Earlier this year, I was cycling to work and had to evade a car. I did so, but in the process lost my balance and fell, breaking my right arm. It’s fine, I’ve recovered now. I’ve even started cycling again, though it takes more courage and determination than it used to. Part of me’s scared of getting hit again, I suppose. Which is probably perfectly reasonable.

What really grinds my gears is the way medicine works down here. I get that public healthcare does not exist and everything is private. Yeah, it’s great that I have effectively full coverage through my employer – which is the only way I’d ever move to the US – but what’s not great is the way billing is handled. Billing is in fact pretty terrible. I received a bill this week for services back in May, that my insurance hadn’t paid their part on until July, and apparently I owe late fees on this amount. I make a point of paying my bills as soon as I get them so I’m not entirely sure where this came from. Unless I just didn’t get the bill originally to begin with. Or maybe I did, but I didn’t notice it when I opened my mailbox only to receive junk mail to legitimate mail in a 10:1 ratio at best.

I’m not blaming USPS, I know they’re in dire financial straits and are struggling to remain solvent. People aren’t sending as many letters as they used to and junk mail is their bread and butter now. But I consider it a chore to check my mail because it nearly always consists of:

  • A million flyers
  • A credit offer I’m not interested in. I try to be fiscally responsible, which seems to be a shockingly foreign concept to the credit agencies. Or maybe that’s why I get all the offers, because I actually pay my bills and live within my means.
  • Sirius XM begging me to subscribe to their services

If I’m lucky, there might be a piece of mail I care about in the mix somewhere. Usually not, but sometimes. I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if a bill was sent to me but just didn’t make it to my apartment because I didn’t see it amidst the junk mail.

Really, the whole system seems inefficient. Bill me electronically – clearly the capability is there as my insurance is able to notify me by e-mail whenever a claim comes in. Stop sending me flyers that go straight into the recycling without getting more than a sigh from me. Let me come to you if I want more credit. Right now it’s just a waste of everyone’s time in fuel delivering me this paper, only for me to throw it in the recycling, or shred it, and then truck it off to the recycling depot.

I miss Canada. Less junk mail and saner health care. Assuming King Steve hasn’t gutted everything while I’ve been away.