A seemingly innocuous question. It would be in a different time or place or if asked by a good friend, perhaps new to North Carolina and all its' lovely sandy terrain attached to the Atlantic Ocean. Yes, my answer would be simple but I can not help but share the back story. We go to Atlnatic Beach, situated between Salter Path and Morehead City. It is a two and a half hour road trip from our town of Edenton, located on the Albemarle Sound. We travel through small towns like Roper, Columbia, Little Washington, Vanceboro, New Bern, Cape Carteret and then finally salt air fills your senses and as we ride over the big bridge, I roll the windows down and the children begin to chatter about what they will do first when we reach the condominium that has been home to me for 36 summers.
There. Now you know my story and please feel free to share yours with me but I beg you, don't tell your story to BCBS corporation. It is the one that asked me that question, one that has flowed through my newsfeed sponsored to show up repeatedly and featured as an introductory sentence for their blog post, "What makes the NC coast so beautiful?" What a wonderful question but excuse my irritability, it is none of their business. I absolutely can not stretch my imagination, which is particularly malleable considering my epic childhood and four crazy children, to understand why my insurance company is soliciting responses to this query.
In that BCBS refuses to talk to me about their social media budget and have, to me, personally denied payment for blog writing, I am left to ask more questions and you can decide for yourself. Does it seem ironic that five of their most frequent featured writers (Natania Barnier, Allison Bonner, James LaCorte, Chris Privett, and Maggie Brown) all just happen to travel each weekend and happen to have a penchant for writing? Their charming stories about hidden wetlands, traveling with children, the history of car racing, Old Salem, historic Edenton, secret waterfalls and charming Hillsborough are quite nice and if it wasn't for the corporation publishing them, I may indulge my thoughts over a glass of wine or morning cup of coffee. Not only are these happenstance writers employees of BCBS but they also happen to work as social media specialists, community relations experts, and communication specialists. What about Joe Miller, author of GetGoingNC.com? He has ignored my emails and messages regarding his relationship with BCBS. As a writer, I expect compensation for my stories when published on other sites and I can not imagine he would craft his informational tales free of charge.
Let me tell you what I think. I think BCBS corporate decided enough was enough. Too much complaining, too many people pissed at their policies, decisions and rate increases year after year and so a well crafted plan to paint a picture that would give this greedy company a positive image. Yes, on January 5th of 2016 BCBS Corporation began a blog and posted their first post on Facebook. They did so without fanfare and hoped it would slip past you and subtly appeal to the ones who may have been jaded but could be wooed back with painted stories about our beautiful state. I love our state and was the first member of my extended family to be born here. I was educated at Rocky Mount Academy, Salem Academy, Meredith College, UNC-CH, and NC State. Like many BCBS policyholders, I am quite bright and your media campaign has not fooled for me an instant. It is your right to not allow me to appeal the thirty speech visit rule for Amos but it is my right to say NO to your travel blog. No. No. No.