Tuesday, December 27, 2016

I Was Given The Fade... In A Professional Setting (A Rant)

First, I'd just like to wish everyone reading this happy holidays! I just came back to the city after 4 days with family - cooking, laughing, relaxing, trying to tear one of my cats off my sister's geriatric and slightly blind cat as she tried to assassinate her (cut to me in tears, trying to calm the poor, frail soul as she peed all over herself and me, bleeding from her face, while my 7lb. thug of a cat threw up gang signs and slunk out of the room. Where did I go wrong as a pet parent? Was it too much cuddling? Was it because I tell her on a daily basis that she's the cutest kitty in the world and her head just grew too big? How did I foster a monster??).

*Sure, she looks innocent, but she will cut you.

Anyways, it's been fun.

So. I realized last week, waiting impatiently for some form of response from my claims representative at (redacted) Insurance, that I'd been given The Fade. In a professional setting! I can't. I just can't. Surely The Fade is relegated to twenty-somethings. I'm too old for this!

Let's start from the beginning.

November 19th. My sister and I are driving home on Mass Ave from a lovely morning of brunching with friends followed by a movie and a little shopping. The car in front of me stops to turn right and to let a woman and her dog cross the entrance of a parking lot. I stop behind her. I see an MBTA bus in my rearview and think, they'll totally stop - everyone always stops. Idiotic, naive, I know. But you always just assume that your fellow drivers are going to stop when they're supposed to. So I look ahead of us and WHAM! The bus slams into us. We careen into the car in front of us (luckily she was turning so she only got clipped on the rear corner of her car. Small miracles. Even though my foot is on the brake we get pushed 50 feet or so. I scream bloody murder. I swear my sister screams too but she says it was just me screaming enough for two. Our headrests break apart upon impact, cushioning our heads as they were manufactured to do. (I'd just like to interject that I am so thankful I was driving a Jeep because a smaller vehicle would have been smashed to smithereens.) So I call 911 and Transit Authority officers show up. Everyone seems to be okay. My sister and I aren't bleeding so we think we're okay. We stand in the cold, which, later I had this ridiculous moment of - I know I'm in shock because Claire was shaking and cold and in shock after those two British officers came upon her and Jamie in the glen and she killed one of them with the dirk (because obviously everything in life relates back to Outlander), and the bus driver says he saw us stopped in front of him so checked his side mirror and another bus was on his left so he went to hit the brake and instead his foot went between the gas and brake. My car was drive-able for the 1 mile to get home, but would clearly need a lot of work, or possibly be totaled. Aside from a minor headache I truly felt okay, so my sister and I drove home to decompress, eat something, and assess ourselves. Aside from bruises and two weeks of back pain for me, we were okay.

*Me lying on the floor at work 4 days after the accident because the back pain was so bad.

So that first week after the accident I had almost daily emails with the representative (Eric) assigned to me. Having never had this type of accident before, I had a lot of questions so I'd know what to expect. Things moved slowly. I had to take the car to a drive-in appraiser so they could take pictures and send them off to the insurance company. It was also Thanksgiving so things lagged into the following week. Two weeks after the accident I finally heard back that my car was considered fixable (they assessed 3k in damage) so I found an autobody and drove to them. They, Boyle's Body Works in Arlington, have been phenomenal. I would highly recommend them should you ever need an auto body. So now we're two weeks before Christmas and after a better assessment there's actually $9,000 in damage. So work begins and it looks like it'll be after Christmas before the Jeep's ready.

I email Eric asking about getting a rental in the meantime because it's 2 weeks to Christmas and I've yet to do any shopping. He responds in (another I can't even) 1-sentence emails that lack capitalization and punctuation and don't answer my questions. It begins to feel like pulling teeth. Up until the assessment and start of the repair work (i.e when he sent the check to the autobody) Eric responds within a day. Afterwards... The Fade. Five days go by and no response to multiple emails from me. I'm waiting on his response regarding whether I can get a rental car. The Monday before Christmas I finally lose it. I don't know how I'm getting home for the holiday and getting The Fade feels horrible no matter who's giving it to you. So I go over Eric's head. Suddenly he responds, though still lacking punctuation and capitalization. Clearly Eric can't be bothered to deal with me in a professional manner, oh, and I don't have rental coverage in my plan. Awesome. But since I wasn't at fault, shouldn't the driver of the bus be covering my rental? Isn't that how things work in the world? I'm told that I'm welcome to call the driver's insurance company and ask them to pay for a rental for me.

Are you thinking, whaaaaaaaat? So was I. After all, what am I paying this company for if they can't secure a rental car on my behalf. So obviously, feeling overwhelmingly frustrated, I start crying at my desk. There are 3 days until Christmas and I need a miracle. Or a Nasty Woman to get shit done. I might own the t-shirt but I can't seem to channel HRC. Then, my best friend offers me her car for the weekend because she's amazing like that. And I start crying again. I'm just overwhelmed by her generosity. And then, just because I want to feel in control of the situation, I call Boyle's to get an estimate as to when my car will be fixed, to have a figurative light at the end of the tunnel. And what does he say? He knew I needed a way to get home for the holiday so they worked extra hard to get the work completed by Christmas Eve eve. So obviously... I start crying again. So even though the insurance company let me down with their lack of communication and general unprofessionalism (I mean really, it's not that difficult to use punctuation and capitalization and just be open and communicative when someone is dealing with their first major accident and doesn't know how the process works or what to expect, especially when that's YOUR JOB), some other people stepped up and reinstalled my faith in humanity.

So try not to get hit by an MBTA bus because what follows will be really annoying and a total inconvenience, and if your insurance representative gives you The Fade then it's probably time to find a new insurance company. So there's the lesson. But also, people can be really awesome and surprise you (thank you Liv and Mr. Boyle!).

And with that, I step off my soap box.

~Stephanie

*The Fade is referenced in my book KISSING FROGS, which you should probably read if you haven't already.
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