April 3, 2012
As I stagger to the Keurig, I notice the flashing words, "NOT READY."
I emphatically agree with the machine and tell us both to suck it up. As I savor the first cup of coffee, I grab my iPhone and read those ever-so-important emails that happen between 10:00 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. I truly believe a lot of people suffer from insomnia. I also believe that people think about insurance as a last-ditch effort to combat it.
After email, I'll check news feeds - If I have time. But today, I allow just enough time for that one cup of coffee before my sleeping beauties need to be awakened by a kiss. Up the stairs I go. Will they say two minutes or five? Today, they only ask for "TWO MORE MINUTES!" I go back downstairs for my second cup of coffee.
Now, on to my to-do list. Hmmm, do I use my day planner and write it down, or [software program] Evernote, which I'm still learning? When it comes to my to-do list, I'm terribly inconsistent. I'm working on it.
The big thing on today's agenda is a much anticipated meeting where I will present to the employees - right after the incumbent presents - the exact same two plans, with the exact same carrier. And do so without letting the employees know that I know they were just presented the same thing by the other agent. Let's call it 'The Twilight Zone' for short.
You see, the current agent is - you guessed it - a long-time friend of one of the principals. But believe it or not, he wasn't doing a good job (if any job at all), according to the office manager.
However, the principals of the company felt the need to let everyone cast their vote as to who their agent would be. Weird, huh?
When I expressed my confusion and apprehension to the office manager, she calmly said, "Tanya, just come do your thing. In my mind, you are our agent."
The packets are ready, the premiums checked, the memo prepared (after changing it so as to not appear that I am their agent, even though we've already discussed it). Weird ...
OK, I'm ready. What? Tornados coming this way? You're kidding, right? I have a presentation to do - an interview ... whatever you want to call it.
Getting all of these employees in one place at the same time takes an act of Congress. Rescheduling is not an option. So, as the storm calms, I make a run for it.
Oddly enough, these employees seem to be unfazed by the ominous weather outside. Looking back, I'm sure they were just dreading the second insurance meeting of the day. So, looking a bit damp and windblown, I do my thing, and leave.
I receive several emails over the next few days with questions. To answer your question, no, I still don't know if I am their agent.
Now, let's fast forward a week. ...
April 10, 2012
At the end of a monthly luncheon with my peer group, I check email on my iPhone. Yes! Finally, an answer from the group (I hope): "Tanya, X many people are going with the HSA and X are going with the co-pay plan. Sincerely, X." Puzzled and perplexed, I scroll down looking for the rest of the message. Nothing.
I reply to the email with a diplomatic, "This is great; it shows me most employees see the value of the HSA plan. But, I'm still not clear on which broker your company is going to use."
Within seconds I get a reply, "Tanya, everyone loves you! Congratulations." Have you ever taken a snapshot of something you want to remember forever? Yeah, that was me. You see, the day before I lost a group that I had for five years for nothing other than political reasons. The timing of this news could not have been better. We win some and we lose some. Losing hurts. Winning doesn't.
Boyd is owner of Tanya Boyd & Associates in Sunnyvale, Texas.
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