Doing As Told

| Working | October 15, 2012

Testy Is Not The Best Policy

| USA | Working | October 14, 2012

(I work as a claims agent for a well-known insurance company. When people switch insurance companies and happen to have an accident within the first month of their new policy, it’s standard practice to contact their old company to verify coverages as a way to prevent fraud. Note: insurance companies protect your policy privacy like banks protect your account privacy, so no information can be released to anyone unless permission is given by the main account holder. After being transferred several times, I finally get to speak with the right person.)

Me: “Hello, this is [my name] calling from—”

Insurance Agent: “I know, they told me why you’re calling. I can’t talk to you.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Insurance Agent: “I. Can’t. Talk. To. You.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I—”

Insurance Agent: “Look, I don’t know how you guys do it at [my company], but here, we can’t talk to you guys about customers’ policies. I don’t know why you thought you could call in to get that information, or why you’re confused as to why I can’t release it.”

Me: *stays silent*

Insurance Agent: “Hello?”

Me: “Sorry, I just wanted to make sure you got your rudeness out of the way before I conference in the customer on my back line. He used to have a policy with you guys, and he recently switched to our company. He’s been patiently waiting to speak with you so we can verify the information we need in order to take care of him.”

Insurance Agent: *speechless*

Me: “Also, I’ll be needing your direct extension at the end of our call. I’ll be contacting you on my break so you can personally cancel the homeowner’s policy I have through your company. Your attitude has inspired me to take my own business elsewhere. Please wait while I conference in [customer]…”

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Thoughtlessly Thoughtful

| Anaheim, CA, USA | Working | October 14, 2012

(I’m getting ready to close out while my relief has just arrived for her shift. She’s just staring blankly out the glass double doors at the street outside the building while I’m trying to work around her.)

Me: “Hey, you all right? You look lost in thought.”

Coworker: “Nah, I’m just thinkin’…”

Health Condition: Impossible

| NY, USA | Working | October 13, 2012

(I am a data entry person who works the 4-12 shift. One day on my way to work, I become suddenly and violently ill in horrible pain. I end up in the ER and eventually am admitted to the hospital overnight. While on the gurney in the ER, I ask the nurse to call my boss.)

Me: “Here’s my boss’s number at work. Would you call and tell her I am in the hospital and won’t be in to work today?”

Nurse:  “Okay.”

(The next day, I am released from the hospital after recovering from a kidney stone attack. I am told to take it easy for a few days and come back if I have any further problems.)

Me: *calling boss on phone* “Alice, did you get the phone call yesterday about being sick?”

Alice: “No.”

Me: “I got really sick and had to go to the ER yesterday afternoon. I was admitted to the hospital for further testing and observation but was released today. While in the ER, I gave a nurse your phone number and asked her to call to tell you I was sick. No one from the hospital called you?”

Alice: “No one called.”

Me: “Well, I’m sorry about that. Anyway, they ruled out appendicitis and a few other really serious things. They think I had a kidney stone attack based on the severity and location of the pain. I was told to take the rest of the week off from work, but I should be back next week.”

Alice: “Okay…”

(Fast forward a few months to my periodic employee review.)

Alice: “Well, you are an excellent worker. Your speed and accuracy are among the top in the office. You finished your training in two days when most people take two weeks. You are always punctual for work and always work overtime when I ask. I noted that when you had to take a day off to attend your college roommate’s wedding, you worked an extra day shift to make up for it. You’ve also done a great job as the nighttime first aid person. However, I can only give you the minimum raise because I had to write you up for an unexcused absence.”

Me: “Huh? What are you talking about?”

Alice: “There was that time you were absent but didn’t call in sick.”

Me: “Alice, I was in the ER at the hospital on a gurney with an IV in my arm in panic and fear and excruciating pain, not knowing if I had appendicitis. Even in my pain and fear, I asked a nurse to call you to let you know I wouldn’t be in. I can’t help it that she didn’t call. Still, I called you the next day as soon as I got released from the hospital.”

Alice: “It doesn’t matter. You should have called me personally to let me know you wouldn’t be in to work!”

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Why Hello, Kessika

| Montreal, QC, Canada | Working | October 13, 2012

(Note: I’m a patient in the hospital after shattering my leg. My sisters call a local florist to order flowers for me.)

Sister: “Please address these to Jessika. It’s spelled with a K. J-E-S-S-I-K-A.”

Sales Clerk: “Jessika with a K. Got it!”

(They arrived addressed to “Kessica.”)


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