A few weeks ago, I thought I was on the verge of getting a COVID vaccine. I now have no idea when that will happen.
A little over a month ago, my manger asked if I was interested in being vaccinated. I answered yes quicker than a politician accepting a bribe. She had no information on when the doses would come, but with doses coming into the state on a regular basis I hoped the wait would be weeks rather than months.
Twelve days later I’m in the library (which had just re-opened to patrons — one step closer back to normal) when I receive an incoming call from an unknown number. Another automated call about my car’s extended warranty? I let the call go to voicemail, and was surprised a moment later to see a message had actually been left. Needing to return home anyway, I listened to the message on the way out of the library.
The pharmacy in the grocery store said they needed to talk to me. No other information was given… but could this be a call about vaccination?
I drove the ten minutes back home, heeded nature’s call, unpacked my backpack, grabbed a soda from the fridge, then took out my phone and called the pharmacy back. Why yes, I’m ready for my shot.
The pharmacy asked for my name. I told them. They put me on hold.
A moment later, another voice came on. “What was your name again?” After providing the information again, the speaker then informed that I had indeed been put on a list to be vaccinated that day.
However, because I had not responded within 15 minutes of being called, I had lost my place in line.
Gee, maybe you could have told me about that 15 minute time limit when you left the message?
Since then I’ve asked my manager, the pharmacy, HR, the store manager, about scheduling a vaccination. All I’ve heard is a series of You need to talk to…
The pharmacy got a shipment of vaccine when I worked last Friday, and I weaved through a line a couple dozen deep most of the day. The only information I got about employee vaccinations was that if extra doses were available at the end of the day — “spillage,” they called it —workers would then be contacted. I imagine they’d have 15 minutes to respond once more.
So much for being an essential worker.
One of the reasons I left a good-paying job with excellent benefits two and a half years ago was to escape from bureaucratic incompetence and stagnation. To be faced with it again, in the midst of a public health crisis, is discouraging to say the least.