Excuses Will Hold You Back For As Long As You Make Them

Angel Auto Insurance is known for being open Monday through Saturday, but there are many weekends where I go back to work on Sunday.  There are even more weekends where I take the work home with me and put in a full day's work on Sunday while the Hobart Angel Auto Insurance office is closed.

Today, I decided to go back to work after church.  There was a lot that needed to be done around the office and some of it was starting to really pile up.  One of those things was calling people who are cancelled for not paying insurance.  

I typically try to do this every day along with calling everyone who's birthday it is.  I often do as well, because calling ten people (thirty minutes of work) a day is a whole lot easier than calling seventy (three hours of work) one day per week.  

This last week was especially busy and getting back to all the people who cancelled for non-payment was not an option.  I chose to do it on Sunday instead.  Well, today I spoke to someone who let their policy cancel for non-payment on purpose.  You see, he claimed he was very upset with me.  To explain why, I'll need to give you a little back story.

The Story:

When this customer called, we had never worked with him before.  He called and asked for a quote.   This customer told me he had to go to court because he was pulled over without insurance.  It wasn't his car he said, but he always drives it.  Because it's not his car though, he didn't think he should have to have insurance, but now he has to go to court over something that "wasn't his fault".  (True, the owner should have insurance, but if he is the only driver of the car and the owner is letting him borrow it, than he should put insurance on it.)  

He told me he was just told by his lawyer, "who is an idiot" (his words, not mine) that he needed to have insurance when going in to court in two hours.  I ran the quote over the phone with him in about ten minutes.  He shows up an hour and fifty-five minutes later. 

You're reading that right.  That's five minutes before the court hearing.  I said "Really? You have court in 5 minutes and your showing up right now?"  He said "Yeah, I was waiting for my ride and they showed up late.  They are stupid, I should have known." (I'm paraphrasing, he used harsher language, but we don't use them around these parts)  I knew, by this point, writing this policy was going to be trouble.

I open up his quote and he pays and I print off the documents.  This process takes about five minutes.  He is upset for "taking so long" (his words again) but thanks me and says I was a big help as he is leaving.  Once again, he showed up five minutes before court and I only took five minutes of his time.  There was no realistic way he could have made it to the court hearing in time.  Even if he had shown up 20 minutes before court.  It is not as though the courthouse was right around the corner, but I digress.  

So today I called him to make sure he was okay.  That is what I always do when someone cancels for non-payment.  I found out he was not okay.  More specifically, he was not okay with me.  You see, to him, I was the REASON he lost his license because he was late to the courthouse.  

He called me all kinds of names and I just listened to him.  I began thinking back "You know what, this guy always does this." Then it clicked with me and I just let him go.  I decided two things:

  1. I'm okay with him not liking us.  
  2. I'm okay with him never coming back to our office.  

Final Thoughts:

This brings me to my final moments of today's post.  The thought that excuses are what's holding this guy back.  He never takes accountability for his own actions.  These things caused him to lose a good agent in Hobart, Indiana.  No doubt, it's cost him relationships, friendships, and now even his license too.

This whole crazy situation reminds me of a story about a frog and scorpion.  The frog is about to jump in the water and the scorpion says to the frog "Will you take me across to the other side with you?".  The frog replies "No way!".  The scorpion says back "Well, why not?"  

The frog says "Well, you're a scorpion, you're going to sting me.  That is what scorpions do to frogs."  The scorpion says "Are you nuts? Why would I sting you if you're taking me across the water?  If you go down and I'm on top of you, we both will drown and die." 

Why would I sting you if you’re taking me across the water? If you go down and I’m on top of you, we both will drown and die.
— The Scorpion

The frog says "Yes, I see.  You make a good point. Climb on and I will take you across."  The scorpion climbs on the frog's back and sure enough.  About halfway through the river, the scorpion stings the frog.  The frog says "Ahh!  Why would you do that?  Now we're going to die!" The scorpion said "You knew from the beginning.  It's in our nature and the promise doesn't matter.  Scorpion's always sting frogs."

I don't know about you all, but the next time I even think of myself making an excuse, I will pretend I am the man in today's subject.  That should be enough, that I immediately realize my mistake and take responsibility.  For now, I'll have to pray that maybe someday he will realize how the excuses have nailed him down to such a hard, joyless life.  Then again, I have to wonder as well, is he a scorpion?

Martin J Glennon