*This post will be updated, for anyone curious about what the vaccine experience is currently like, here in Kentucky ;)
So ... after finding out that apparently, it is true that if he wasn't vaccinated by March 15th (and supply was available), the state wouldn't pay for leave if he got COVID, we've been trying to schedule a time with the website for the last 2 days.
Finally, he called them instead, and was on hold for the last 45 minutes.
The girl that finally took the call had a thick Indian accent.
He had to ask her to repeat herself several times, then put her on speaker phone so that I could "interpret." (I'm used to that, as a medical/pharmaceutical transcriptionist for 25 years.;)
But what the ... did it just so happen that Kroger hired someone with a nearly unintelligible, thick Indian accent as a CSR, or is this CSR labor contracted in India for state-government-employee vaccine distribution scheduling - with all the U.S. jobs lost during COVID???
Grrr ... so this part irks me personally, because my job was outsourced 4 times to Indian labor, from 2006 to 2010 - when the Bush administration pushed for Congress to provide extra tax shelters for companies which outsourced overseas - and which I personally believe contributed to the downfall of our economy by October 2008 and the recession - which the Obama administration, with the help of Congress, helped partially undo by 2010.
I'm not sure, but I don't want to hear any more sh*t about "lost jobs" during COVID, if federal and/or state governments are going to contract with Indian labor customer service instead of U.S. labor, for vaccine rollout.
Fine, whatever, let's just get the vaccine, right?
(And I mean, it's not her fault, if she's truly in India, the poor thing probably makes 5 bucks a day, she's being exploited.)
So she looks for times and appointments and there aren't any left , at any of the locations this week, and they don't have the schedule yet for next week, and to call back Friday.
Okay, duly noted - don't even bother with the websites, just call.
Then we asked which vaccine he'd get, because we wanted Moderna, and we'd heard Moderna was running low.
She didn't know that, either - for this week's schedule already being distributed OR next week's.
And this is just for him - I can't get one yet because I'm not a state employee, nor any of the other groups eligible yet.
Like I said, I could probably get tickets to The Police reunion tour concert faster, and they're not even planning a reunion lol.
Update - 5:11 p.m.
I'm not going to say which local news office I called, but I did call a local reporter who is known for disseminating vaccine information, to ask her if she knew anything about the CSR labor being provided to answer the scheduling calls for the vaccine for Kroger.
She said that she knew they were contracted, but she didn't know from where, and that it was a very good question.
(I don't know if she'll follow up and investigate that, but my main goal was simply to ask her if anyone knew if the contractors were U.S-based or outsourced, just to satisfy my own curiosity lol.)
She also said to try Walgreens, they're giving them too, and at last she heard, this morning, there were still a few slots open, so that's next on the agenda ;)
Update - 5:34 p.m.
We discovered that not all Walgreens are offering the service, and the vaccine you get depends on the store and the supply.
The one closest to us is offering Pfizer, and they are booked for the next three days.
We want Moderna anyway, so we are trying other stores.
Thursday, 3/4/2020 - 8:30 a.m.
I have been checking both Walgreens and Kroger's website every day, several times a day.
Walgreens - Still no appointments available.
Kroger - The website said there were appointments available in Nicholasville on March 11th.
After calling the Nicholasville Kroger pharmacy to find out which vaccine they were administering, we were told Moderna, but they had no appointments available. I let them know that their website said there were six appointments available on March 11th. The pharmacist said it was a glitch, and I'm probably the 30th person to call already this morning.
She said to try the Kentucky Horse Park, she'd heard appointments free up.
I said the Kroger website said there weren't any. She said the website is not accurate - i.e. the glitch - and to call instead. The best time to call is Wednesdays after midnight.
We called the main number to the Kentucky Horse Park - Alltech Arena, and it refers us to another number if your call is in relation to the vaccine.
We called the number and it rings and then tells you the number is not in service.
We checked the number and called again, same thing.
We tried a third time, exact same number (I double-checked my call log) - and now got an automated recording.
When we checked all of the boxes for eligibility (my husband is K-12 staff, status 1-b), it asked if we would like to know how to schedule on online; if so, say "yes." If we'd prefer to speak with someone, say "No."
I said "No" and it disconnected the call.
I called back, using the same call from my call log, and it said the number was not in service again.
I called back, using the call log, now a 5th time, got the automated service, said "No" again so I could speak to a live rep, and the automated recording said, "Please hold while I transfer your call."
My call was transferred to another automated recording which said, "There are no appointments available. Thank you. Goodbye."
Well, on the bright side, at least no possibly-outsourced Indian labor took the call this time? lol
However, this is still completely nuts.
Governor Beshear, if you want all K-12 staff vaccinated by March 15th, then do something? Biden? Hellloooo?
Also, Governor Beshear, I don't know why you're relaxing restrictions to the point of making national news, caving to Republicans in this state - nothing has changed - our numbers are still through the roof, especially compared to other states - because they refuse to believe it's anything else but the flu or pneumonia.
Even if it was just a bad flu or pneumonia, whatever you want to call it, over 500,000 people have died in the U.S. already in a single year last year - versus 30K to 50K for the flu or 60K for pneumonia in a single year - for a grand total of at most 110,000 combined - so wear a freakin' mask and stand at least 6 feet from other people already!
Honestly, if the worst thing that's ever happened to you is someone made you wear a mask and you can't go watch an expensive live sports game, then please ...
... allow me to escort your lucky, over-privileged, spoiled-brat, likely-white, full-grown-adult butt down to the COVID unit, the burn unit, the children's hospital, the cancer hospital, the hospice center, the projects, a domestic violence or homeless shelter, or even a prison, for some perspective and a reality-check wake-up call as to what life is like for people with real problems, right now.
I'll be double-masked, when we go, but please feel free to continue to exercise your "God-given civil-liberty right" not to wear a mask and get right up in people's faces ;)
And speaking of taking a visit down to places like the burn unit of a children's hospital for some perspective, I guarantee you that the majority of those children at the children's hospital, being treated for life-altering and terminal illness, whine and cry less about having to wear a mask and socially distance than some of you all do lol. Not only is that standard protocol for them to prevent infection as they are more susceptible due to a compromised immune system, but they have much bigger things to cry about!!
Also, the interim superintendent since Manny died - under pressure from the school board - began returning students to school last week; the first week was grades K-12, this week was grades 2-5. You know if Manny was still alive, this would've never happened :( )
In fact, as local news reported - and my husband on the Data Team at Fayette County Public Schools can attest - there have been over 50 children and staff members who have tested positive for COVID so far, some of the staff were symptomatic, since children began returning to school.
Additionally, as of last week, Mark was required to return to Central Office for at least a half day per day, despite being on the Data Team and could work from home.
He also was required to attend a Zoom meeting from his office with his coworkers - which means he had to mask up, drive and get his temperature taken, then go sit in his office first thing Monday morning - just to have a Zoom meeting which could've been done at home - which made zero sense.
(I guess the rationale was if the teachers had to go, so did they.)
By the time he got there, they'd canceled the meeting due to other pressing issues, of course.
In addition to that, all employees, regardless of your position, are required to sign up to spend at least 1 week on "car duty," greeting children and taking their temperatures (which Mark did last week).
Mind you, the temperature-taker for people entering Central Office, Jim - a retiree who worked part-time - after being attached to a respirator for two weeks, died from COVID two months ago.
So I have him double-masked (surgical plus N95, plus MSU Spartan gator on cold days) and gloved up, believe me - and we're doing our best to get him vaccinated, but not having any luck thus far.
Are you trying to prove you're a "moderate" Democrat now, so they'll like you?
(Yeah, good luck with that, with Kentucky Trump Republicans.)
Are you afraid of more lawsuits?
(Well, you won them all thus far, so ...?)
Or are you just letting them have their way, and then it's on them, if people get it?
You know we still like you, but you are not my favorite Democrat or person, right now lol.
Fine, but please be aware, you may try to please Republicans and avoid lawsuits to the point of losing your own Democrat base with this sh*t, too.
Friday, 3/5 - 9:00 a.m.
We were told by both Kroger and Walgreen's that Friday morning at 6:00 is the best time to try to get a slot.
We began trying at 6:00 a.m. - Walgreen's website says they just got a shipment of Pfizer in and had appointments available, so we took a slot for next week. We'd prefer Moderna, but Moderna is running low and he's supposed to be vaccinated by March 15th, so we took a slot for next week.
Mark is now on hold with Kroger (and has been for 30 minutes) waiting to talk to a CSR just to see what they got and if it's Moderna. Let us see if we get another person with a thick Indian accent again and then we'll know if Kroger has outsourced their schedulers to Indian labor ;)
Also, we put his name on the waiting list at U.K., but that is Plan C, as they are weeks out.
3/5/2021 - 9:34 a.m.
After being on hold for an hour, he finally talked to a Kroger CSR. They did not have a thick Indian accent this time.
They also did not have any new shipments at all for the vaccine.
Thus, he will get Pfizer's vaccine next week.