This last week at my day job (as a Sr. Claims Examiner with a third party administrator—TPA—handling workers’ compensation claims for self-insured employers) I ran across the name of an attorney firm I hadn’t seen in a while. This firm shall remain nameless, but I used to deal with them quite a bit when I worked at my first insurance employer back in the 1990’s, and – in fact – my ex-husband knew some of the partners personally as he sold them their office equipment. The firm specializes in cases like personal injury and, of course, workers’ compensation.
I was curious as I hadn’t seen the firm name in several years, so I checked out their website. There I found…and I quote verbatim…
*Insurance companies are multi-billion dollar Deathstars with buildings full of lawyers and experts, all bearing down on you with bad intentions.
*Beware the Nice Insurance Person (This was the title of a blog post).
*Your initial contact with insurance claims representatives may frequently be pleasant. Their goal is to make you comfortable and gain your trust. However, when dealing with your own insurance company or the insurance company that caused the accident, this friendly attitude will inevitably change.
*Remember that insurance claims people are evaluated, receive pay increases, and receive promotions based upon the amounts that they do not pay. It is in their interest to not pay you everything you are entitled to receive.
When I mentioned this to my fiancé after getting home from work, he said that smacked of “ambulance chaser” to him. Which may actually be a nicer term than “Deathstar”; I haven’t decided yet.
I’ve never worked in auto or personal injury claims, so I can’t speak to that. But I can say it is my job to ENSURE injured workers receive the benefits they are entitled to under the law, and if I didn’t make that happen I wouldn’t have a job for very long. And I really do try to be nice to everyone…workers, employers, medical providers…attorneys, legal assistants…wookiees…
Fortunately, I am a big Star Wars (original trilogy) fan and…the older I get, the more I find humor in things. So I found the Deathstar analogy quite amusing.
A play I worked on in my last acting class, STEEL MAGNOLIAS, was beautifully translated to the big screen by the playwright, Robert Harling. You’ve probably seen it. And it may be time to see it again. George ordered the DVD and we watched this exquisite film again after acting class was over for the term. Every time I see it (the play or the movie), I laugh and laugh and cry and cry. It’s SO good.
There is a scene in the movie (that isn’t in the play – there are no male characters in the play) the night before M’Lynn and Shelby are headed to the hospital for the kidney transplant. (I can’t believe anyone reading this doesn’t know the storyline, but just in case – M’Lynn, the mother, donates a kidney to her daughter, Shelby, who is severely diabetic and having a baby did a number on her kidneys.) The family is playing cards and one of Shelby’s brothers says, “Give me…all of your internal organs!” Everyone laughs hysterically (except for the father, who is clearly worried sick about the health and well being of his wife and daughter). And then there’s a reference to “A Tale of Two Kidneys,” which illicits the laughter all over again.
In no way do I mean to compare needing an organ transplant to having the industry you work in likened to arguably the most destructive space station ever created in the history of science fiction…I’m just saying that sometimes humor in the best place to go in a tense or uncomfortable situation. And sometimes you just kinda can’t help it.
So…I said loudly enough that anybody in the accompanying cubicles could hear…”Did you all know that insurance companies are multi-billion dollar Deathstars with evil intentions?”
A colleague chirped back, “Does that make us all stormtroopers?”
This is how our cubicles looked when I left the office on Friday.
May The Force (of humor) Be With You.