Monday, August 21, 2006

New Beginnings

Welcome to my blog. The purpose is to share the insanity - the frustrations and joy that take place in my work environment & life on this lovely planet. The management initiatives that I have to implement are absurd. My clients are just mean. Most are mid-level risk managers who no doubt are treated like crap, so I guess it is the "kick the dog" dynamic. The most important part of my job is staff development. It is very challenging and rewarding, but it requires a lot of patience.

My staff are a diverse gang: socially, economically, ethnically and age-wise. The one thing they have in common is a constant need for validation - and they all experience hot flashes or PMS at the same time. The boys suddenly have client visits when they see the commercial size bag of Lays potato chips and the Hershey kisses in the employee breakroom. The boys make up the core of the sales force. Tall, good looking, very insecure but make lots of money. Whatever they promise the clients, the operations/claims team has to figure out how to deliver it. (Or convince the clients that they really bought something else.)

I report directly to the President of my division. He is my third boss in four years.

All three had different management styles which has resulted in psychological whiplash for me and my remaining staff. My current management team has embraced the accounting concept of EBITDA or earnings before the bad stuff. It's all bullshit. The current initiative is the remodeling of our regional office. Anytime you can spent $200,000 on renovations but can't part with $20,000 for salary increases is just nonsense.

I will have this lovely office and I will be in it alone. Because the staff, if they have half a brain, will seek employment elsewhere. What we do has yet to be outsourced overseas.

Insurance is the one service that you pay for it and have to fight like hell to get your claims processed. Nice. Claim adjusters are the red-headed stepchildren. WHY? We are the product/cost center. We pay claims, we spend the money. The only folks lower on the food chain are underwriters. They are the poor slobs who recommend what customers to write. Unfortunately for them, customers who have no claims prior to the company writing the program always have an employee who falls asleep at the wheel and drives over a family of six who are on their way to church. When that claim is sent up the dreaded flagpole, Upper Management's response isn't "What a shame," but "What bastard wrote that account?"

Burnout is a common occurrence in my field, so hobbies are mandatory. I confess I am a pathetic Eagles fan. The Eagles are not even worthy of a curse. The Eagles have broken my heart for a very long time. But my friends know where to find me on Sunday afternoons. Like a lover who is not good for me, I keep returning. My prediction for the upcoming season: 10-6.

Politics and history are passions of mine. I earned my B.A. in history/political science. (A perfect foundation for a career in insurance.) This passion and the lack of leadership in D.C. has led me to get involved politically. I have adopted a couple of progressive candidates: Lamont,Sestak, Ford, P Murphy and L Murphy. I have and will continue to give them time and money.

The most important role I play in life is that of Citizen. If I slack on in this role, nothing else matters.

Your comments and indulgence are welcome.

No comments: