Monday, August 5, 2013

8/5 - A sigh of relief (or "another turn on the merry-go-round")

Several hours of death-by-PowerPoint classes later...
I've been stressing all weekend about the list of things I need to know before I can even begin to work in my new job. I came in this morning and immediately asked my manager if he had a few minutes to talk. I felt they shouldn't have hired me as an engineer, if they were going to presuppose all new hires have a level of knowledge I told them in my interview I did not have. I'm not stupid enough to suggest that, though. I wanted to let him know the MIT classes I'd found were 26 hours, each. I wanted to ask him how the math majors they'd hired in the past were brought up to speed. We talked about how much of this training I'm really going to need.

I told him how it worked in Support, with our one week of training before hitting the phones. I suggested sink or swim might be a valid choice here. I'll learn whatever they want me to know, but I let him know I was concerned they would get tired of waiting for me to get up to speed. I suggested I could cherry pick some of the easier cards, just to get experience actually working in the program. Ultimately I wanted assurances that, providing I continue to work very hard to get where I need to be, they will continue to give me the time needed to get where I need to be.

It was a good conversation. Turns out the math majors spent months in a conference room with an engineer, being taught .NET. Turns out at least my manager is not going to be concerned if it takes me another month or so to get up to speed. He even suggested I don't try to set any speed records in learning everything.

My manager must have then talked to the training coordinator, because I had an impromptu meeting with HIM later in the day. He said he understood how frustrated I must be with this training experience. I told him it wasn't the learning I had a problem with, it was the fear I wasn't learning fast enough to absorb everything they were throwing at me. He told me not to worry, that they are taking me out of the existing program until I can learn what I need, then they will put me through the program again.

I think I mentioned some of the fun I've been having with my insurance company, since finding my policy covered a car I haven't owned for 6 months. I had them put the new lease vehicle on my policy the day my car was flooded. Shortly after, I received a refund check for $.53. Yes, 53 cents.

The person I talked with that day suggested I call the following Monday to get a refund for the amount of time I'd paid for insurance on a car I didn't own. After much conversation, it was determined a refund would result in a 6-month period of time where I was uninsured, which would result in an increase in premiums. Instead, they suggested they could change the policy from the last 6 months to operator only, where I was insured but there was no car listed. This resulted in about a $200 refund, which satisfied my outrage at having paid over $400 for nothing.

I received the final check for this refund over the weekend (2 checks, because the time frame covered 2 policy payments). Because I hadn't been notified differently, I checked my policy and found I am now the proud owner of an operator only policy. They did not put the lease vehicle back on, so I attempted to put the lease vehicle back on. For some reason the on-line tool wanted to charge me $100 more than I had previously paid?!? I called the insurance company today, and after 20 minutes of wrangling was told the cost would be $100 more because I am coming from an operator only policy.


So basically, I went from potentially getting a full refund but having to pay extra for not having insurance over the last 6 months, to getting a partial refund and having to pay extra for not having a car over the last 6 months.

I am rather proud of my reaction. I was angry, and I let them know I was angry. I did not, however, yell. I did not swear (which I have done in situations like this in the past). I maintained my stance of righteous indignation. I told them I felt I was being robbed, and if they insist on charging me this rate that I will take my insurance needs elsewhere. Over the course of the conversation the agent said something about the fact that I was, in fact, covered the whole time. At that point I said I wanted to file a claim for the water damage, which I had been told I couldn't do because that car wasn't covered. I'm certain they will tell me, because I was covered but the car wasn't, that the claim will be denied. The agent wanted to talk to the person who actually converted my policy, saying the fact they gave me a refund indicated they were accepting culpability.

I spoke with that agent again later in the day, and the story didn't get any better. He insisted  the car dealership started calling the insurance company on 2/11, asking if I had coverage for the new car. That would be a full 2 weeks before I even went in to look at new cars. He told me they called several times, and were told each time I did not have coverage on the 2013 lease. There was no talk of filing a claim, accepting a claim, or adjusting my rates back to where they were.

I'm claiming bullshit, and have spent the evening looking up insurance quotes. I actually found two quotes that are less than I was paying. Now I just have to decide if I wait until the operator only policy runs out before changing companies, or if I get real coverage now. Technically I'm covered, it's just the car that isn't. The question is, how much am I willing to gamble? I'm also seriously considering reducing the insurance I carry, since it's obvious the car dealership doesn't care if I carry what they told me they wanted. They were apparently told several times that I didn't have coverage, but never called me or did anything about the coverage deficiency.
I visited my favorite park after work today, for 4 much-needed shake-out miles. My quads were still tight from Saturday's run, so today started out a little rocky. I kept pushing though, and by the last mile was flying. I really love the feeling of flying!

I'm not sure how to taper for a race I don't really care about, except that it was an excuse to get me running. I've pretty much decided not to taper at all, other then reducing my Saturday run to a 3-miler since the long run will be Sunday's race. I'd planned to push the mileage back the following week, but now I'm excited about trying to run home from Superman's again. I guess I'll play it by ear and see how I feel. The one thing I'm NOT willing to do is let myself get injured again. I know I have a year before my marathon, but I believe I need every week of that time to adequately prepare.

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