I couldn’t decide which was more important, to be emotionally or physically exhausted. So I went with both.
To be clear, I’m fine. The family is fine. Business is great. My issues are external, many of which are beyond my control. Understanding one’s frustrations and pain points doesn’t always make the process easier. At some point I have to work my way through all of this and hope to put these and my clients’ issues behind me.
I mentioned last month that I was beginning to slow down, my first steps to transition my business. One of the first steps was to move my small group business to partners Carol Fyffe and Angela Elias. The next step was to secure a new smaller space in my current building now that Jeff is retiring. I got that done earlier this week. Now that that has been accomplished, all I need to do is line up the guy to do the wiring, the movers, the phones, the internet, and all of the rest of the stuff that makes an office an office. I’m looking forward to the day when my To-Do list has less than ten key items.
I have been an agent for over 43 years, long enough to have been in the business when insurance people ran insurance companies. I met insurance executives and CEO’s in the early years of my career. I recall them bragging about the claims paid, especially the large and difficult ones. But insurance companies are now run by MBA’s and bean counters. Now they are judged by their return on investment. I’ve been fighting with an insurance company since last July. My attorney would freak out if I mentioned their name, but I will make sure that neither I, nor any of the agents I mentor, will ever sell one of their policies again. I have only sold a few. I have learned that their system is designed to make claims payment difficult if not impossible. My internal contact wrote, “I apologize that process hasn’t been easy. Unfortunately, we do not have a case management team here. I will forward your feedback to upper management.” I begged, pleaded, and shamed the insurer and its flunkies to no avail. And the insurance company won. They took the client’s money right up until the day he died and never paid a penny. I truly regret ever writing the policy and I can only hope that the widow contacts Ohio’s Department of Insurance. And if they do, I have copies of all of the emails detailing every roadblock the insurer erected. How can you not be effected by this?
She was waiting for the warm embrace of her friends, and it never came. She told me that her friends abandoned her, as if her husband’s mid-life crises was as contagious as COVID. Worse, with COVID the worst that could happen is that you die. She lived and was forced to experience the loss of her family, her community, and her financial standing. And as devastating as all of that may be, no one cares! How dare she complain when families are being torn apart in Ukraine or, closer to home, millions of Americans would change places, in a heartbeat, to suffer her suburban lifestyle? We talked about the friends that never come, the support that only comes from within. It is hard to find yourself on an island, ALONE. Gosh it is disappointing to turn around and find that the people who counted on you have suddenly gone silent. I suggested that she cut her losses and move on. Don’t stand by the door or wait by your phone for those friends to show up. There are no guarantees that you emerge stronger. It is time to build a new community.
Henry Kissinger once said, ““I formulated the rule that the intensity of academic politics and the bitterness of it is in inverse proportion to the importance of the subject they’re discussing. And I promise you at Harvard, they are passionately intense and the subjects are extremely unimportant”. Smaller, less impactful organizations engaged in more frivolous, less important subjects can be far more intense than Harvard. Worse, they seldom have any cachet or even a sweatshirt.
Picture – Sweatshirt / No Logo – David L Cunix