The corporation, American jurisprudence holds, is a person. It is a sort of idealized rugged individual type person, having no need for anything but profit. It also has an insatiable, if impersonal, sexual appetite, with the legally constructed and indefatigable organs to sustain this voraciousness endlessly.
What makes me think of this today? A call from a female robot, threatening to cut off my health insurance if full payment is not made by January 30. This was especially aggravating since I’d made full payment on January 21 and had the email confirming payment. I snarled the command to connect me to a representative and then was put on the queue as if I’d called the 800 number.
If you are an Anthem customer or member of the Freelancer’s Guild, press one, if you are a health care provider, press two, oprime el tres si no entiendes ingles, then muzak interrupted by the standard, sincere, reminders about how important my business is and urging me to stay on the line.
My blood began to simmer as the ten second muzak loop continued to blare. Welcome to America, land of the bottom line– our only business is business. You powerless cocksuckers will wait on hold to be placed on hold while the corporation gives you the chance to find out why you were threatened with cancellation of a policy you have already paid the premium for.
In only ten minutes Mark is on the line, apparently having a hard time making out the spelling of my name. That D, he asks if it is a G. “D as in dog,” I say and he hears E. D as in David works. Then I go through a similar exercise with my first name, he reads back an Aleutian name instead of the one on my policy. In a moment he sees the same confirmation of payment I am looking at. He asks me to please hold for just a few minutes while he checks something.
“I’m not going to hold, I’m going to get a call back from a human being apologizing for this aggravating error by the corporation you work for,” I tell him and he agrees. “Do you have my callback number?” I ask him and he says he does, reads me back the number of the robot who called fifteen minutes earlier to inform me that my health insurance is about to be terminated for nonpayment of the January premium. I give him the correct number, he promises to call back in a minute, and I begin shoveling a cubic ton of snow, snarling as I do.
In a moment he calls back. Empire generated bills for two month cycles in 2015, this one was for January and February. Presumably for corporate convenience, saves money on billing, like using robots to call customers and nag them for payments, instead of wasting humans who have to be paid to make these calls. Since I’d only been required to pay January’s $471 and not the $942 that would have paid for my excellent Obamacare health insurance through March 1, I’d paid only half of the bill, the half I was legally required to pay. You get the math here? Pretty straightforward.
I thought of the ungodly mechanical sexual apparatus of the American corporation, and how it thrusts endlessly onward, upward, downward, sideways, relentless and insatiable. And I saw another American president, this one very articulate, witty and smooth, smiling next to it, admiring the vigor of the machine that makes him an obscenely wealthy and powerful man.