Pickin’ up that ol’ ring ring? Ain’t nothing new.

Sometimes I think as far as the telephone has come the distance is actually less than it really is. Kind of like those side view mirrors that say the objects are closer than they appear. We can talk about those substances that make objects closer than they appear at a later date.

Today I talked to a phone center person from a company called the Schumacher Group. Among other pursuits in addition to trying to f**k up a perfectly good day, the Lafayette, La., company is a “Your health care solution.”

Schumacher once provided emergency room doctors for a local hospital and its doc-in-a-boxes. The company also bills customer for those choices. I received a call the other day saying I owed $292 for seeing a nurse or physicians assistant for a couple of minutes about a year and a half ago. That was news to me since this was a worker’s comp case and the government paid for subsequent care that included arthroscopic knee surgery and physical therapy. My knee doc actually put the Ps and Qs together linking my fall, for which I went to the doc-in-a-box to begin with, proximately to a meniscus tear.

“Well, we sent a bill (to workers comp) and they rejected it,” said the phone center nag from Schumacher.

“Well, I sure as hell am not going to pay it,”  I said, after about the third time she told me I was responsible. That was followed by hanging up, my hanging up.

Today I talked to the people from the Xerox-owned company that now does our workers comp financial matters. Fortunately, the lady I spoke with was nice and dug through my miles of paper on computer only to discover the wrong coding was put into my initial ER bill.

So I called Schumacher back today and explained what happened. She didn’t want to hear it. The solution was for them to call the workers comp people and find out what was needed for the resolution of this medical mishap!

But no, Schumacher’s lady wasn’t hearing any of it. They would have to call “us.” And she would have to talk with her supervisor. Of course she would. So I asked if I could speak with her supervisor. As luck would have it, she wasn’t available. Of course, she wasn’t.

Click. Or rather a faint “beep” as my cell disconnects.

Well, this is nothing new. Right. Right. And that’s the point. This same scenario isn’t different from where I sit to two blocks away. Or across town. Or across the state line. Or 10 years ago. Or even 50 years ago. That was when I heard my Daddy say in his pissed-off and probably half in the bag voice:

“Well sue and be damned,” Daddy said, before hanging up abruptly, certainly for great effect.

He explained it was a bill collector. I think it was for something Momma bought from Fingerhut.

Things never change. We can watch the weather on our phone. The person we are talking with on the phone can see us and we can see him. My phone takes better pictures than any camera I could afford back in the day. We can listen to just about any song ever recorded on our phone. We can pay our bills — the ones we really owe. We can even take nekkid pictures, though I sure wouldn’t suggest it.

What a wonderful world it will be, Sam Cooke sang so beautifully 50 years ago. About love. If only she will be with me. If only people won’t call for bills I don’t owe. What a wonderful world it would be.