Archive for Police

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.

Zombie News of the Day

Posted in Entertainment, Food, Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2012 by urbannight


The Zombie Apocalypse has arrived.  It starts inMiami!

I was running late to work this morning.  By taking the interstate, I managed to get to work on time. But getting the computer started and clocking in took me until 5 after.  The upside is that I heard a very strange news story on the car radio.  I would have missed it if I had left on time. 

A naked man near an off-ramp attacked a homeless guy and started to eat his face off.  Police arrived and ordered him to stop.  He ignored them.  An officer shot him once but he continued to eat the guy’s face.  The officer had to fire five more shots to take the naked man down. 

These morning guys can be a little crazy sometimes.  So I’m totally shocked that neither one bothered with the most obvious comparison.  Naked guy thought he was a zombie. 

Apparently there is a cocaine theory.  Cocaine induced madness and it makes the person feel very hot, which may be why he stripped down to nothing. 

Who knew?  Cocaine is the trigger for the Zombie apocalypse.

Red Light Green Light – Driving in Omaha

Posted in Education, Life, Politics, Technology, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2012 by urbannight

Both my roommate and I are not Omaha, or even Nebraska, natives.  The result is that we often complain about some of the driving patterns. 

The one I plan to highlight today is the manner in which drivers treat stop lights. 

 Lets start with your standard Green Light.  You have to wait a little while before going.  It isn’t that you have to wait to see if anyone runs it before moving.  It’s because you have to wait for the people running the red light from the side direction. 

Then you have the Omaha Green Light.  This is what most other people think is a yellow light.  Other drivers seem to hate me because I slow down and stop on a yellow.  Some places call it the hurry up and speed light.  That isn’t even an issue here.  Most Omahan’s treat it as just an extension of the green light. 

The Omaha Yellow light is next.  This is where the street light has actually turned red but anywhere from 2 to 6 cars will run the red light.  Always.  Every time. 

This is such a problem that there was an article in the paper once about La Vista ticketing people who ran yellow lights.  A yellow light is so that people in the intersection can get out of it before the red light but if you are not in the intersection when it turns yellow you should not move into the intersection.  Running a yellow light is the same ticket as running a red light. 

I already know this.  So does my roommate.  Of course, we are not originally from this area.  I guess Nebraska in general, or Omaha in particular, have strange drivers education programs.

On a related note, the police seem to treat them as optional.  I’ve lived in small towns where the police might turn on the lights to go through a red light and then turn the lights off again right after.  But this is the first place where I’ve seen so many cops just drive through the red light, no lights, no siren, no drama.  Just running the red light.  Red lights are clearly things that happen to other people.

Hispanics Need Not Apply

Posted in Advertising, Economy, Life, Politics with tags , , , , , , on February 5, 2012 by urbannight

I sometimes wonder at the ethnic background of some of these seriously anti-Hispanic politicians.  I wonder if any of them have Irish or Italian ancestry.  Because the whole thing reminds me of the time when wanted ads said “Irish need not apply” at the bottom and signs in the windows proclaimed, “No Irish”.  The Italians went through this as well, but more people are familiar with the Irish phase of it.

In fact, this is where we get the stereotype of the Irish or Italian cop.  As people tended to cluster together in communities, and when faced with oppression, closed ranks together, the police had trouble functioning in Italian and Irish neighborhoods.  So they started hiring Italians and Irish people to police their own neighborhoods.

As these young men took this job opportunity, they were looks down on by other police officers and their own communities became suspicious of them, you develop the stereotype of the drunk Irish or Italian cop.  Not to say this happened to everyone.  But it was the birth of a cartoonish image that has lasted through the years.

But is it really so different now?  Telling the Hispanics to go home, we don’t want you here.  To me it is part and parcel with the same thing.  So anyone of Irish or Italian ancestry who is supporting the anti-Hispanic policies of some states needs to think about their own history and do they really want to support such a stance.