Saturday, April 7, 2012

Insurance

Today's entry has a rather simple title for a rather simple reason. No one likes Insurance yet everyone need's insurance. At least, in my state it's required. I live in a state where auto insurance is mandatory. If you do not have insurance and you get pulled over, they will give you a ticket for it. It's quite a big deal and when the law was first passed, it cause quite the uproar in the community. Especially in this economy, being able to afford insurance of any kind is a hassle.

As reluctant as i am to admit it, i spent a little over a year working in the insurance industry. From it i pulled a lot of new knowledge but at the same time like anything that knowledge came with a very high cost. I worked for a locally owned, family run insurance agency in my town. IT was run by a father and his daughter. They were always bashing heads with each other. I guess the father founded the company many years ago and the daughter decided to hop on. Then finding out how fickle and guile her father was she decided to leave the state and go work for a big, professional insurance company, of course daddy got overwhelmed and swore to change so she came back to help him out under terms which he broke faster than you could say "Damn he's fickle" no really, as soon as she got back into town, he told her that everything they agreed upon was shit and he refused to follow it.

I was originally hired on as a tech specialist. my duties at the time entailed scanning and cataloging of client files as well as doing some website work and any computer repairs that the office needed. Being an office of 3 computers, i wasn't too distraught about that. I quickly tore through my work like any dedicated employee and got rewarded for it by both daddy and daughter in closed offices with signed contracts that meant i was getting a raise. And soon enough all my work had finished and it was time for me to start the regular duties that where included in the job title of CSR (Customer Service Representative). With it came a new pay grade, it was essentially at 75 cent raise which was colossal to me.

I continued to do my work, like any irresponsible high school teenager i showed up a few minutes late (due to underestimation of traffic) a few times, got reprimanded and swiftly fixed the issue by showing up 5-15 minutes early every day and that was the end of that. Then the worst part of the job started to kick in. It got to the slow season for insurance and i was instructed to do cold calls. For those of you who don't know what cold calling is, allow me to explain. Cold calling is when you're required to pull out a local phone book, close your eyes slam your finger in the book and call the name it lands on, no if's and's or but's, that's the way it was and someone had to do the dirty work. The reason why Cold Calling is the worst part of the job is that people hate it.

It's essentially telemarketing. I would be bewildered and dumbfounded if anyone reading this could honestly say they didn't hate telemarketers and have chewed them out at least once. Well i'll tell you what, telemarketers and cold callers hate their job just as much as you hate them for having the job. The level of stress they have to deal with on a daily basis is inexplicable. I continued to do cold calling for the rest of the duration of my time spent at this job however shortly after my graduation things started taking a deep downward spiral for the business and for me.

The first turn of events was that due to my boss's loud mouth and inability to be satisfied with any accommodations, we were evicted from our office that i had just gotten used to going to every day, but being that the market was in such a bad way at the time, we did not find a replacement office. Instead, my boss opted to run the business out of his house, which he still does to this day, for the tax deductions. While the legal battle was going on for the eviction, he was constantly trying to put his daughter and myself in positions where if he got cornered he could cry wolf and blame everything on us two so he could get away scott free. Doing his absolute best to get us to say exact phrases that he could interpret differently in court.

Due to these underhanded attempts and trying to hang his only two employees out to dry, his daughter finally decided that enough was enough and left the business. Since we had no one to replace her, i was given the burden of her work on top of my already overwhelming work and i was stripped of my paygrade raise. It had become to where i was working well over full time in what was originally scheduled to be a part time job, at minimum wage, trying to do the job of 2 sometimes 3 people as he spent a great deal of time out of the office getting coffee with family members and not doing anything actually work related.

At this point my enthusiasm for working in this business had begun to wane, i was getting yelled at by customers, getting overwhelmed with calls i could not answer all at once and getting reprimanded for not going through proper proceedures as i struggled to keep up with the constant intake of phone calls from customers who just wanted to yell at me for one reason or another, never a reason that i was the direct cause of. Finally it came to the one year mark where i had accidentally discovered that i was not getting paid what i should be paid but walking into my bosses office while he had the paystubs he refused to give me on his screen. I noticed that it said 7.25 an hour, which at the time was below minimum wage (which was 7.35) and significantly lower than what the minimum threshold of my paygrade (8.00). He began to recognize that in order to operate properly we would need to get another employee.

Daddy ended up hiring a useless, ditzy blond to fill this position who came in about as sober as David Hasslehoff every day, and never got any work finished. I had long since decided to start printing out my own paystubs discovering the website at which they were available and came across hers as i was getting to mine (all the paystubs were in the same PDF in alphabetical order. Her last name starts with E, mine starts was J there was no way to avoid going over it to get to mine). She was getting paid 9 dollars an hour straight from the get go and it was blatently obvious to everyone, including daddy (as he often came up to me to complain about how useless she was but he kept her because she had nice... features...).

Eventually everything came swelling to a head as i became so demotivated to work there, i started to play things like minecraft, and WoW on the work computer. I'd bring in my own laptop knowing daddy and ditz would be out of the office for 7 out of the 8 hours in the work day and played many other games. hosted a internet radio station for a short period of time, and essentially did anything i could think of to waste the time and not actually do any work. Finally, i came to feel like it was all going to come crashing down upon me if it lasted any longer (he had no clue i was doing any of the above, and still doesn't to this day. He's still trying to hire me back) so i submitted my 2 weeks and got the hell out of there before i got out of my control.

The amusing thing is, almost a year later, i started my own online tech support business which i've been doing  for almost 2 years now, and he is a frequent customer, i have him under written contract which he knows i have a copy of with a set of guidelines he needs to abide by. One of which includes paying me a specific rate of 15 an hour for services. And it's getting back to the point where i am now working part time in his office again, contracted in from the outside. However i refuse to do anything insurance related. It's all purely technology which is perfectly fine with me as he's so indecisive he'll have me recreate his website from the ground up every other week.

I guess that's Karma for his being such an underhanded, fickle scrooge. What do you think? That's it for now.

10 comments:

  1. Karma..is..a
    B I Z N I T C H

    ;)

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  2. That's awesome.

    Looks like everything worked out...thank god for irrational people?

    Assuming you're in the USA or Canada...is $8.00 an hour seriously the minimum wage?

    That's insane.

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    1. Since the company was local, it didn't have to abide by the national minimum wage laws, it only had to abide by the local which at the time was 7.35.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. Rotfl, hosting radio station at work when boss isn't around? Nice :D

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  4. California requires car insurance... :(

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, California is like one of the top stated in the US for strict vehicle laws. You guys have laws against anything other than driving your car when it comes to driving your car lol.

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