A little background: Many years ago (1980) I worked in Manhattan at Blue Cross Blue Shield. At that time, I was a medical claims examiner/correspondent. I was crazy about this gorgeous young man who sat diagonally across from me on the other side of the floor. I had the feeling he was attracted to me too, but he was too shy to do anything about it. My friend I worked with used to say, “He’s just slow on the uptake.” I realized I had to take matters into my own hands. So, one day while at work, I wrote this little fantasy story about the 19th floor and our boss, Barbara. I left this hand-written story on his desk and waited until he returned. I could see his desk from mine and was gratified that he was laughing. The story is a bit dated (CRT – This was the computer that we all used in the middle of the floor), but I think it still holds up. We ended up getting married eventually. Although we are no longer together, we are still friendly.
BCBS Story – 1980
Once upon a time, in the far reaches of the universe, there existed a large corporation named Blue Cross Blue Shield.
In the vast expanse of the 19th floor, a queen emerged named Barbara. Queen Barbara would sit on her throne for hours at a time issuing her imperial orders to her royal court.
In a small section of the floor, there resided a conscientious young man named Mark, better known as M. Now M was a very hard worker who carried out the Queen’s orders to a tee. Whenever she needed something done, she knew she could count on M to follow through.
On the other side of the floor, sat a not-so-conscientious worker named Marilyn, also known as M. Because of the similarities in their names, people often confused the two. The only difference was that one M had a mustache and the other one didn’t.
But, lo and behold, one day M shaved off his mustache and the office was in turmoil. No one could tell them apart.
Queen Barbara was beside herself. She would call for her bowl, call for her pipe, call for her fiddlers three, and call for M. But being unable to distinguish between the two Ms, she became totally confused, often to the point of disorientation.
One day she bellowed from her office, “M, please come here; I need your assistance!” Well, as usual, both Ms came into the office, causing a total look of confusion to come over the Queen’s face. With this, she ran screaming from her office, never to be heard from again.
Now the diligent workers of this vast organization were without guidance. They desperately needed someone they could look up to and trust; someone with the wisdom of a King, yet the understanding of the commoners—someone with a vast knowledge of Special Service and surgical-medical contracts—someone who could be hard yet soft at the same time and could mingle with the lower echelon of the Corporation. Who better than M? But which M was it? Was it M or M?
Since it was totally impossible to tell them apart, the loyal subjects voted to make both Ms King and Queen of the 19th floor, and to have them share the throne.
As the years passed, and people came and went, the two Ms continued to rule wisely but firmly. Their popularity never dwindled. So, if you ever find yourself trapped in a maze of uncertainty about surgical-medical contracts, the CRT, or life in general, visit the humble office on the 19th floor where the sign reads: M & M