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Friday, June 27, 2008

Let me Tell You What I Think

I ended my massive work project this afternoon, and I couldn't be happier! It was a ton of work, but the Mother of God was in charge and all went well. I'll still have some cleanup to do, mostly in my office, and prep for other events, but as of now, my work hours drop down to 10 hours per week.

I can't live on that. I do have another job for the summer, but I don't think it'll be a lot of hours and it likely won't pay much. But I think it's what I'm supposed to do. This coming week I'll have only my 10 hours, and the rest of the time I'll be off on a "vacation" much needed. On the positive side of things, at least I won't be driving 40 minutes each way every day! God is good, is He not?

Throughout this last year, I've been flying by the seat of my pants at every moment. Things have gone well, and maybe it was a lesson on surrender and trusting God, things I have great difficulty in doing. Each time I thought things were crashing, God answered. I'm certain that He hand-picked my volunteers and although I only met these blessed people this year, I feel like I've known them forever! And I love them and appreciate them like my own family!

But often, I've lamented the job I insurance. Yup. It's not that I wish I hadn't quit...I think quitting was the BEST decision God ever made for me. (Yes, you read that correctly.) This year, even flying by the seat of my pants, even with irregular work hours and all the work on my Master's degree, well, I've NEVER been as stressed-out and bitter as I was in my last job.

I don't see myself remaining in my current position for long, but I'll be there at least, in all liklihood, until my Master's degree is completed (another 2 years), God willing. So this cycle will continue, but God gives us the grace to do what needs to be done...He sure did prove it this week, and I KNOW for certain that Our Lady had me by the hand all week long. But that doesn't mean I have a future where I am.

Just as I knew I didn't have a future where I was. I'm not even sure I have a future in Minnesota, but for now, we'll let that idea lie for I don't know where it's going.

This evening a friend sent me an email, and it got me fired up. Because of my last career, I have a certain level of expertise in an area, and now that I'm no longer burned out, I love talking about it. The old excitement came to me...I loved investigation. I loved typing my password into certain National databases and entering the necessary info in order that the database might spit out important records to help me in my investigation. I loved following the threads, I loved learning new things and trying to figure out the crime and I REALLY loved when we caught someone at their game...and roped them in.

Yet it frustrated me because I knew I was always looking for something negative, and in the midst of an investigation, trying to hold off indignant people who didn't seem to understand the game...that even if they were innocent, I had to ask my questions, I had to do what I had to do and no, I couldn't tell them what I was looking at because it was an investigation and I couldn't compromise it. Most of them only feigned indignance...they knew from day one they were the ones being investigated. Some of them were innocent people who had started out naive and were used to being in control...and couldn't deal with not being in control anymore. Other people really didn't have a clue how the world works and that people commit fraud...and I had to assume everyone was doing this. The trick was to try to keep everyone happy while doing the work in the background. Some days it was incredible...some days it was awful.

Some days I didn't think I could live with myself, even though I was doing nothing wrong. As time went on, I felt we were focusing too much on people who were completely innocent. I developed a "nose" over time, and knew within 5 minutes if someone was lying to me. Yeah, sometimes I got fleeced, which is why "feelings" aren't used to determine fraud. Things were awry...even as the company wanted to save money on investigations, they made us pay stuff that was clearly without merit, and they made me hold off on stuff I knew was clearly legit. And we all made errors.

I'm happy now that I know what I know, and I'm happy that my knowledge can benefit others as well as myself. And let me tell you...I'm VERY protective of claims adjusters. I don't care about the respective the end, they're all the same. (Although I learned, professionally, that there are certain companies that will NEVER have my business! No, I won't name them.) But the important thing is that they are staffed by people, human beings who are struggling to get the job done, and everywhere there is a very high rate of dissatisfaction. All of the companies are selling out their employees, the people you actually speak to on a daily basis, the people, when you have a claim, that you call, "The Insurance Company."

Individuals aren't "The Company". They are compassionate people with varying levels of experience trying to keep both YOU and their employers happy. They are the ones always thrown under the bus. They are the ones working their fingers to the bone and being villified in the process, being called "incompetent" on behalf of the actions the people above their heads make. Insurance is a very regulated field...adjusters, unless they are independent, are slaves to a system, and in speaking of my past co-workers, they're doing their best. And their work is necessary.

I still get fired up about some of the stuff I learned, and I really get fired up about the people, because if there is ONE thing I learned from my years there, it was to work hard to treat people with respect no matter what the circumstances, whether they were co-workers, co-professionals, competitors, or customers in ANY circumstances. The customer doesn't have to be right in order to deserve respect...they can be wrong and teach you a whole lot about being human.

This post has not gone where I expected, but I hope I said what someone needs to hear, so for now, I'll sign off with a salute to all those who work in the thankless profession of claims adjusting.


Melody said...

Thanks for a different perspective; many of us don't think of what adjustors have to do. We've been with the same car insurance company for 25 years, and there's a reason; they've always given excellent customer service. The ones who have driven me flippin' NUTS are health insurance companies. But as you pointed out, they're all made up of people just trying to do their jobs. It does seem like some companies have a better corporate culture than others. But we always need to keep in mind the human dignity of the people we're dealing with.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are getting a much needed and deserved "vacation". I'm sure God did hand pick your volunteers. I'm a true believer in the Holy Spirit. I've had to many "what are the chances of that happening" experiences in my life to not believe.