Category Archives: I feel Irritated

Insurance Policies

It’s that time again, where Mercury decides to hike rates when policies come up for renewal.  So, here I am shopping again.  I did this three years ago and was dismally disappointed to stay with Mercury because, even though they’d gone higher, everyone else was higher still.

Last week I started shopping for insurance. I had predetermined that if AAA could beat Mercury’s price that I would go with them, so I submitted a quote request on their website.  I would have thought that would kind of make me a “dream lead.”

Within 2 minutes, I had a call from an agent out of an office 25 minutes north of me. I called him back a couple hours later, provided him with the coverages that I had with Mercury and asked him for an apples-to-apples quote as a starting point, and told him that after I had that, I wanted to go through my limits and tweak things.

He did not give me an apples-to-apples quote, he gave me what he thought I should have as coverage, or maybe what he thought would make the most of an impact. So, when he called me back, I again told him what I wanted and made him play with the amounts until I had something close. But he STILL didn’t give me an apples-to-apples comparison.

So I emailed him the Excel spreadsheet I was using to break things down for myself. He expressed shock that I had created such a monster, but I hoped that he would see that I was serious when I told him what I wanted.

Then after going back and forth a few more times, this week he called me and I still had questions that weren’t being set to rest, and he started in on me with a close. I busted him on it. I said, “Look at you, trying to close me!” He said, “No, no, I’m not trying to close you, we’re not commission, I have no reason to close you. But, come on, either you’re going to do this or not” Surprised, because I’d already told him what I wanted, I said, “Here’s the deal, I’ve already decided I’m going with AAA, but I still have unresolved questions on the quotes you’re giving me.” He said, “How about I send you over the contract and you give me your credit card and I’ll collect payment.”

He emailed me the contract and, somehow, the cost of the home premium didn’t match up with any of the quotes he had given me. Also, he had William’s name wrong on it, he had both of the adults listed as “homemakers” and a couple other minor details were wrong. Nothing that would impact the numbers, but insurance policies aren’t “just” about numbers.  So, I called him and told him to revise it and requested he explain the discrepancy in the amount. He said,”Oh, those details don’t matter… and, remember? We changed the content overage amount, that’s why the premium is different.” I did not remember that, because I had told him to take the contents coverage down, so how on earth could the premium go up?

So, today I took my binder with all my research, my Mercury policies, the 5 different quotes that the agent had sent me (because apparently my request for apples-to-apples was too complicated for him), and walked into the AAA office that’s 1.5 miles away from my office and sat down with a broker there. We went through it all, line by line. He resolved my questions, found why the premium was higher on the home policy vs. the quotes (the other agent had erroneously increased a percentage in a drill down screen to 25%, when it should have been 10%), as Detailed Agent was going through it all, he corrected William’s name, and then nonchalantly changed it to all capital letters to match the other lettering… and, that right there? I slammed my fist down on his desk and said, “SOLD!”  Because that kind of attention to detail is the kind of guy I want handling my business.  He laughed at me and told me it would have bugged him if he hadn’t.  And when he said that, I figured that maybe we could even be friends!! ha

Even though I initially was there to only get clarification, after Detailed Agent found the discrepancy, he told me, “We’re commission based, so I can’t take this over, you would need to go back to Top Agent guy.” I said, “Well, now that you’ve found that discrepancy, plus all the other things, I want to switch to you.” I guess this isn’t normally something that happens, because Detailed Agent had to get clearance from his supervisor to proceed with it, and he could only proceed because I hadn’t actually signed anything.

Morals of the story:
Pay attention to details — this is important for both parties.
If you can’t close a deal, figure out what’s unresolved and address it.
Don’t be lazy when completing paperwork. Take the time to do it right. The boxes may not matter in the whole scheme of things, but it matters to me when reviewing it.
If someone asks for something specific, either deliver it or explain why you can’t — and don’t theorize or make something up.
In no case is it OK to presume that you know what’s better for me.

As a client, I’m looking at the details. If I find something wrong, I’m going to wonder what else might be wrong that I can’t see.  And I will investigate it until I find it.  Something tells me that Top Agent Guy is going to be pissed about this.

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Filed under I ♥ My Miata, I feel Irritated, I own a Home

The Other Side of Real.

I am tired today. I’ve been tired all week, really, but today, the tired is overwhelming. The reasons all relate to a little boy who, for various reasons, is waking in the middle of the night and crying out for comfort, for love. He needs extra in those wee hours of the morning. More than what we give him during the day. It is exhausting for me to be awakened out of my sleep cycles; I struggle hard with getting back to sleep.

Right now, I should be doing this, or that, or the other thing. But I don’t feel like it. So I turn to the internet instead, to hide, to avoid, to read about other people’s joys and their struggles, too, and to write here. I’ve learned over the years that I am not alone. Never alone. There is a world of people out there who struggle with similar things. It’s reassuring.

I did not have the patience for problems this morning, like I should have. I wielded words in an email unkindly. Accurate, yes. Unkind, yes. I could have been nicer. I wasn’t. I didn’t want to be. I’m tired of people being stupid, and I’m tired of people not communicating properly. It’s frustrating. I’m tired.

William has a class he doesn’t like. He tolerates it on a good day, but today he sat down at the door. A little lump of obstinate human boy. He didn’t want to participate. His grandma told him he had to, I told him he had to. He wasn’t rude (progress?), he just didn’t want to do it. He told his teacher he was tired… and when my mom told me that, it rang a bell in my head.

Every time that he has acted out or not acted appropriately, it’s been on a Friday. It appears that he is just like his parents, and maybe the rest of us… Fridays, well, we’re just kind of done.

Here’s hoping for a better week next week. And I’ll give a thought to being kinder then, too. But not today. Today? People need to stop being stupid.

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Filed under Best Husband, I feel Irritated, Life Encompasses Me, Our Kid is Cute

Gym Hater.

Just until April, that’s what I tell myself every year around this time.   Swimming should be all nubile beauty, sleek water and natural light.  During the winter months, though, it’s filled with dirty water, hideous florescent lights and things the eye shouldn’t behold.  It’s when my patience with ugly nudity and rude people starts to wear thin on my mermaid mentality, because at this point I’ve been swimming at the gym for about 3.5 months.

Seriously, I don’t change outside of my shower or bathroom stall and I certainly don’t bend over in all my glorious nudity when the only thing protecting me from the outside world is a bend in the wall.  I don’t hang my shower bag over other people’s items.  And I most certainly don’t stick my feminine hygiene products on the wall of the shower.  It’s disgusting.  When swimming my laps, if I’m sharing a lane, I make sure that I stay on my side, even though it takes a little extra attention and I can’t relax like I usually do… I expect the same courtesy in return.

Our local gym’s pool has been closed off and on during this period, making it difficult to be reliable.  They claim they renovated it, but it looks the same to me.  Scuzzy dirty sidewalls, band aids in the bottom and random dirt in the corners.  Yuck.  Tony says a sign was up saying it had been shut down by the health department. That makes more sense to me since I was well on my way to chlorine burns again.  This week they have it shut down to replace the lights in the pool.  I didn’t even know the thing had lights in it and I’ve been swimming there for over 4 years.

My backup plan when this happens is to swim at another gym, but it’s further away, and when my schedule is as limited as it is these days, it makes it really hard to be motivated about it when every traffic light is in a conspiracy to take my precious minutes of sleep away from me.  But I go anyway.  Because even though I hate getting home after 10pm, and then I have to shower and lotion up, I love the feeling of accomplishment I feel.

Our community renovated all of its pools this past winter and, yes, it’s a renovation you can actually see.  I can’t wait for them to start heating them for the season… in April.  I will be posting pictures of the newly fancified pools and in the meantime, I keep telling myself, “Just until April, just until April.”

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Filed under I feel Irritated, Mermaid Envy, Who I am

Panties in a Twist.

OK, maybe I’m taking this the wrong way, having been recently terminated by a company where I *loved* my job and the company for whom I worked. Especially when I’m fairly certain that they reallocated my duties to 2 or 3 people, who they are paying less, who aren’t getting medical benefits, and who are working longer hours as a result.

I know I shouldn’t let it get to me, the program isn’t even available in my state (at least, I don’t think so), but in last Sunday’s Parade Magazine, I came across this article: Link

And here’s a link to the horse’s mouth, so to speak: Link

In a nutshell, in case you don’t feel like reading the stuff at those links, in response to the incredible amount of unemployment filings, Georgia has created a program that enables employers to get free labor for up to 6 weeks, the state of Georgia even picks up the tab for worker’s compensation insurance. At the end of those 6 weeks, it’s at the employer’s discretion if they want to hire the person who has basically, for all intents and purposes, been an “intern.” (My word, not theirs.)

The intern receives a stipend of up to $300 (total over that 6 week period) to defray expenses (in addition to unemployment benefits), a “foot in the door”, and on-the-job training.

The state benefits, because they claim 58% of the interns (program participants) are landing jobs at the companies at which they are interning, thereby reducing the amount of unemployment payments the state is doling out.

According to the article, other states are interested in replicating the program, and there is a concern that the unemployed working for free could become a mandatory stipulation of receiving unemployment benefits. Which I find somewhat ironic – the state and former employer financially carrying their former employee while they retrain at a new company? (Unemployment is a program funded by employers who pay taxes on wages paid to employees.)

Furthermore, I’m not seeing how it would benefit someone in my shoes. Someone who’s not trying to change careers, someone who has years of experience doing what they do, and someone who has advanced skills that are suitable for the position they’re seeking. Someone whose bills are based on the position at which they’ve honed their skills over the years. UI doesn’t pay my bills, not even close. Add a measly $300 stipend for a 6 week period? Nope, still not even close.

Back in August of 1999 (the irony of it being 10 years ago, exactly, is not lost on me), I lost my job due to company closure. My boss at the time made the grandiose offer of, “If you continue working here, if we get our funding, we’ll pay you then.” My response to that was, “Thanks, appreciate the offer, but I don’t work for free.” The company never received its funding, it closed its doors… so, if I had stayed, I would have been working for free. Basically the same risk the people who participate in this program take… at the end, you either get “funded” or you don’t.

At that time, there just wasn’t anything out there for my skill set. After a few months went by, you know what I did? I went back to college. Shocking, right? Here’s something else, I continued to receive UI and when the benefits ran out, I went to court, stood in front of a judge and made my case for my UI to be continued. The judge agreed with me and extended my benefits. Ironically, shortly after that, I landed a position as an executive assistant… my trusty old standby.

I don’t recall that I registered with any temp agencies at that time. If I didn’t, I don’t know why. But I think temp agencies are much more beneficial to a candidate than Georgia’s work program. If a temp employee maintains a certain number of hours per week for a period of time, they’re eligible for health benefits through the temp agency. In addition, the employer pays a fee to the temp agency, so the employer has an investment beyond “training”… in other words, they are truly looking to hire someone. In Georgia’s work program, it appears as if there’s a huge loophole for employers to abuse the system — to enroll, get free labor for 6 weeks and then just wave their hand and say, “Meah, not a good fit.”

Maybe I’ve totally misinterpreted this and I feel like there’s a couple points I forgot to make (it’s late, I’ve vented my spleen and I hereby forgive myself), but that’s how it appears to me and I’ve read the stuff, like, 6 times now.

What are your thoughts? If you don’t have any thoughts, just wave and say “Hi”. No offense will be taken. Well, maybe a little offense, but I’ll get over it.

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Filed under I feel Irritated, Money Hump Building