Monday, September 17, 2007

I'm mad!


A young person (YP) I know and love parked her car at the side of the road and went to work. When she finished her shift at her minimum wage, part time job she returned to her car and discovered that someone had backed into it and left the hood and driver's side of the car smashed in. The person who hit her didn't leave a note, nothing. This was upsetting to YP as she knows she will have to pay the $750.00 deductible to get her car fixed and that equals a lot of long shifts at work.

Today she went to the ICBC claim centre to report the damage. This is the part that makes me really really MAD. The situation was frustrating enough, she had done nothing wrong, was going to be out of pocket $750, but then the claims adjuster proceeded to ridicule her!

I know I know. Mr. Claims Adjuster would say that he was just doing his job, that he has to weed out the dishonest clients, that insurance fraud is rampant, but did he need to use that tone of voice?? In her polite and respectful way she told him that she only works part time, so then he asked her what she did with the rest of her day. "Do you just sit around and twiddle your thumbs?"

The conversation went downhill from there, he twisted her words around, made unfair accusations and by the time he was finished she felt like a criminal yet she was the one who'd had a crime committed against her! Was it really too hard for him to conduct himself in a professional manner? Would he have spoken to the YP's tall and robust father with the same sarcastic tone of voice?

I wonder how Mr. Claims Adjuster feels when he goes home at the end of the day? Victorious in his war against insurance fraud? Oh wow! He really showed her who was boss!

I suspect that if we dug a little deeper we'd discover that this person was bullied when he was younger and is now dealing with his latent anger by bullying back, under the guise of 'work'. Perhaps he deserves my compassion instead of my anger and maybe in time I'll be able to muster up a little pity, but right now I'm just mad. Spitting mad.

“The best index to a person’s character is (a) how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and (b) how he treats people who can’t fight back.”
— Abigail van Buren

Shelley

14 comments:

Bookminder said...

I hope as a member of the tax paying public YP and her robust father have a word with the bully's boss. And they should take you along to provide a few well phrased thoughts as well! I can sympathize with those who were bullied as children and commend you for your insight but this person should not be allowed to deal with the public by the sounds of it.

On a lighter note thanks for your lovely comments on my blog and the heads up about Susan Juby's book. I heard her speak at a bookseller's fair in the spring and she was hilarious.

I have not forgotten my plan for student/author blogging. Just giving the English dept a chance to settle in before I spring it on them.
Chees,
Lesley

Leslie said...

Mr. Claims Adjuster needs some personality adjusting. Please advise us when the tall and robust father makes his visit. That would be a "not to miss" event. I really feel for YP and it reminds me of someone I know who once found themselves in a similar frustrating situation. Really inexcusable behaviour. Not the best role model for sure.

Anonymous said...

I am mad too! I hate obnoxious, mean-spirited, bullying behaviour. And YP is a customer!

But I don't agree that the imposing father should get involved (at least, not visibly involved ... he can provide lots of support behind the scenes). (And I think you mentioned that scenario, Shelley, just to point out that the claims adjuster wouldn't have bullied someone older and larger.)

I do think that YP should take some action. When feeling victimized, I have had some success with writing letters. A polite but strongly worded letter written to the manager of the claims centre will both (a) bring the unacceptable behaviour to the manager's attention and (b) allow YP to vent her feelings. Writing things down has always helped me. (Hey ... maybe there's a blog in that!)

Acknowledging the need to investigate hit-and-run accidents will show reasonableness. The letter might contain words like rudeness, harassment, and bullying, backed up by direct quotes.

YP might even write a letter to the newspaper. Organizations take notice when they get bad publicity.

... Anmaru

giggles said...

Shelley I don't blame you one bit for being angry! It seems young people are unjustly treated all so often. My friend’s daughter had her car vandalized and they blamed her for setting it up. When in actuality the girl is an upstanding citizen just graduated from UBC in the Sciences program. On the flip side, I have a dear friend, a very mild mannered man with the most pleasant demeanor who works in fraud investigation. Being an honest man, he is horrified at what goes on. I’m sure that plays into making some of the adjusters so cynical! You’d think they’d have some intuition regarding these matters! Let me know if you feel comfortable with him reading this post and I will forward it on to him! Not that he can rectify things but at least he can see how the good guys get duped!So sorry for all this trouble in YP's life.

Hugs Sherrie

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