This Year's Oscar Won By Customer Service Rep at American Managed Care Company

Funny story written by Ilona Ronay

Wednesday, 24 November 2004

Los AngelesCA--In a stunning departure from the usual Oscar awards, the Academy has -- for the first time in its long history -- awarded its coveted "Oscar" award not to a major actress but to a low-level customer service representative at a major American managed care organization.

"We were totally overcome with admiration at how this woman portrayed the persona of a caring and competent individual in dealing with members who called in with problems regarding their health care coverage," said an Academy spokesperson. "Her inner thoughts and motives and her outer persona and words were completely opposite."

"What incredible acting! What a portrayal!" said another. "I see echoes of the the old-time Hollywood stars in her delivery!"

"I am like totally psyched to have been chosen by the Academy to receive this totally awesome award," said the customer service representative.

"I mean, like, you know, wow, unbelievable!" she continued. "I just follow these scripts they give us during our 1-day orientation that tell me to act like I care, you know? I mean, basically I don't give a #$% if the person calling has a stroke or a nidocardial--I mean myocardial--infraction or infarction. My job is just to sound like I'm concerned. I'm not supposed to really DO anything to help resolve any coverage or care issues. None of us are supposed to DO anything...all this Member Services crap is just for show, you know?"

A managed care company high-ranking official immediately denied that its customer service representatives were reading from a script and denounced the winner as an "actress wannabee" who had no interest in helping to solve health care problems. "And no, we don't use talking Barbie dolls or stuffed animals with pull chains as customer service reps!" he retorted.

"We have the greatest health care system in the world," the official said. " We only spend 75 cents of every dollar on administrative costs! I mean, we could be spending the entire dollar! But we're not that greedy. We've just instituted a new system so that the fifth time a customer calls with a complaint, we route them over to a new and improved voicemail option that tells them to breathe deeply and think of a mantra. Isn't that innovative?"

Offers for "real" acting jobs have been flooding in, and the cutomer service representative is expected to resign her position to choose between co-starring with Kevin Costner or Mel Gibson in as-yet-unamed action movie.

"I don't really care what the movie is about," said the winner. "And I am confident that if I acted well enough in this job, acting in a real movie should be a piece of cake."

The funny story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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