Archive for Accidents

The down side of cell phones when doing business.

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2016 by urbannight

I work in an incoming call center for auto claims. So if you get into an accident I take the first notice of loss report when you call in the claim. This can be relatively easy and satisfying, even, at times. The biggest problem isn’t the upset callers but the cell phone culture that we have developed.

1. People want to save time elsewhere by calling in while they are driving. If we tell them we can’t talk to them while they are driving they try to tell us that it is okay because they are using a blue tooth or other hand free system. This does not make it okay. Company policy is to not talk to drivers who are driving. This is distracted driving. There have been accidents while people were on the phone with their insurance companies. When taking a loss from you, we often ask for information for which you might have to look up or dig out. Then we often give you information we want you to write down. This cannot be done while you are driving.

2. Bad connections. Cell phones are a lot more likely to have bad connections than land lines. We have, as a society, chosen to give up clear connections for the convenience of always having phone access. This can be really problematic with dropped calls, static, sound distortion, people who sound like they wrapped their phone in cotton batting before they tried to use it, strange metallic sounds, and distracting echos. Not to mention cutting in and out and dropped calls. People then get pissed off if you have a problem hearing them or getting all the information because of these issues. And if the call drops because of a bad connection, or they are driving and they lie about it (believe me, it happens and we can tell), they call back saying we hung up on them.

3. Photo phones. This is where things get the most annoying. No one writes down the information anymore. They try to call in the loss and when I start asking questions they don’t have any information. They tell me it is on their phone and they don’t know how to access it while talking on the phone. Some people attempt to do so to varying degrees of success and failure. Other times, people take photos of documents and don’t realize they can’t read them or they cut off information they needed until they call it in. If they wrote it down, they wouldn’t have this problem. They also take photos of the damage and then when asked to describe the damage they can’t seem to figure it out from the photo.

If you plan to call in a claim and you put everything on your phone these steps will make things go more smoothly and much faster.

1. Check our photos, make sure you can read everything you might need. It would be best to actually take some paper and write the information down.

2. Call from a location where you normally have good reception. Do not call while driving. If at all possible, call from a land line. I do my personal calling from my work phone before or after work or during lunch so I can use a land line. I know that won’t work for everyone, but if you can, do so.

3. Information you will want to have: (the ideal)
a. Names, phone number, address of all parties involved.
b. Year, Make, Model, and VIN of all vehicles involved. Plates are good but VIN is best.
c. Description of damages to vehicles, were any vehicles towed away.
d. Basic descriptions of any injuries, or and awareness of who might have been injured. You won’t always see or know this, but try to keep an eye on what is going on around you.
e. Insurance company and policy numbers of other parties involved.

Try your best to get that information. Sometimes, the cops won’t let people talk to each other, but then the cops won’t provide any information either. Many places now require you to get the info online or order it and you have to pay for it. It seems like they are turning accidents into a money-making scheme. Sometimes one party involved is aggressive and threatening. In that case, stay in your car and call the police to handle things.

One of THOSE Days

Posted in Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2012 by urbannight

I cannot read your mind, so I shall eat it instead…..
(I think I can get a lot of mileage out of this one image)

Why do people think I read minds?  I can’t.  It would be nice thought.  It would save me a lot of time.  

Names, Date, Places, are deliberately avoided to protect the sane, insane, and differently sane.

First there was the lady who called to report a loss from a week ago.  A week isn’t bad.  Really, it isn’t.  Not compared to some.  But she is all worried and said she was on vacation at the time. 

She is giving me info from a police report.  No problem.  I ask her to give me a description of what happened. 

Her: What do you mean?

Me: How did the Accident happen? 

Her: How should I know, I wasn’t there!

Me: But you have a police report that you have been reading from.

Her:   Do you want me to fax it to you?

Me: I just need you to read me the accident description from the police report.

Her:  Why are you coming at me with all this attitude?  What do you want me to do?

Me: You have a police report and you tell me you don’t know what happened.  It’s on the police report, all I need you to do is read me that information. 

And she finally does, calms down, and we finish the loss reasonably quickly.  Only at the end, she tells me she took photos of the other vehicle.  All I can wonder is how that happened if she was on vacation?

Then I get an email and two in-house phone calls to make changes on three claims all at the same time.  I can only answer one line at a time, thank you.  Two of the three were no problem.  Aside from the fact that as I’m trying to get to it, the other two calls come in, plus two external calls, and then another internal call asking why it wasn’t done yet.  We  found out more info and were able to change suspense claims to proper policies and get them set up accurately.  Finally, I got it out of my hair and off my desktop.

The third was an issue.  They changed the Date of Loss and now if fell inside the policy period.  But they never sent me a request to put the loss claim on the correct policy, so it was committed to the main frame as a suspense.  That just means a dummy policy to allow us to set up something if it fell before or after a policy period or if we couldn’t find any policy at all. 

The examiner wanted to know why it wasn’t changed to go on the correct policy.  For the simple reason no on informed me of the change of date and there was an active policy for the new date.  If I am not told, I cannot go in to make the change.  I don’t read minds. 

I would like to read minds.  I really would.  Then I might know who was in or not, who was on their phones or not, and I could stop wasting time an energy on people who don’t like me.  But I can’t.  Maybe I could saute them up in a little bit of butter.  I do like to cook. Anyway….

I’ve had another person in the unit tell me that she apparently can’t do anything right today and a third person is having some odd calls too.  Like one on man who told her if he could find the driver he would strangle and kill him, he just wants his 50$ deposit to the rental place back. 

If you are going to risk a murder wrap, please have it be more meaningful than over 50$.

I still have not taken my blood pressure meds today.  I really need to.  I’m starting to feel it rise.

I don’t think I want to know what the rest of today is going to bring.

Randomness of Work Life

Posted in Life, Uncategorized, Work, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2012 by urbannight
  1. If you are staring at the wall and realize that your vision is flickering in time to your pulse, you may have forgotten to take your blood pressure medicine that morning. Or maybe that week.  It’s just been on of those weeks.  The type of week you wish never happened.
  2. If you are heading to the bathroom and your coworker says you can’t, just tell him or her, “Okay, but I’ll just have to poo  at my desk then and you can put up with the smell.”  That should get him or her to change his or her mind.
  3. Planning work related gag gifts for a coworkers retirement is a fun way to kill part of the work day.  Way more fun that actual work.
  4. You never know who the practical joker in the unit will turn out to be.  I understand why I was asked if I had taken another coworker’s stuff from her desk.  I’m just suspicious that way.  But it the person who actually did it wasn’t one any of us expected it to be.
  5. Running though the halls screaming may seem like a great stress release.  Don’t do it. Just Do Not Do It.
  6. Some days, the correct course of action really is staying home and having a good stiff drink.  Preferably single malt Scotch.
  7. Avoid working in an auto claims department.  Even if you are in a job where your contact with claimants and insureds is rather minimal.  You will end up seeing everything people do wrong when driving and you will end up counting the number of almost accidents you saw on the way to work and the way home and any time you are in a car.  Even if you are not driving.