Friday, January 20, 2012

Unsung Heroes

Every organization has them, those unsung heroes who show up every day and often toil in the shadows of more high profile members.  Like offensive lineman of the gridiron, they aren’t afraid to get dirty even as they do the blocking and tackling for superstar quarterbacks and running backs who get more glory and inspire kids to wear their jerseys.

At GWC Warranty, those unsung heroes are our teammates in the Claims Department.  They are somewhat anonymous (until they’re needed!) and tend to stick together in a tight unit in the back quadrant of our office.  But each and every one of them has an enormous impact on our company’s results:
  • They handle an unbelievably high volume of calls every day, generally from the moment they sit down to the time they go home.  Those calls directly translate to our bottom line results.
  • They are on the front line in dealing with our customers, dealers, service shops and parts vendors.  And generally, their contacts occur when something has gone wrong (or is about to!)
  • They are master negotiators, ensuring that we meet our obligations in a fair, timely manner while giving respectful service.  That means saying “no” at times in the nicest possible manner.
  • They are the living embodiment of our “No Worries, Just Drive” motto.  It’s what we sell.  When the Claims Department adjusters do their jobs, they ensure we live up to our customers’ expectations.
So, today, I want to give a special shout out to these unsung heroes.  I could call them out individually if I had room, but instead let me just give particular props to Brett, Ed and Big John, the seasoned Managers and captains of the group (as well as our newest Manager, Jon).  They lead, mentor and inspire their teams and for that we (especially Archie and I) are grateful.  Thanks!

What Am I Reading?
 Nightwoods by Charles Frazier:  The new novel by the author of Cold Mountain tells the story of a woman in the rurals of 1960’s North Carolina suddenly given charge of her deceased sister’s mute but wild two children.  Things take a turn for the worse when their murderous father turns up looking for his missing loot.  Frazier is an incredibly gifted storyteller with an incredible knack for simple details that bring the time and place to life.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year!  It's already 2012 and time for Resolutions, which I make sporadically and keep haphazardly!  However, this year there area few areas I HAVE to improve in.

First, I resolve to stop swearing.  This has been an ongoing vice for me but it has really gotten ugly lately.  If only certain expletives weren't so versatile; what other words can serve as nouns, verbs AND adjectives, sometimes in the same phrase?  Regardless, I've got to stop, probably cold turkey.  I somehow managed to raise the two older kids without infecting them, but I fear for my 8-year-old, who is much more impressionable!

So, if you're reading this and you know me, please help me by administering any necessary admonishments when I slip up.  You'll be doing all of us a favor.

Second, I resolve to slow down, particularly when driving.  After three speeding tickets in the past two years (Steve from Allstate, please be merciful:  Nobody got hurt except my pride!), I need to become one of those drivers that dawdles down the road in front of you causing you to wonder "What in the heck is wrong with him?"  (Notice how I worked Resolution 1 into that last sentence?)  It's either that or risk becoming a permanent passenger with Jeanette or Chris as we head down the mountain to work, and nobody wants that.

What Am I Reading?

The Leftovers by Tom Perotta.  A Rapture-like event has occurred and the residents of a small town are grappling with how to make sense of their lives knowing that for inexplicable reasons they were not chosen.  And, at the same time, fill the holes in the town's fabric left by those who were.