Enough Already

I’ve been in the insurance industry since 1997. I’ve worked at different companies handling different kinds of claims. I’ve been exposed to all kinds of management processes and styles. Every few years, these companies want to “reinvent the wheel” in terms of customer service. We are currently going through this right now.

A few months ago, we implemented a new management system. I don’t want to get into too many specifics (for obvious reasons), but one aspect of this is that each team has a dry erase board that sits out in the open. Like a huge one that you’d see in a football locker room. On these boards is the name of each team member, and then next to it certain metrics. We have to keep track of how many new claims we get each day, how many we close, set targets for different things like negotiations and how many claims we want to evaluate. In addition, we have to indicate how we feel about that work day, by using a colored dot – either red, yellow or green. The board also contains important news and announcements. Every day we meet at the same time for 15 minutes to discuss this board. If you need help from teammates you can ask for it, etc.

Needless to say, people are tired of this. All this info is up there in the spirit of “transparency,” but half the time people are lying. I walk by boards and see green and I know for a fact that the person is miserable. People are scared to say how they really feel, even though they are told there are no repercussions.

Right now everyone is stressed and overworked. We are getting slammed with new claims. One coworker just went out on leave starting today. We don’t know how long she’ll be out. Another is transferring within the company and has two weeks left. Their files have to go somewhere…which means they will be split between the rest of us. More work. Yay! On top of that, they’ve started this initiative that no matter what you’re doing, is the phone rings you need to stop and answer it. Right. Is this a call center or are we handling claims? When you’re in the midst of something difficult, stopping to take a call can totally jack up your concentration. But whatevs.

I’ve had enough already. I’ve spent the months since I returned from maternity leave busting my azz to go above and beyond, and I’m tired. I value work-life balance, and I wasn’t getting it.

On Tuesday, my unit leader made me so mad, I was feeling like this:

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Her shenanigans are a WHOLE OTHER BLOG POST. I told her that I am done. Ain’t no extras. During my scheduled work hours I will work my azz off, but I’m leaving on time every day, I don’t care who doesn’t get called (this all stemmed from her IM-ing me in an accusatory tone about not taking someone’s phone call when she knew we had been in a bullsh*t meeting for an HOUR and then I was in the mother’s room pumping for the next half hour). I have left on time every day since and I love it.

I take pride in my work, but you’re not going to take advantage of that and treat me like a slave.

I hope at some point, they will realize that it’s enough already. People are wearing thin. We can’t afford to have anyone else quit. But I guarantee you that almost everyone is looking for new employment.

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That Didn’t Exactly Work Out

So, it’s the end of May and we’ve heard nothing from HH’s job about the alleged transfer that could’ve taken place this month.

I guess the retiree was phantom. Or maybe he said, “sike! I was just playin’. I got five good years left in me.” Or maybe the yard master was just completely mistaken with his info and he doesn’t want to admit it now.

Either way, hubs still makes the 90+ minute trek. More wear and tear on the car and more cash out of our pockets.

We have A LOT to be thankful for this year, so we will be focused on that in the coming months. It just cooks my grits and sticks ’em to the pot that they dangled this carrot, and then snatched it away. Booooooooo.

Yearly Review

On Thursday, I had my yearly review with my unit leader. Of course, my review wasn’t based on a full calendar year, but from 3/26/2013 to 12/31/2012.

The review was made up of objective goals, like closing ratio and quality review scores. Most every insurance company I’ve worked at looks for a 100% closing ratio. For every new file you get, you need to close a file. Since I was a new employee, we knew I wouldn’t meet this number. I got a lot of bulk transferred files, and it was a few months before I started getting new files.

My quality audits were around 96%. If I remember, the goal is 92%. I won’t bore you with all the details and numbers, but that portion of the review went fine. I met my goal of attending at least one local mediation and/or trial (I went to three mediations), and I met my goal to pass at least one CPCU exam (I passed two).

I think, the most exciting thing about this review, was my manager’s enthusiasm and attitude, and his willingness to help me develop and grow. He said, “I’m perfectly fine if you want to stay in my unit, but my goal is to help you develop skills so that if there is a position you want to post for, you are able to do so.”

He also told me that I am thriving in my current role and a very good fit. I guess I’ve been at other places that were so tough on their employees, that it’s nice to hear some good feedback.

We discussed future goals, and whether I’d like to take a path towards management or towards developing my technical skills. I’ve been thinking about that for the past few weeks, and I decided it would be best for me to develop my technical skills. I look around at all these younger reps around me, and they are so much more advanced than I was at their age. I blame that on a few things, some external, some internal. I hit a period in my career where insurance companies were merging and closing, and I got tossed to and fro. At that point, it became about maintaining employment, not developing my career. I spent quite a few years being stagnant, because I was afraid of the next layoff.

Not this time. I have a manager who is willing to help me and I will take full advantage. I can’t go back and change those former years, I can only control what happens from this day forward. We’re going to come up with a formal plan and objectives in the next few weeks. We talked about shadowing more senior reps, which I think I would love. I have gone to reps in our office to ask questions, and the amount of knowledge these ladies have in their heads is mind blowing. They can rattle off statutes and case law with the greatest of ease. I love it. And that’s why I chose a “technical knowledge” path rather than the “management” path, for now.

I’m looking forward to what this next year has to bring.