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Posted on Sunday, June 11, 2000 - 6:02 pm:   

Nice touch, Poet. Looks like a good closure entry. Put a lump in my throat; every word you say is true. Thanks so much, from all of us...
A Southern Poet
Posted on Sunday, June 11, 2000 - 5:12 pm:   

A message for all today.

Maybe God wants us to meet a
few wrong people before meeting
the right one so that when we finally
meet the right person, we will know
how to be grateful for that gift.

When the door of happiness closes,
another opens, but often times we look
so long at the closed door that we don't
see the one which has been opened for us.

The best kind of friend is the kind you
can sit on a porch and swing with,
never say a word, and then walk away
feeling like it was the best
conversation you've every had.

It's true that we don't know what we've
got until we lose it, but it's also true
that we don't know what we've been
missing until it arrives.

Giving someone all your love is never an
assurance that they'll love you back!
Don't expect love in return; just wait
for it to grow in their heart
but if it doesn't, be content it grew in yours.

It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone,
an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone,
but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.

Don't go for looks; they can deceive.
Don't go for wealth; even that fades away.
Go for someone who makes you smile because it
takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright.
Find the one that makes your heart smile.

There are moments in life when you miss someone
so much that you just want to pick them from
your dreams and hug them for real!

Dream what you want to dream;
go where you want to go;
be what you want to be,
because you have only one life and one
chance to do all the things you want to do.

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet,
enough trials to make you strong,
enough sorrow to keep you human,
enough hope to make you happy.

Always put yourself in others' shoes.
If you feel that it hurts you,
it probably hurts the other person, too.

The happiest of people don't necessarily
have the best of everything;
they just make the most of everything that
comes along their way.

Happiness lies for those who cry,
those who hurt, those who have searched,
and those who have tried, for only they can
appreciate the importance of people who have
touched their lives.

Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss
and ends with a tear.
The brightest future will always be based
on a forgotten past,
you can't go on well in life until you let go
of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and
everyone around you was smiling.
Live your life so that when you die,
you're the one who is smiling and
everyone around you is crying.
Posted on Sunday, June 11, 2000 - 4:51 pm:   

Ok, right, let's stick to the stress factor, as you wish.

For us there are different DEGREES of stress.

The file handling, the phone calls, the location, the company/vendor we are working for are all within our own control, individually. These are all part of the job, and the phone calls are the critical part because phone calls are THE pet peeve out there. Understandably so, too. Phone calls can be snuffed out in a matter of seconds, by the adjuster, with proper claims handling in general. Close on site, leave copy of estimate at the risk, keep your file ratio of closed to inspected tight. Give the insureds your personal office phone number; direct them away from the office phone number so they can get you direct then and there or your voicemail can pick it up. There now, problem solved.

No, I say the real stress comes to us as I described in the 7 topics. We can handle the storm; that's why we are professionals, when we have the "powers that be" behind us. When we have to worry about getting paid for our work, worry about volume of files to even break even (let alone make money), worry about the cat adjuster becoming obsolete due to advancing technologies, that is when the stress becomes unbearable. And that is because everything is all tied together regarding our career choice. (we forgot to mention the high divorce rate we, as a group, have)

But when we see things that we CAN change and we don't, we desserve what we get in the business. Things are already improving out there, due to CADO in large part. The good companies (the cream) will rise to the top and the bad guys will eventually be cut out of the business cuz they won't be able to get good help. So, maybe, just maybe, there is hope out there. Time will tell.

Please don't be upset with me for detouring your well-made points, and I sure do not intend to overshadow your points either. Just another viewpoint......much more ground to cover if more got involved, I bet. Bottom line is I think we are both saying the same thing, just a little different. Take care and hope to see you at the next cane........
Posted on Sunday, June 11, 2000 - 1:02 pm:   

To ever independent catastrophe adjuster including Murphy:

I began this discussion with a single objective in mind. That objective was to focus on one problem & one problem only. How we as a group could help each other without fear of ridicule, being publicly chastised or embarrassed while dealing with our stress.

One of the characteristics of this profession is stress. Everyone from the insured to the carrier is looking to us as problem solvers. When an event occurs panic sets in from the insured to the carrier. Guess who is in the middle of all this? We are. Unless you have been there no one has any understanding of what we are subjected to under our normal working conditions. It has been said that our profession is the most stressful profession in existance.

We survive in this business because we can handle more stress better than the vast majority of the population. It is quite simple if you can't handle it you just won't survive. However, even the best of us have our limits.

We all understand that the average insured is going through this process for the first time. As such the only person he has any personal contact with is the adjuster. Until their claim is settled the only person that they can unload their problems on is the adjuster. That is until the insured realizes that a simple panic phone call to the agent, vendor or carrier may have an effect on the processing of their claim.

Usually the people that receive these calls at the agency, vendor & or carrier are the front line staff. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these individuals have no field experience, therefore, begin to participate with the insured in this process with a knee jerk reaction towards the adjuster or vendor. They often over react without verifying the facts.

When calls from the insured occur, and boy do they occur, the front line individuals receiving these calls believe every single word the insured tells them. The next thing you know is you are being called on the carpet for no good reason at all. You are told that you only have one day to finish your files or they will be pulled or any combination of a thousand different things. All the time this is going on you are scratching your head in total disbelief at what has just occurred.

Now this is stress. Not only do you have to defend yourself. Many times you don't even know what they are talking about. The real truth of your dealings with the insured have no resemblance what so ever with what ever the insured was complaining about.

Now don't even think for one second that this forum, any vendor, carrier or government agency has any power to change any of this. It's impossible to prevent, therefore, it's impossible to do anything about it. You just have to accept this as part of one of our occupational hazards. Remember there are things that you can control & things you can not. The things you can control present you with no problem that you can not handle. However, the things that you can not control will bring you a lot of stress. Learn how to deal with the stress and the things you can not control will not bother you as much & you will find that you will have more control over your life.

Which brings me to my original posting on this subject. Problems and what are we to do? The above example I used is just one direction from which stress comes from. There are probably as many different stress related events in our lives as catastrophe adjusters as there are insureds, adjusters, vendors, carriers or government agencies.

I do know from personal experience that when a group of us do get together in a casual atmosphere and share experiences you find out that you are not alone. You will discover that everyone is having the same problems & soon you realize that you are not the problem but the solution. Until you actually participate in one of these social gatherings you just could not believe how good you feel afterwards. Because we are scattered all over the country these gatherings are far & few in between. That is why I made the suggestion for a forum for & by adjusters only.

Please limit any replies to this forum topic to your ideas concerning stress, as it relates to our profession, and any suggestions towards a solution. Let us not stray away from the subject at hand. I know from reading the thread lines in other subject matters that holding a single thought is very difficult for many of us. Could this be a result of occupational stress?

This is not about the insureds, agents, vendors, carriers, fee schedules or working conditions. It is about us as independent catastrophe adjusters & one of the many problems we are faced with on a daily basis. This problem can not nor should not involve anyone other than ourselves.

Personally I do not view this as a major problem threatening any of our lively hoods. I only bring this up because of the improvement in the quality of life a forum like this may offer us. Should Roy decide to set one up only time will tell the value of it.

As always I wish you well.
Posted on Sunday, June 11, 2000 - 12:15 am:   

Your points are well taken and ought to be seriously considered by "the powers that be" on CADO to have a private room for the adjusters.
Let's take this further still; because in the meantime we are still left to deal with our frustrations.

Maybe some sort of humor is missed by the readers at times on the posts, be the humor sarcastic or sincere jest.

On the other hand, when we are angry, it is because somebody/nobody is listening. If it takes anger or taking risks to bring about change, so be it. If the risk is the "wrong eyes, ears seeing and hearing what we say", so be it. Often, those are the eyes and ears that have the power to set the wheels of change in motion. What those people need to see is the masses; that what some of us feel, is what the majority feels. That necessitates change, you see. It is written in history, will always be; its human. The Boston Tea Party is a great example....

So, I guess what I am saying is a private adjuster "squawk box" is not necessarily the only answer, unless we had a dependable spokesperson to voice our views for us, as a mass. Take yourself, for example, or perhaps Roy, or somebody nobody in the business knows. Not a leader or political or jurisdictional voice, not a union, per se, not an attorney, but just a voice for us adjusters; a voice for the masses. I believe it is important for the vendors and companies to see and know what we are going through and thinking. Even if it is not what they want to see. Often times the truth hurts; part of life in general.
I didn't miss your point; my cause was to make clear just why we are all seeing and feeling anger and/or frustration out here. Fear, too, may be observed and perhaps misviewed as anger. Maybe some eyes will open up out there, when they see it spelled out clearly. This is all real, folks.
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 10:20 pm:   

(Message Removed by CADO) (JF)
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 9:42 pm:   

(Message Removed by CADO) (JF)
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 9:19 pm:   

(Message Removed by CADO) (JF)
Todd Milton (Cyclonestorm9)
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 8:48 pm:   

(Message Removed by CADO) (JF)
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 7:32 pm:   

Dear Ghostbuster:

Like your humor

As always I wish you well
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 6:49 pm:   

Intellectual riposte are fine. But should one veiw life like a Three Stooges episode or a Warner Brothers, Loony Toon cartoon, ones responses to this forum gracefully cross over the line. It would appear, indeed should appear, to all respondents that the challenge of maintaining dignity in the postings is our collective lofty goal.

Or, has was so eloquently put forth by Curley, "Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk! Hiya, Toots!", just before a cream pie impacted his face.
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 6:32 pm:   


After reading & rereading your response to my posting I believe you either missed the point I was trying to make or I just didn't express my thoughts properly. I wasn't trying to state what this business was all about at all. I was merely trying to point out to everyone that there comes a point in time when the stress level of this profession can get to you. When anyone reaches that point something has to give. Unfortunately it can become a career killer if you explode in the wrong place at the wrong time in front of the wrong people.

I have found that casual conversation with your piers about your experiences often will serve as an excellent venue to vent all of those frustrations, trials & tribulations in the back of your mind without doing any harm to yourself (career) or others.

As you pointed out we are scattered out all over the country and those kinds of opportunities just do not present themselves very often. That is why I made the suggestion of a private form for adjusters only. This way we can share our experiences freely without fear of doing ourselves or anyone else any harm.

I believe that a private forum would do much to relieve the tension out there. You can really see the tension & anger in the postings. Unfortunately, mainly good points that are being made by many individuals in their postings and replies are overlooked because of this. If we could all just get rid of some of this stress related baggage I believe we all would see a tremendous improvement not only in our postings & replies but our everyday life as well.

As always I wish you well.
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 5:53 pm:   


Your reply was much better this time. Your remarks have much more meaning and should leave no doubts in anyone's mind just exactly what you are talking about. Anyone that will compare your Two different responses will come away with a totally different impression of the person you are when comparing each response. Remember the impression you leave with people about who you are will last a life time. Might as well make it a good one.

Now I think you can see what I am trying to do. If we can respond to postings more intellectually perhaps those that read but don't respond may join in or at the very least have a higher degree of respect for our professionalism.

As for who I am, you know. As always I wish you well.
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 4:44 pm:   

Ok, RJ, now I really know who you are. Chicago storm still go down in your book as being the worst "Rocket" ship you ever rode? It was mine...
take care, buddy
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 4:25 pm:   

Hello, RJ, I think I recognize you now. Yes, we have met and I believe I recognize that calming demeanor you posess. I decided to print our line of thought, so I can put time into my response, as you suggest. And, dear, rest assured I document/define/idendify any facts thoroughly via narrative reports, blurbs on estimates, clear sometimes lengthy photo descriptions on my files; they stand on their own, and my files stay closed. I could provide you with a list of references, if you would like. You would recognize many, many names on that list.
Now, to the point; I count 7, not 9 different topics, so here goes. The reason I was previously "short and sweet" is because I dont believe it is necessary to re-iterate what CADO has revealed for the last year or more. But anyways...
1. It is about careers: Any Independent in this business for more than 3 years on the road, constantly busy whether for one vendor or several takes adjusting seriously as a career; not just a job. The loyalty is to him/herself with a lifetime plan; goal; career. Therefore, we have to protect our career = future.
2. It is about facts: To be informed is to be armed. Nothing worse than to get blind sided trying to make a living because you didn't know. Because you didn't take the time to find out, to research the facts. Because you believed the lies out there and the only way to sort out the truth from the fiction is by gaining experience through time and experience. I believe there are more good vendors out there than bad; I would like to believe there are more good adjusters out there than bad. But then again, define "good adjuster" and "bad adjuster" and that would be a whole other page. But the truth has to be known. CADO is the only best vehicle out there for us to use; scattered all over the country like we are has kept communications between each other scattered as well; til now. Seems we tread lightly when we deal out the truth and there are alot of non-believers out there and consequences are paid for telling the truth. Believe me, I know. Rumors run rampant.
3. Its about change: through facts comes truth, comes change. especially in this business, it seems, because of how connected it is to so many arteries of society. Technology provides change; if you are not flexible to accept change with your basic personality, dont even try cat adjusting for a career. If you do not keep abreast of changes in the industry, you dont stand a chance. Thats why there are so many seminars, certification requirements, license requirements, continuous education, etc.
4. It is about our lives: this is serious business (our careers)(our lives). we are not in this career as a joke, to be made fun of or looked down upon and given away cheaply. We have chosen this field because we enjoy it; the good outweighs the bad, or we wouldn't do it. fact... and our lives are designed to be enjoyed. Life doesnt get much better when you enjoy your work as much as your non-work existence for the short time we have on this earth.
can you see how all this is tied together, rj? one leads to another. let's go on..
5. Its about survival of the fittest: the strong survive, simple as that. The rules of Nature do not change for us just because we are human beings. If you are not strong, confident with yourself, multi-task experienced in life in general, you wont make it in this business as a cat adjuster. It certainly is not for the meek or mild natured; they would eat you (us) alive out there if we were not strong survivalists to begin with out there in the nooks and crannies of the country. Working in the Bronx, the Hood, snow, sleet, wind and hail, flood, tornado alley during tornado season, working in hurricane zones during hurricane season, working in california experiencing aftershocks. Think about it; only the strong survive. Maybe that's the magnet; beating the odds like we do. Maybe that's part of why we do what we do; the gypsy blood, the thrill of the chase.
6. Its about the knows and the know nots: We can see that all over CADO. nuff said there; simple.
7. Its slightly about panic: if the need for us no longer exists, where else are we gonna get the satisfaction of successfully beating the odds and where else is this kind of career excitement? How many people can honestly say "I love my job"? I have been a hero to many insureds and storm supervisors; so have you and many other cat adjusters. What will we do, people, if this career that we love so much ceases to exist? We have all thought about it since '97, if we were in the business and years before that. We all wonder if we will make enough money during the storm season to make it through the winter. We all do the hurricane dance every year; dont know any cat adjusters that dont, do you? yes, rj, it is slightly about panic when we see the possiblity of becoming obsolete, or cut out of work because of politics and peanut counters. (as evidenced by all lately) its another thing to be wiped out due to your individual performance.
one more thing, rj. yes, your sharing of your knowledge and experience came in handy; especially to us as a group, if you are who i think you are.
you know the irony of all this? we are all gambling on the weather. we, as a group, must be the most intense gamblers ever created. gambling on the weather......
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 2:48 pm:   

You are right Murphy this isn't what it's all about. It is only a part of what it's all about. If we were to talk about what this is all about I am afraid that Roy's server doesn't have the memory space to hold it all. That's why I try to limit my posting to a topic or Two at a time.

Just using your posting as an example you have basically listed Nine different topics in response. Now don't take this wrong but it appears that you have a lot to say about my posting, so why don't you take the time and say it. After all I did encourage you to respond and even laid out a simple why to express your views.

It appears from your posting that you would rather be short & sweet, taking all the short cuts rather than to engage yourself in a meaningful discussion about the issue at hand. I hope you don't file your narrative reports in this manner. For if you do so you could leave a file reviewer somewhere out in left field.

Now you would be surprised to learn that our paths have crossed in the field. I was someone that was able to figure everything out. No I never have been or will ever be in the mental health business and my only reason for posting here is the hope that I may in some small way help others benefit from the years of my experience. If any of my knowledge & experience is able to help even one adjuster deal with some of the problems that we all experience then knowing that I have helped is more that reward enough.

As always I wish you well.
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 2:07 pm:   

"frustrations, trials and trubulations in the back of our mind" is not what this is all about. It is about careers, it is about facts, about change, about our lives. it is about survival of the fittest.
it is about the knows and know-nots.
and it is slightly about panic;
not to sound sarcastic by any means, but did you used to be in the mental health business??
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 11:06 am:   

To Everyone:

Sitting here in a fairly relaxed atmosphere reading the many postings I can't help but notice that from time to time various individuals will make comments in a way that is very unbecoming to the professionals that we are suppose to portray. You see we are suppose to see everything, hear everything, just report the facts (in a positive light) and pack away all of our frustrations, trials & tribulations in the back of our minds never to see the light of day again.

Now the question comes, at what point will that little area in the back of one's mind become full to the point where it begins to over flow. This ability to tuck away one's frustrations will vary from individual to individual. Judging from many of the postings on this site it appears that many of you have already breached that level.

Now at some point in time we all will have this experience. When it takes place while other people are around you they will see the dark side of your personality. Depending on who the other people are & the what the circumstances are, when you finally do go over the edge, this may or may not have a negative impact on you life & business relationships.

Should this occur around individuals that have never undergone the stress we live & work under, they simply will not understand your behavior and attach a very negative impression of you in their minds. This can be a total disaster for your professional image & livelihood. Since these open general discussions are viewed by a wide range of individuals, including many who are in a position of controlling your financial future, I suggest you control your anger & frustrations while making or responding to any post.

Well you might ask "How do we respond with our point of view without casting ourselves in a negative light". The answer may be simpler than you think. Instead of writing your posting or response in the space provided in this site for this purpose, first type out your thoughts in a word processor. Then sit back & review what you have just typed. Be sure to carefully analyze your statements from a third party respective. Next correct your spelling and grammar. As a final step reread your posting, this time pay close attention to clarity & correctness in the point your are trying to make. Now you are ready to copy your post to the clipboard & paste into the area provided on this web site.

Now how do we get rid of all that frustration? Well through the years I personally have found that by simply talking with my piers about the problems I have encountered does provide me with the single most amount of help. I find that if you can just talk with someone who has walked a thousand miles in your shoes, you will discover that you are not alone, that you are not the problem but the solution. Discussions like this from time to time will allow you to safely unload, vent or release all of your frustrations, trials & tribulations in the back of your mind. Then you can get on with your work in the why you should, in a positive manner.

One little problem remains. An open forum is not the place to openly display all of your frustrations, trials & tribulations in the back of your mind. So how can we talk to each other in a safe environment on this web site? To this end I propose to Roy, providing he is willing & able to, that he create a new forum just for adjusters. The rules would be very simple.
1. Some form of documentation must be provided to Roy certifying that you are an Independent Insurance Adjuster.
2. User names & passwords to this forum are issued by Roy. This will protect everyone's identity.
3. Under no circumstances will any real names of adjusters, vendors or carriers be allowed either as an author or subject of a posting.
4. No e-mail addresses will ever be provided for any reason in the forum.
5. Any topic can be discussed in the third party.
5. Access to this site is by User names & passwords only.
6. Object of this forum will be to allow as much leeway as possible for you to safely unload, vent or release all of your frustrations, trials & tribulations in the back of your mind safely so you can not do any harm to yourself or others.

Hopefully this will lead you to a fuller, happier & more productive life for those who take part.
Since the only individuals taking part in this new forum would be piers, the sharing of experiences may have one of the most single life changing experiences in our lives. Hopefully this will be a very positive one.

The preceding post is based on my life experiences. In no way is it intended to reflect every ones views or experiences. For those of you who have walked a thousand miles in my shoes you know what I am talking about. For those of you who haven't be thankful for the lack of experience.

Your views & comments regarding this subject material is more than welcome. If you are so inclined I am looking forward to your response to this posting. As always I wish you well.

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