Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Penalty For Honesty

It's happened more than a few times. I've been in conversation with someone I've either just met, or know through casual contact online or elsewhere. The dialog goes something like this...

"So, where do you work?"

"It's an insurance company."

"Oh." At which point the room temperature suddenly drops a few degrees.

There is definitely a reality gap when it comes to popular conceptions -- misconceptions, really -- and the truth about insurance companies. I'd like to dispel a few myths:

No, our role model isn't Snidely Whiplash.

We do not in our spare time tie the heroine to the railroad tracks just before foreclosing the mortgage on the orphanage, preferably in the middle of a snowstorm.

We pet puppies and kitties. In fact, most of us are diehard animal lovers who own dogs and cats. Well, in the case of the latter owned by them.

We did not invent disco, polyester leisure suits or the Macarena.

We cannot pay off the national debt with our pocket change.

We do not have piranha in our fish tanks, nor did we root for the shark in "Jaws." Although the Sharks did win tonight (shameless plug for my team).

Our customer service representatives do not have a running contest to see how long they can leave someone on hold.

We don't get our jollies out of denying claims.

We don't know where Waldo is either.

Yes, sometimes there is a penalty for honesty when you tell people the truth about insurance. But we've learned to live with it.

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