jon from Modern Life Dating declared on Twitter.

On YouTube, meanwhile, antifeminist videoblabber YogiOabsa declared that Tomassi — best known for his series of “Rational Male” books — was a “fragile male” who deserved to be “CANCELLED” by the Red Pill community.

In the Red Pill subreddit, both Tomassi and Johnson have their supporters — and their detractors. But most commenters there seem to regard the dispute between the two as so much “bitchy drama … like a bunch of chicks clacking ” in the words of one commenter.

Infamous Red Pill subreddit commenter and sometime troll GayLubeOil dismissed Johnson as a “shady asshole” — but reserved most of his venom for Rollo and some of his better-known supporters, whom he labeled “blue pill beta males.” These are fighting words, in Red Pill land.

“Beta males can only learn things the hard way,” he wrote,

because they are ego invested in not seeing the truth. Anthony Johnson is the real Red Pill alpha Master for exposing these deluded Bloopsters.

Also they don’t even lift.

Others heaped scorn on the pricey convention itself.

“Can’t even imagine the smell at these types of conventions,” wrote someone called zdenipeni. “Yuh.”

“They all sell some perfume or shampoo laced with special pheromones,” added Lucifyer, “they might accidentally seduce each other some day and it would be a sausage fest.”

I guess we’ll have to wait and see if the details of Tomassi’s alleged “unbecoming conduct” ever come out. Until then, I can only say

H/T — Thanks to the reader who pointed me to this whole controversy

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ReductiveChaos
ReductiveChaos
2 years ago

@Surplus: Zantac (or ranitidine, as Simon noted), up to 150mg per-tablet, can be picked up off-the-shelf (not even over-the-counter) from almost any drugstore in Canada. If you know the dosage you were at, you can buy it and take it yourself without a prescription involved. It’s not dirt cheap (about $0.50 per 150mg tablet, I think), but it’s not as bank-breaking as some meds.

I think the only issue would be if it were covered by some extra insurance as a result of being a prescription. If that’s the case, you could try talking to your pharmacist, as they have the authority to extend prescriptions at their discretion. (They often won’t do this for newer or potentially-dangerous prescriptions — but long-term, unsafe-to-stop, or safe-to-use prescriptions, they are more likely do it.) If you explain that your doctor dropped you as a patient, but you need it to be a prescription for insurance purposes, they may be able to extend the prescription until you can find a new doctor.

Moon_custafer
Moon_custafer
2 years ago

@Surplus:

Don’t know if this would help, but do you have an email address for your doctor you could use to do an end-run around the receptionist and ask the doctor directly what’s going on and, if they really won’t see you, for a referral to someone else (and a transfer of your medical records as suggested above)?

Speaking as someone who occasionally gets blown off by the person answering the phone at our pharmacy, only for my spouse to call them and get a different person who’s willing to actually check the files instead of assuming, doing the equivalent of trying to speak to a manager sometimes works.

kupo
kupo
2 years ago

Americans hoping to get Canadian health care should wonder why they aspire to only barely improve, from the worst to second-worst among developed countries.

I mean, we want free, quality healthcare for all, but we’ll take what Canada has in the interim because it’s at least better. Not sure why complaints about Ford’s attacks on healthcare had to turn into “Americans are a bunch of rubes!”

@Surplus
Some of the hardest working, most dedicated folks I’ve had the pleasure to work with have been teams located in Hyderabad. The also took a ton of shit and accusations of laziness and incompetence (both blatantly false) with patience and grace, which is something the white dudes hurling this abuse at them would never be able to manage. Stop with your racist bullshit.

Catalpa
Catalpa
2 years ago

@Surplus

In my (admittedly somewhat limited) experience, walk in clinics in Ontario mainly want to get you in and out as quickly as possible. If you needed to get a prescription for a new drug, then this would probably be a stumbling block for you, but since you just need a renewal, it’s very likely that you can just go in with your old prescription, show it to the doctor, go “I need a renewal” and be approved and ushered out of the examination room in minutes. I doubt that they will be interested in your symptoms, your reasoning, or little else.

Certainly it’s not an ideal solution, but it’s something that can be used as a stopgap one until Healthcare Connect can get you a doctor.

Jamborina Squib
Jamborina Squib
2 years ago

@Surplus

Fellow ODSP mammother here. First thing I would do is contact my worker. There’s a chance they might be able to advocate on your behalf or at least have some resources to help you find a new health provider.

As for walk-in clinics, is hard to say without knowing your location. Until I moved near Peterborough years ago (before moving away again), I genuinely had no idea there were some cities that had no walk-in clinics. Worst come worst, there is always the ER if your condition gets severe or you are in crisis – I would only rec this as a Last Resort.(Used to work night shift in ER and yeah, dont usually recommend people populating with non urgent issues if they have alternatives.)

Again, each city has different resources so its hard to say. I wish you luck through it all.

Scanisaurus
Scanisaurus
2 years ago

@Surplus
That’s sounds absolutely horrible!

You know, your comment made me think, that whenever a filmmaker want to show how horrible the middle ages were (regardless of how horrible they actually were), they always show people getting tortured in a dungeon and roving gangs of bandits casually killing innocent villagers for little to no reason, and we in the audience are meant to gasp at how horrible and barbaric it was back then because people were casually killed and tortured by bandits or evil feudal lords, yet people today being sentenced to slow and agonizing deaths from perfectly curable diseases because capitalism? Well, that’s just deemed the natural order of things.

Pie
Pie
2 years ago

@Kat

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that RT was caught being a good guy. That’s not something the Red Pillers will tolerate.

@Surplus

He probably treated a woman like she was a human being.

You don’t get referred to as a “red pill guru” and get invited to speak at these kind of events if you’re a good guy, or even a reasonable and civil guy. I think the nicest thing you can say about this guy is that he isn’t Roosh or Heartiste.

Probably he hit on on the partner or daughter or mother of one of the other 3rd degree high exalted alphas there. Or more likely groped them, given that he doesn’t appear to be defending himself.

M K
M K
2 years ago

“…that he fed a down syndrome kid’s pet goldfish to an alligator.”

I just…why. Why even bring that up.

Also, yeah, speaking as an American, we’d settle for “better” in the interim over what we have, which is basically all the problems I’ve heard Canadians describe, PLUS out-of-control price-gouging.

As for Zantac, off-brand/store brand ranitidine is available over here, too, over the counter, although depending on your dose, you may go through it pretty fast and the cost per pack may add up. But short term, it’ll do you, especially if you can safely combine it with other stuff like Tums or Pepto, and home remedies for indigestion (stomach-soothing caffeine-free herbal tea, cola that’s gone flat, and yogurt for the cultures are some I’ve heard of). Obviously, if you’re allergic to any of those or if they’re contraindicated by anything else you take, you shouldn’t take them; you may need to research and use your own judgment there.

(And yeah, at least in the states, and probably in Canada too if your system is the “second-worst,” nobody in health care gives a shit if you can’t get insulin. People set up gofundme’s here and/or literally die because of that. As a type 1 diabetic it’s an anxiety of mine. I suspect it’s [somehow] not actionable.)

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
2 years ago

Related tangentially because of the concept of “conduct unbecoming”, I do not understand* why the Beyhive doesn’t condemn Jay-Z for exactly the same “disrespect” that Nicole Curran received death threats for.

*I understand fully, husbands can do whatever they want. Although I was not actually aware that briefly speaking across someone when confined to rows and you all know each other was considered rude.

Curious_Diversions
Curious_Diversions
2 years ago

@Surplus

Here are a couple of things that us American Poors do when we find ourselves in this situation.

1- Call the Pharma company that manufactures your medication. Often they have assistance programs available when you lose coverage. They may also liaison with providers to recommend or help you find a provider in your area.

2- Call a local hospital or health care group. They don’t want you in the ER anymore than you want to be there. Check their website for a Patient Relations or Patient Assistance number. You may try looking up their Public Relations number or Media Relations (although that may be less useful). If all else fails, you can dig into their website until you find their leadership team and email the most Customer Relations looking title you find.

If you’re feeling really peeved, you can contact Accreditation Canada https://accreditation.ca/intl-en/ . If the provider who dumped you is accredited, it’s a Really Big Deal to have a complaint filed against you.

Sorry this happened to you. Even if everything works out, it is so hard that you have to waste energy on this crisis.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
2 years ago

Yeah, that’s another thing that bothers me about all of this. They made an arbitrary and capricious decision, and all but admitted that it was that (certainly they never even tried to pretend it was “for cause”) … but apparently I am expected to do a whole lot of work to clean up the mess they made, or else live without proper healthcare.

Doesn’t that seem wrong to you?

In fact, isn’t “we demand that you suddenly drop everything in your life and do this work, or else $(nasty_consequences)” more-or-less the definition of slavery? I mean obviously this is far milder than Roman-era slavery and orders of magnitude milder still than antebellum South slavery, but that’s where it begins, isn’t it, with being forced essentially at gunpoint to drop your own life to labor on someone else’s behalf, at their whim? The only thing missing is making it an at least semi-permanent state of indenturedness.

I don’t mean to minimize what actual slaves have endured. I mean to point out that this kind of thing being done to random citizens, and that being normalized and tolerated by society, puts that society on a road that if pursued far enough leads to some very dark places.

(Before anyone mentions “what about doing your taxes”, I’d argue that the same applies there: why are we expected to do all the labor — without being expert, accredited accountants, and under pain of prison if we fuck it up sufficiently severely — of calculating our taxes instead of the government doing that itself, with all the relevant expertise and access to bank and other records that it has, and then just invoicing us? With still an option to calculate it yourself if you suspect they screwed up or are scamming you and then if you find a discrepancy dispute it, of course. The way the system operates right now, it basically just adds an extra tax that gets paid directly to the private, for profit monopolist Intuit. But then, that’s probably the whole point, isn’t it?)

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
2 years ago

Apparently in the States taxes are kept deliberately tough to do by Republicans to make sure that everyone hates doing their taxes and therefore hates taxes. And also so they feel the pain of every cent being paid to the government instead of just seeing the final numbers and moving on with their lives, again for the same reason. Not sure about the Canadian case, though I know that with a lot of do-it-at-home tax software, it is possible to click an option that automatically imports your T4s and other things like that, instead of having to type in all the information yourself, so there is some progress being made.

Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
2 years ago

slavery?????

Catalpa
Catalpa
2 years ago

Ah, so we’ve gotten to the point of “This very unpleasant thing that has happened to me is proof that the entire world is conspiring against me and the absolute biggest injustice ever is that I need to put any effort into getting this sorted out! No advice is good enough, the only acceptable thing is the world being immediately made perfect this very second!” again. I don’t know why I’m surprised.

Look, the gist of what you’re saying is right. You shouldn’t have the rug pulled out from under you like this. You shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get the medication you require. What happened to you isn’t fair.

That said, I don’t really understand what the point of what you keep doing here? You come to ask us for advice, then when the commentariat attempts to help, you at best ignore any input, and at worst lambast the advice-giver for even trying when the advice isn’t something that’s 100% to your liking. You rant about how Indian service workers are incompetent and compare your situation to slavery.

I just… what kind of outcome do you want from this interaction? For strangers on the internet to be able to press a magical “fix everything immediately” button for you? For us to not attempt to give you any advice and just sympathize with how oppressed you, personally, are? For us to overthow the Ford government (believe me, if I could, I would)? Do you just want to yell at people?

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
2 years ago

@Pie

@Kat

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that RT was caught being a good guy. That’s not something the Red Pillers will tolerate.

@Surplus

He probably treated a woman like she was a human being.

You don’t get referred to as a “red pill guru” and get invited to speak at these kind of events if you’re a good guy, or even a reasonable and civil guy.

You’re telling me! I’m sure that everyone was astounded when RT did something nice. I certainly was.

The Red Pillers did what they had to do: drum him out of their group.

Viscaria
Viscaria
2 years ago

@Surplus

In fact, isn’t “we demand that you suddenly drop everything in your life and do this work, or else $(nasty_consequences)” more-or-less the definition of slavery?

It’s absolutely not. That’s an offensively limited definition of slavery that only exists to justify your comparison. I might as well say the definition of slavery is “experiencing unpleasant things,” which is why stubbing my toe is a lot like slavery, if you really think about it.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy

@Rapid Rabbit

Apparently in the States taxes are kept deliberately tough to do by Republicans to make sure that everyone hates doing their taxes and therefore hates taxes. And also so they feel the pain of every cent being paid to the government instead of just seeing the final numbers and moving on with their lives, again for the same reason.

I was talking recently with a US friend about taxes and he said basically this. It’s really something.
I mean, if I don’t have a lot of deductibles, it takes me half an hour to do my taxes each year. The online form is pre-filled – all I need to do is check everything is correct, add any extras, and hit “submit”. Any refund is processed within 2 weeks.

Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
2 years ago

Wait, it doesn’t auto fill for americans??? That’s ridiculous!

@Surplus – no.

You *always* do this, and it is frustrating af. You come in with a very shitty problem/situation (your power, being unable to find people to hang put with, your healthcare) and when people can’t give you answers that either magically fix everything or take into account conditions that you haven’t shared with us, you get angry and belittle the advice/advice-giver.

You are not under slavery conditions, ffs.

Next time you want help,

a) don’t say that The Powers That Be are targeting you, specifically. Ford isn’t. He’s targeting people *like* you (and me, and others) but not you specifically.

B) thank people for their effort to help you. If none of the advice works because of something you haven’t shared, share the information (if you feel comfortable about it). If you don’t feel comfortable, acknowledge to yourself that you can’t get better help from strangers on the internet right now.

C) do NOT include these little racist digs. Explaining yourself to a different person each time sucks. And that is what it is like to go to a walk in. You don’t need a different analogy, seeing a series of different doctors IS the analogy.

Saying ‘slavery’ and then trying to downplay it? No. If you want to compare *finding another doctor* with *literal slavery* i think it is time you go on moderation.

Especially since if you register for Health Care Connect… THEY DO THE WORK FOR YOU.

D) Talk to a pharmacist and see if they can extend your prescription, and for how long. Get on Heathcare connect ASAP. Get your charts from your current doctor, you could ask for a referral, or find out if someone else will tell you why.

Your situation is shitty, and the doctor/medical practise did not handle it well.

So deal with the fallout.

I know things can be overwhelming (it took me years to register for healthcare connect and get a doctor, for instance, because it all felt like too much.) But the process was easy, and now i can phone to make an appointment for a sinus infection and not have to go to a walk in.

I’m just frustrated with you because i knew how this was going to go because this is how it always goes. I said that i wouldn’t try to help you, anymore, three problems ago. But we’re local-ish and sometimes i know the exact thing you need, so i can’t help myself.

It just feels super shitty to put in the effort and have it always thrown back in my face.

So let’s be honest, i’ll probably keep trying to help you, and i will keep feeling shitty about the responses. *Sad sigh*

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
2 years ago

Taxes are difficult not just to make us hate taxes, but for us to spend lotsa money on tax preparation firms/software.

kupo
kupo
2 years ago

I don’t mean to minimize what actual slaves have endured.

And yet you do, by comparing having to make a couple of phone calls to it.

Shadowplay
2 years ago

@Mish

I mean, if I don’t have a lot of deductibles, it takes me half an hour to do my taxes each year. The online form is pre-filled – all I need to do is check everything is correct, add any extras, and hit “submit”. Any refund is processed within 2 weeks.

Even that’s a lot of work. Being employed here – you check your tax deducted from your payslip once a month to make sure there’s no glaring errors, and otherwise completely ignore the tax man. It’s the employer’s job to deal with the tax and NI payments.
Self employed – you have an accountant. It’s a couple hundred quid a year for most people.

Vucodlak
Vucodlak
2 years ago

RE: slavery

Apologies in advance, because this is a lengthy tangent on a subject I’m passionate about:
Slavery is coerced labor. It’s labor that one must do principally for the benefit of another, or face dire consequences. Whether a person is compensated for their labor or not is not the deciding factor in whether a person is a slave. Slaves, historically, have often been paid (although their compensation has never been in just proportion to their contribution).

Subsistence farmers who must do backbreaking labor every day in order to feed themselves and their families are not slaves, because they work for themselves. Someone who spends 16 hours a day assembling electronics for a meager pittance, because their only other option is for they and their families to starve to death in the street, is a slave.

The world economy runs on slave labor. Most slaves don’t think of themselves as slaves, and there’s a lot of deliberate misinformation out there. In school, I was taught that slavery is unpaid labor, which is an idea I hear echoed everywhere here in the United States. That’s simply false- if your employer doesn’t pay you just compensation for your labor, that’s theft. You may, in fact, be a slave, but the mere fact that you were shorted on your paycheck is not what makes you so.

If you can leave a miserable, shitty job for something better, or if you can quit and not face dire consequences for doing so, then you’re not a slave. If you can advocate for substantial change without significant risk of losing everything, you’re not a slave. You’re not a slave because you have a meaningful degree of autonomy.

If you’re stuck in a terrible, life-consuming job that damages your body and mind, working for someone else, because it’s the only way to provide the essentials for yourself and your family, you are a slave. If you could quit that job and get another, but the only other options you’d have are even worse, then you’re still a slave. If you can’t advocate for change to dangerous/destructive working conditions without facing a substantial risk of a worse fate, then you’re a slave. You’re a slave because you’re not free in any meaningful sense. You’re a slave because your needs are being exploited to force you to serve another.

Ok, I’m done. Sorry again for off-topic tangent.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
2 years ago

@Rhuu, others:

Thank you for the various attempts to help. I think a bit more information is needed here regarding “conditions [I] haven’t shared with [you]”.

Besides the stuff I’ve mentioned previously, but which might have slipped people’s minds (in particular, that I have to walk more or less everywhere, and my discretionary income after all necessities are paid for is generally very close to zero, which makes me very leery of any extra spending and absolutely rules out any extra recurring expenses), there is one other thing.

I don’t know how to do pretty much any of this stuff. Parents or other people helped set a lot of these things up originally. I didn’t even know that “health care connect” existed until you mentioned it. I don’t know if there are any walk-in clinics in the area, and if there are I don’t know their locations. I didn’t know that pharmacists apparently will sometimes bend the rules in situations like this, either.

I do know that these sorts of tasks invariably are made gratuitously more difficult and that they are dangerous. Fine print on forms threatening prison time if you lie on them (combined with the likelihood that they won’t be able to distinguish a mistake from a lie, and the likelihood that they also will be incentivized to assume it’s a lie rather than to assume it’s a mistake) makes that last part clear. So do my infrequent but invariably horrid experiences with trying to get anything remotely similar done. Even just renewing something. Last time I had to have my health card renewed I had to walk roughly 12 km all told across three or four separate days bringing assorted papers or finding the place had closed early or etc., not helped by some of the instructions being somewhat ambiguous. Everything has onerous ID requirements of course, which invariably assume that the person is a standard-issue middle-class one with 1.3 cars, a spouse and 2.4 children, and a suburban home somewhere with a white picket fence. So they ask for N different forms of ID from at least these several different categories and if you don’t have a driver’s license and don’t have bank loans of any sort half of these are hard to even scrape up.

These things are NEVER simple or easy, at least not for someone who does not fit the narrow stereotype that is their conceptualization of a “fine, upstanding citizen” rather than “someone who is probably trying to scam the system in some way”.

This is why I want, as someone so eloquently put it, a “fix everything immediately” button. I want to go back to the status quo ante WITHOUT the inevitable days or even weeks of hoop jumping, uncertainty, and repeatedly being threatened with jail if they decide I’m lying about anything. I feel I have the RIGHT to go back to the status quo ante without all of that stuff because I did not do anything wrong to warrant being subjected to all of this nonsense out of the blue like this, and because I feel I have the right to a risk-free existence … or at least not to have extra risks foisted gratuitously upon me by the arbitrary and capricious choices of other people.

I don’t trust the system to work. I don’t trust the system to apply its rules to me with any leniency or leeway if it decides I’ve overstepped some bound, and therefore I treat every interaction with authority as a stroll through a minefield. I don’t trust the system not to paint me into a corner of some kind by making one too many assumptions that I can travel quickly without bankrupting myself, or that I have a driver’s license, or that I have this or that or the other. I don’t trust it to so much as honor its own stated business hours — I’ve had far, far too many experiences of finding a place dark and the door locked when I arrived with a solid, good-faith expectation that it would be open and doing business-as-usual at the time of my arrival. Usually after spending 40 minutes to get there. 40 minutes of physical labor, not of sitting in a little air-conditioned cocoon while some carbon-spewing engine did the work for me.

So yes, I want to be able to just push a button and make things go back to normal again. I think that should be the way it works for everybody. And I can’t think of a single good reason why, in the 21st century when people more reliably own a smartphone than a car, it either can’t OR shouldn’t be that way.

TL;DR: Because of a turbulent and non-standard schooling experience, I missed the training everyone else gets in how to deal with “the system” and the most I know how to do is muddle through and half-ass it and hope it eventually kinda-sorta-works. Knowing that getting accused of some species of fraud and thrown in jail after getting it sufficiently wrong is probably a question of “when” rather than “if”. The very fact that after that clinic just inexplicably shut the door in my face I had not one single clue how to go about fixing things is itself a testament to my woeful lack of training in doing these tasks. And the system is very “we have round holes so no square pegs please”, as well as having been designed in the 1970s when everyone* really did have a car, a stable job, and a house with a white picket fence, so “unemployed and carless without even a driver’s license” is a square peg to them. Even though it’s increasingly normal because of how the ladder was pulled up by the boomer generation.

* Well, every white post-educational-system pre-retirement adult, anyway.

Really TL;DR: Either someone (not necessarily someone here) needs to tell me the secret to dealing with “the system” without either being frustrated by having inordinate difficulties with it or risking anything in so doing, or someone has to do the dealing-with-the-system stuff for me. Because I am done with the muddle-through-doing-six-extra-trips-back-and-forth-and-hope-not-to-end-up-in-jail thing. I’ve had more than a lifetime’s worth of that. I refuse any more of that. I will be treated as if I were one of the standard-issue middle-class people it was designed for (now apparently an endangered species), or one of those people can do all the interacting on my behalf from now on.

Really, really TL;DR: How do other people deal with these things with zero stress or uncertainty? I hope the answer isn’t “by having a car and significantly more spare money at the end of every month” …

Catalpa
Catalpa
2 years ago

I don’t know how to do pretty much any of this stuff.

You have my sympathies for this. The system is often opaque and stressful and frustrating, and it’s hard to know where to start.

That said, the option you have to make things easier for you is to ask other people for help. People online, as well as IRL folks, like the customer service folks who you have shown so much distaste for. If you treat customer service and other assistance services in the same manner that you treat the commentariat on this website, I’m frankly not surprised that very few/none of them are willing to put in any extra effort to help you.

If you respond to everyone offering you a potential solution with “That’s not good enough, it doesn’t fix everything immediately! I can’t believe this!”, then they’re probably not going to try offering you any other options. They’re probably going to try to cut contact with you as soon as possible, because you’re acting like an incredibly unpleasant person and customer service representatives already deal with enough abuse as it is.

And if you don’t know how to do something, asking the people who DO know how to do it is your best bet. So you want them on your side.

Calling a business to confirm their business hours ahead of time could save you a very frustrating and tiring trip.

Telling your old doctor’s receptionist about the challenges you’re facing (without descending into a rant about how the entire world is out to get you), and asking her for advice on how you can get your prescription filled, that might have given you some options to pursue. Maybe the receptionist knows of a walk-in clinic in your area. Maybe the receptionist knows that pharmacists can refill prescriptions. Maybe the receptionist could have gotten your medical charts together and seen about referring you to another doctor. Maybe the receptionist could have told you about Healthcare Connect.

And if she doesn’t know or won’t tell you, then reaching out to others who are familiar with the system (healthcare assistance folks, other doctors, nurses, clients who have dealt with similar situations, etc) could have given you some options.

If there are places that demand you get to a location that you cannot reach easily, tell them about your situation and ask if there are any accommodations that can be made for you. They might have a shuttle service, or a remote-access option.

If you’re worried about making a mistake on the forms and facing consequences, ask the people who are wanting you to fill out the forms, or ask other people who have had to deal with the forms. Their experiences could be helpful.

There are countless other ways that other people can make these situations easier for you. But they have to WANT to do that, and if you’re verbally abusing them, that isn’t likely to happen.

And, yeah, I know your response is probably that they SHOULD do those things anyway, regardless of how you behave, because you have the RIGHT to it. But look at how resentful you are of having to put effort into helping YOURSELF. If you had someone come up to you and demand that you walk 4 km to hand in their forms, because it was their right to have things resolved quickly and easily and therefore your obligation to assist them in every way possible, you’d probably not react well, would you? You’d probably think that it was their problem, and you’re not obligated to spend your very limited time, energy, and resources helping them.

I didn’t even know that “health care connect” existed until you mentioned it.

Then thanking the person who brought it to your attention would be a nice thing to do, instead of ignoring them in favour of having a rant about how your situation is comparable to slavery.

(Yes, you finally thanked the commentariat after being repeatedly called out on your hostility towards any advice. That’s good. Try doing that before people need to remind you.)

I don’t know if there are any walk-in clinics in the area, and if there are I don’t know their locations.

You can check Google Maps, it would likely know.

I don’t trust the system to work.

I can’t blame you there. The system has lots of cracks. But unless another option becomes available to you, working within the system is something that we all have to endure in order to survive. It isn’t fair, and it isn’t right, but it can’t be instantly fixed. So surviving as best we can while striving for change is the only option we have.

How do other people deal with these things with zero stress or uncertainty?

We don’t. Do you think really think that everyone else’s life is stress-free?

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
2 years ago

@Catalpa:

People online, as well as IRL folks, like the customer service folks who you have shown so much distaste for.

My experience with customer service is that the phrase “customer service” is an Orwellian one. The parent company’s purpose for putting them there is, based on observation, not to actually solve customers’ problems at all, but some mixture of a) to upsell them, b) to extract personal information from them to refer over to Marketing, and c) to create the appearance of wanting to solve customers’ problems.

Among other pieces of evidence to substantiate this is one especially damning piece: I can count on the fingers of one hand the occasions where asking a customer service rep to “please turn [whatever] back on” has resulted in them simply turning [whatever] back on with no mess or fuss, no runaround, no attempt to refer me in circles, no making me sit through 30 minutes of attempts to upsell me, no demanding information irrelevant to the actual problem (e.g., a specific server somewhere is not responding and apparently needs rebooting, and they ask for my home address) but undoubtedly of great interest to whoever they outsource the sending of junk mail to, and of course fake apologies and excuses for their nonperformance of their contract. I’ve been inordinately pleased on those few occasions when I called somewhere and said “Hey, X isn’t working, could you take a look at it and maybe reboot it please?” and they just said “Sure” and five minutes later X was working again. This should be the expected pattern of interaction, and instead it’s so rare it’s a joyous occasion when it does happen.

I don’t blame the customer service reps for this, though. Obviously the immediate problem is management, who want the engineers who fix things to drag their heels for some likely bottom-line-related reasons, and who want people upsold, either immediately or after getting lots of information and then bombarding them with junk mail. The ultimate problem, as usual, is capitalism.

(There’s also the fact that “over voice phone” is a terrible, terrible user interface for anything other than having a casual conversation. When it’s not being outright glitchy and unreliable it doesn’t multitask, it doesn’t remember who you were, it doesn’t transfer alphanumeric data at all efficiently…)

But my experiences with them are nearly uniformly terrible, and I always go into such calls with dismally low expectations as a result — and am still sometimes disappointed. The immediately previous incident to the health care debacle was glitchy behavior from a TV-connected device that was not resolved, unusually, by rebooting the thing. Not even the expectation that I’d eventually get a live human being on the line was met: “All our representatives are currently busy” annoyingly often cutting into soporific music was all I got. For over half an hour. At 2 AM, when it is not remotely believable that they were actually swamped with calls. After about 40 minutes of it becoming increasingly obvious that “All our representatives” was the empty set, I gave up. I wasn’t about to spend all night glued to a phone unable to do anything else or go to bed either just to chase the dwindling prospect that someone might eventually realize that the little light by the customer service phone had come on. Most likely at that hour they had 1 person on duty and that person had fallen asleep, and the phones had no ringers so they wouldn’t be constantly making a racket in their office during the day, so my call didn’t wake them up.

The other, darker possibility is that they programmed the system to keep people on hold for 40+ minutes before even beginning to blink any lights in that office, regardless of how busy or idle they actually were, as a way of getting rid of as many customers annoyingly calling them instead of paying them more money as possible. That’s what comes from shortsightedly viewing the customer service office as a cost center, and shortsightedness is what comes from capitalism’s increasingly laserlike focus on only the next quarter’s earnings.

Maybe the receptionist could have gotten your medical charts together and seen about referring you to another doctor. Maybe the receptionist could have told you about Healthcare Connect.

Exceedingly unlikely. That receptionist appears to be complicit in having caused the mess in the first place — at least, when I asked to speak to the person in charge about their decision she said she was the person in charge. Therefore, in my view, accepting 100% of the responsibility for the decision, though I’m guessing she was lying. One thing was clear: she had no intention of helping me in any way. When I asked her “how do I fix this?” she simply said “you can’t”. No mention of “Healthcare Connect”. No referrals. Nothing but “you can’t”. She clearly intended I just go home, curl up in a corner somewhere, and die. I guess the callous people making these kinds of decisions feel the need to hire equally callous people to inform the affected people, because anyone with a conscience quickly says “I quit” or something.

And if she doesn’t know or won’t tell you, then reaching out to others who are familiar with the system (healthcare assistance folks, other doctors, nurses, clients who have dealt with similar situations, etc) could have given you some options.

I don’t know any “others who are familiar with the system”. In fact I don’t know anybody, at least to a fairly good approximation. I live completely alone, have only infrequent opportunities to interact (other than online or over the phone) with a handful of relatives, and the only people in my area I could even claim, with a stretch, were “acquaintances” who “are familiar with the system” were the people working at that clinic, people who quite clearly were unwilling to extend any kind of assistance to the people they’d rear-ended.

In fact, I think this is another “conditions [I] haven’t shared with [you]” that needs mentioning. I don’t know pretty much anyone. I therefore don’t “know someone who knows someone”. Nor do I “know someone who is familiar with the system”, for pretty much any value of “the system”. If it isn’t something I was taught in school or else written right there on a sign at the front door to their place of business you can safely assume I don’t know it or know someone who knows it.

That’s not good enough, it doesn’t fix everything immediately!

Keep in mind, where not fixing everything immediately would, in most cases, be asking the person to spend an additional ten minutes of mild labor later on, in my case it is asking me to spend an additional hour or two including significant physical exertion. In other words, not fixing everything immediately is asking a lot more of me than it is of many people. And, clearly, it is unfair of them to ask much more of some people than they do of others. So, the only way for them to be fair is if it is me, or anyone else who does not own a car, they fix everything immediately.

If there are places that demand you get to a location that you cannot reach easily, tell them about your situation and ask if there are any accommodations that can be made for you. They might have a shuttle service, or a remote-access option.

I could ask, I suppose, though I would be surprised to get any other response than “take a taxi then!” The notion that someone might have to be concerned about even an extra $20 expense (and of course if the thing can’t be “fix everything immediately”ed on a single visit, it won’t be just a single $20 expense, will it, it will be a recurring $20 expense for however long it takes to fix everything) is apparently literally inconceivable to the people who create and who populate these bureaucracies.

If you’re worried about making a mistake on the forms and facing consequences, ask the people who are wanting you to fill out the forms,

The last time I ran into a problem of this sort I had no way of doing so. I was at home with their web page displayed with a set of instructions that contained ambiguity, before the ubiquitous threat directed at anyone who would dare to enter incorrect information onto their forms. I needed to collect certain documents, including a few forms of ID, to bring to their office. By the time I’d be able to talk to someone, at that office, it would already be too late if I had brought the wrong stuff. And of course though the web site listed a phone number to call for inquiries it led to a closed phone-menu system with canned answers to canned questions, without any apparent way to talk to a live human — rendering the whole phone system in question useless, since it was just duplication the functionality of the “FAQ” page on the very website where that phone number was found.

I suppose I could have walked to the office, talked to someone, walked home, collected the documents, and walked back, but now they’d be expecting me to put in an additional 90 minutes of moderate physical labor …

or ask other people who have had to deal with the forms. Their experiences could be helpful.

See above. There are no other people who have had to deal with the forms, at least none whom I know personally and can rely on being available on sudden notice.

I think maybe people are not quite getting just how isolated I am, other than on the internet …

But look at how resentful you are of having to put effort into helping YOURSELF.

I’m not resentful at having to put effort into gaining something new. I absolutely am resentful when some jackhole shows up out of the blue, takes something of mine away, and then demands I do a whole bunch of effort to get it back, when I did not do anything to warrant it being taken away to begin with.

And you should be resentful too, under similar circumstances. Maybe if we all were, instead of tolerating that kind of treatment, we’d have much further left governments and better services all around. Do you know what gets tories elected and allows jerks to get into positions of authority and to get and to keep jobs? Apathy. A few percent of the population actively voting for them and a few tens of percent staying home on election day. That’s what does it.

There’s a bug in human nature. A few actually. But one of the more serious is that the “mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore” threshold is, for a large chunk of the populace, set at “literally starving”. Which is why you don’t get a big left wave-election or a huge protest and general strike as soon as someone builds a concentration camp near the Mexican border. You get one single Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez elected to the House and a couple of other distinctively progressive people, and the rest are just the same mix of “centrists” and overt right-wingers as usual, instead. If you completely total the economy you actually get a few sizable street protests, but not an armed torches-and-pitchforks mob battening on every single McMansion in the country, and the next election gives you a centrist whose platform is “we’ll set the economy upright again, but not do anything about the root cause, or get people their houses back — just their jobs. Eventually. At half the wage they got before, and now without benefits.”

You can check Google Maps, it would likely know.

Clicking thousands of little pink dots on a screen one by one to see what each one represents probably is less effort than physically walking past each and every address in a city of 20,000 people, I’ll grant you.

It would be nice if there was an actual working search for such things, but whenever I’ve googled ” thingie” I’ve invariably been flooded with results for some town in the southern US with a very similar name and if there was anything at all for my own area it was buried way down on page 5 or higher. Of course, a lot of the time this town doesn’t even have even one single “thingie”, which obviously doesn’t help. I think much of the rest of the time it may exist, but not have come to Google’s attention.

This place apparently just isn’t big enough to reliably have things, or to reliably have them listed anywhere if it does. A lot of the things around here do not have any kind of website to call their own, notably. The local places I can reliably find online tend to be part of a major chain of some kind — for instance the four grocery stores in the town. Or the single(!) McDonalds.

Of course, you’d think that maybe there’d be some kind of specialized directory for health clinics and other health-care stuff in each town or city, but if there is nobody’s given me the URL to this town’s.

It isn’t fair, and it isn’t right, but it can’t be instantly fixed. So surviving as best we can while striving for change is the only option we have.

I am beginning to get noticeably imparient. I see an awful lot of “striving for change” and very little change. The NDP has gone on another jag of begging me every few hours for money via email, but if I did give them some what would they do with it? Lose another election somewhere. And I’m increasingly convinced that we need something a lot more radical than the NDP anyway. This isn’t going to be won through electoral politics and it isn’t going to be won by having one more pipeline protest or one more university sit-in somewhere. This is going to be won in one of two ways: by a massive outpouring of literally millions of people putting down their tools and filling up the streets, grinding everything to a complete and total halt; or after the bombs have stopped falling, the seas have stopped rising, the roving gangs of looters have mostly been eliminated or gone legit, and the survivors start to pick up the pieces and build a new government for themselves.

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