Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Decisions, Decisions!

I suck large at making decisions.

I mean, I am super undeceive.

What if I make the wrong choice?

What if a massive butterfly effect occurs because of the one little decision that I make that causes the world to explode?

OK...so I exagerrate a little.

But I often sit in bewilderment at the thought of having to choose.

Maybe that is why I really did not enjoy my first "real" job.

Even though I think I was pretty good at it...the "personality" of the position was not a match made in heaven with mine.

Striaght out of University, I was seeking a job to make money in order to go into a post-graduate program in...of all things...media copywriting. I was looking for a summer job really, but my friend, who worked for a large insurance company told me they were hiring Underwriters and I applied.

Yay! Underwriting!

And I got the job.

And while I didn't love the job, I loved the feeling of having a real job, making my own money, la la la.

And so I decided to drop the idea of post-graduate school and keep on working.

In retrospect, media copywriting was probably definitely a more suitable career choice, however there I was in the insurance industry.

Yay me!

Now for those of you who don't know exactly what an Underwriter does, here is a basic overview. An Underwriter is responsible for making the decisions - on behalf of the insurance company - on whether or not to take on the risk of a particular piece of business.

So in essence - I was responsible for making decisions all day.

I was a property and casualty (home and auto - or Personal Lines) Underwriter.

...and this is kinda what my desk looked like.

For example - I would look at a home that a broker wanted my company to insure - and then I would have to assess the risk of taking on that home as an insurer.

I had to take into consideration the roof, electrical, plumbing, heating sources, etc. I also had to look at the history of the people who owned the home. Had they had any prior claims? What did they do for a living? Did they have other pieces of business (like their car) with the company?

Sometimes I would have to make quick decisions on what they would need to do in order for me to accept the business. Perhaps they needed to get a new roof. Maybe they needed to get rid of that old, fire hazard of a wood stove. Maybe I would accept but only with a high deductible because of their claims history.

I would go through homes and cars like this...all day, every day. I made hundreds of decisions every week.

I was actually good at my job. Making decisions about other people. Making decisions about their lives.

As long as it was not my life, I was OK.

Then, I grew to pretty much hate it.

Yeah...kind of like this.

But I have to say it did teach me a number of things.

I now know a lot about the inner workings of a home and shit about cars that I never would otherwise.

I can certainly make wiser decisions about my own insurance needs in these areas now.

It also taught me pretty good negotiation skills.

I had to negotiate with brokers every day. I had to learn to be firm and stand my ground no matter how many times they took me out for the famous "wine and dine the Underwriter" lunches.

And so I negotiated myself out of that job and into a job as a Client Relationship Manager for an insurance-related statistics non-profit organization.

Insurance and statistics! Right up my alley! NOT!

So exciting. So stimulating!
So not me.

But I am good at building relationships, so it was better. For the moment.

Then I was in the non-profit door and I moved on to other positions for other non-profits - mostly professional and trade associations - and worked my way up the ladder.

But I must digress.

I have turned this post about making decisions into a post about my work history.

See?!!? I can't even decide what this post is going to say!

So back to making decisions.


Sometimes, I feel so overwhelmed, even deciding what to have for lunch at a restaurant is too much.

Especially at those places where they have veritable novels for menus.

I recently went to The Cheesecake Factory on a hockey tournament visit to Chicago and just the menu of cheesecake options was crazy - never mind the other food!

I could hardly cope!

What to wear is a downer, since I only have so much shit that actually fits me...and even then they really don't because I refuse to invest in anything that looks really good on my current body because I am losing weight...oh yes sir-y I really am!

So I inevitably put on one of my ten or so pairs of black yoga pants and long hoodie or something or other that leaves room for the parts I don't want to show.

Part of my "uniform".

I have gotten better on deciding what do do with my hair, to be fair. I comb it grab it together with my hands and wrap it up in a messy bun-kinda-looking-thing somewhere at the back of my head.

If I am feeling really brave, I do pig tails.

Hey! I think it's frickin' cute!

Because a 40 year old with pig-tails is very sophisticated. Especially whilst sporting yoga pants, a Soundgarden hoodie and fake UGGS.

OK...now this post has taken another turn and I am talking about how much of a "middle-aged, soccer hockey-mom" I really have become.

I think my next decision should be to get myself a makeover.


Decision made!

I feel accomplished already.



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