Friday, March 01, 2013

Knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing.



I returned a call from my insurance agency in the last couple of weeks when I was in self-inflicted purdah.

I returned the call immediately. One never knows. An eejit pricking their fingers on my fence, a deadfall off a tree landing on a balding head, a drunk crawling their way up the meadow at midnight and curling up dead in a blizzard. We are all aware of these nebulous liabilities thanks to the hot coffee from MacDonald's poured onto someone's naughty bits, the guy in the van leaving his driver's seat to get a drink from his RV's fridge thinking cruise-control meant auto-pilot (he got millions, btw). I could go on. One does not ignore a call from one's insurer.

- Oh, insurer sez, we noticed you could use an extra codicil of insurance. For $70 per annum we can give you forgiveness on your first automobile accident.

- I am accident free.

- Well, that's the point. When you do have one we will forgive you if you have this endorsement in place.

- But you're already making a fortune off me....

- H'm okay - now about house insurance?

- I don't have any.

- That's a mistake.

- Not in my case as you don't offer coverage for what I can be most affected by: storms and floods.

- Well, they're Acts Of God©.

- As an atheist I don't believe in the evil acts of your god. Why can't I have coverage for only the events that can destroy me which I consider the terminal, convulsive response of a devastated and destroyed-by-humans planet?

- Is that a no?

The above convo got me thinking of the nothings we all pay for. As in nothing tangible at all. Cable. Internet. Insurance. Bank Fees. Taxes. Every call I get from an existing supplier is to upsell me an additional monthly fee. A smarter phone, donate more to our cause!, the "how can I live without cable?" calls, a property tax that goes from $40 in my first year here 9 years ago, to $250 today with no discernible improvement or addition to services. I still have my own well, my own septic tank and once a week garbage pickup. No change to what I had then and my polltax increases by 625% while my income shrinks to 20% of what it was in 2003.

Am I the newly elected leader of the dimwits?

Or just a grouchy geezer?



14 comments:

  1. Neither, just a typically aggrieved citizen. It's the story of our times. The obscenely wealthy are getting even wealthier while the poor and moderately well-off are being squeezed relentlessly - incomes (if they have one) frozen or going down, the price of just about every daily essential going up and up. A dismal future in prospect, however optimistic one tries to be.

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  2. Bodo the peasant felt the same way when the lord of the manor took first dibs on his daughter.
    We were born naked; jewelry and palaces aren't omportant.

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  3. In response to your response from yesterday: Some of what I'm doing is on my blog, Marc Leavitt's Blog.

    Now I'm working on a story about four middle-aged,upper-middle-class men who meet for lunch every day at an Irish pub in midtown-Manhattan, and how they close ranks and the dynamics change when a girl named Sheila starts coming around for a chat.

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  4. Having been trained by a master in the craft, I can assure you that you are neither. You are just a statistic. I was trained to sell by quality where I can and to meet targets by making more calls. The statistical probability of some of those 'more' calls resulting in a sale would me meeting my targets. QED.

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  5. Nick, yes I 'follow the money' on all of this shyte. Our local waste management was handed off to a corporation putting many people out of work, both the scavengers of our local dump who picked it clean and the poor old sods who picked it up in their own old trucks. I could go on. I did write on it for the papers.
    XO
    WWW

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  6. Marc:
    Ah but to live in this world is to itch against its greed and unpleasantness.
    I must find the calomine!
    XO
    WWW

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  7. Marc:
    I'll pop over to visit today. Your story sounds highly intriguing.
    XO
    WWW

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  8. Ramana:

    You put me in mind of a conversation Daughter and I had yesterday about Schumacker (sp?) and "Small is beautiful."

    I've seen so many successful small companies destroyed because of "expansion" = greed. Recently s beautiful small theatre that thought there were endless audiences and moved into a huge premises. *crickets*

    There are only so many widgets that people want.

    I made the same mistake myself many years ago when I expanded my business.

    XO
    WWW

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  9. No storm insurance? Ouch. Fences blowing over in storms are a feature of my climate-change impacted life now. I mitigated the flood threat by buying on top of a steep hill. The worse thing that can happen is that the beach will move closer.

    xxx

    Pants

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  10. Pants:
    Lovely to hear from you again!!!
    Yes I watch my shoreline creep upwards too, the rising tide ain't no joke at this side of the Atlantic either.
    I do have a hilltop cabin, off the grid which I can run to when my toes get all wrinkley from the seawater!
    XO
    WWW

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  11. The whole "acts of God" thing really pisses me off. And it isn't logical - if you actually believe in an omnipotent god, isn't EVERYTHING an act of God? And what is the point of insurance if not to cover the bad stuff that happens, including natural occurrences?

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  12. You have garbage pickup? (:
    Be glad you got your well in, because it costs a flipping fortune to have that done these days.
    It was expensive to hook up to the sewer, which we did years ago. Hate to think what that would cost now. Lucky we did, because when we opened the septic tank it had a big crack in it and was empty. I guess the surfers on the beach below us had been swimming in our poo.
    I'm also thankful we put in solar hot water and electricity when we did. We have had years of $.00 electric bills, aside from a small service charge. The hot water was paid down after three years, and the electricity will be, soon.
    But we still have to haul our own trash.
    Actually, your property taxes sound low. But don't you get writeoffs for being an elder and retired? We do.

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  13. SAW:
    Oh I'm in your choir, no question, the whole thing is absolutely insane and I'm amazed there are not more like me refusing to take this nonsense.
    Act of God my arse.
    XO
    WWW

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  14. Hattie:
    No sewer in this wee place and town water doesn't extend this far but I wouldn't have it anyway as one has to boil it, there being no funds for a town water supervisor. My well water is so pure it brings tears to the eyes :)
    Good for you on solar - I have my wee cabin on top of the hill completely off the grid.
    And there is a small discount for seniors.
    XO
    WWW

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