Letters: Can Long Er Waits Be Avoided?

Black Friday Of Doom

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I stayed up almost all night Thursday in the parking lot of Best Buy on the east side to get the laptop I really wanted for Christmas on Black Friday. Before it was over, two groups of people broke in front of me in line, and then ignored me when I spoke up and requested to get back in line where I belonged. I was very cold, very sleepy and in no mood to put up with any more B.S.

The Best Buy employee who was handing out tickets for my specific laptop at the Black Friday price told me that I was lucky because I got the very last one they had. I was thrilled!

When I got to the customer service counter, I handed in my ticket and the employee returned with my new laptop. She told me that this particular laptop would cost me $69 above the ad price because Best Buy had removed all the advertisements to speed up the machine, for my benefit. I refused to pay $69 for a service that I did not request, and the employee replied that this was the very last laptop with that SKU, then added, "take it or leave it." I asked to speak to the store manager, and she disappeared. In a few minutes, the employee returned with another, identical laptop, but this one was for sale at the Black Friday ad price.

Funny how that laptop wasn’t really the last one.

When I got home with my new laptop, I turned it on, and was surprised to see a message box from The Geek Squad with a very long list of ads and superfluous items that were removed, all for my benefit. How thoughtful of them!

I considered writing a complaint letter to the corporate office of Best Buy to alert them to the deceptive trade practices of this bait and switch scam, but they might have been the very ones who created it in the first place. I wonder how many Black Friday customers got scammed that morning.

Letters: Where’s The Real Story? Where’s The Real Story?

The sad thing about this article is how ununique the story is [Re: Feature, “Waiting With the Devil: Health Care or Hell?” Dec. 3-9]. People wait in the ER for hours every day, sometimes with serious complaints that require medical attention, other times with minor complaints but without insurance and, as such, no access to the health care system.

The real story in this is the lack of access to care. For example, had the author had earlier access to his primary physician, he may have received the needed medical attention and avoided the onerous process of trying to navigate the ED. However, instead of delving deeper, the author delivered a front page diatribe that comes across as petty and self-centered. Where are the figures? How will the current legislation affect New Mexico? What perspective do local politicians and health care professionals have regarding the legislation? Why am I reading about your experience and not learning anything?

Also, it would have taken a five minute phone call to a health care professional (or one or two “House” episodes) to check some of the finer issues of the story. Nobody checks CO
2 levels. What you’re talking about is a pulse oximeter (you remember, the little red light that gets taped to your fingernail?). This device approximates the levels of oxygen bound to hemoglobin in your blood.

Alternatively, you could have asked the professional to explain to you how the emergency rooms work. As one of the previous comments noted, you are triaged, vital signs are taken, and your complaints are addressed by their acuity. The thinking is that if you’re condition rapidly deteriorates, you’re in the right place. In the meantime, they’ll take care of the more critical patients.

Everyone, health care providers and the lay public, know the problems facing the health care system in the United States are extremely serious. But instead of choosing to add something substantive to the debate, you delivered a rant complaining about the amount of time and money spent on your illness. I would encourage the author to step back and look at the problem from a more global perspective. Nice try. Maybe next time you’ll dig a little deeper, check your facts, and get a point of view other than your own to "report" on.

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