Thursday, September 16, 2004

Chasing after the class valedictorian

I'm starting to think that's going to be me forever with my work. (Yes, this is yet another blog entry about my job, but what else do I have to write about right now?) P told me tonight that I am like the student who is second in the class sweating and scraping to beat the valedictorian, but yet the valedictorian in my situation is a figment of my imagination.

Interesting analogy. I'll explain.

I found out today why I am tied for first place in the office and not IN first place...and the reason just irritates the camel dung out of me. Today I went to have a sushi lunch with my friend S, and while I was on the way, Queenie calls. Yesterday while I was in the field, she had left this cryptic message on my cell phone about my audit results. Every so often, our zone does an audit of our file and every adjuster has two files picked apart in a stuffy room by a group of peers...managers, supervisors, and other adjusters. The highest score is a 4.0. My file scores were a 3.5 and a 3.0, which compared to the rest of the office is pretty darn good and I should be thrilled, but for me? No way, Jose. I'm my worst critic. If it's not a 4.0, then it just isn't good enough and I can do better next time. And she called me to tell me the reasoning why I got the grades that I did. The reason WHY I got the 3.5 on one of them just really annoyed me. I haven't heard yet about the other one, but I will next week in our team meeting. I got this fire in Fort Worth (a mere 90 minute drive from my house) in the morning a few weeks ago, went out the same day, wrote the estimate in the field, and paid the claim that night when I got home. Oh, and did I mention that it was a stick-framed house with a gambrel roof? For those of you that don't speak crazy adjuster talk, it was a small 9x12 shed with a funky roof on it. Wait a minute, why describe it when I can just show you?

At any rate, it's not very big and it wasn't a big deal for me to estimate, but very few adjusters in our office would have been able to estimate the cost to rebuild this house from the ground up on site with confidence without help and with the policyholder and all the tenants standing about six feet away from the car watching her work. But I did it. But because I was so stressed and nervous with all those guys staring at me, I forgot to include one tiny note on my estimate about how I was calculating the depreciation I was applying to the building materials, and forgetting that one tiny sentence cost me a half point on my file grade.


And ever since my boss told me about it, I've been obsessing and reobsessing and reliving that day and beating myself up about why I forgot that one sentence! I hate not being perfect! I hate it when people catch my mistakes. And that is why P told me what he did. I am the highest ranked adjuster in my office. I am the most proficient at writing home construction estimates. I am really good at framing. I am fast on my computer. I am able to get a claim and turn it over quicker than anyone else in my office. I have the highest score for customer service. These are all things that I know. But I'm always striving, stretching and reaching to be perfect. I'm chasing the class valedictorian who is perfect...but that perfect class valedictorian just doesn't exist. I'm only human and I make mistakes too.

And so the OCD circle goes round and round and round and round!

Meme time. I have nothing else to report today since this whole OCD debacle has pretty much occupied my brain all day since I talked to my boss at noon. Oh, and I couldn't be happier than Survivor has started. I freaking LOVE that show, except that I can't believe that there is a chick named Twila on there. I didn't even know they still named people Twila. When I hear that name, I immediately think of my white trash neighbor who lived across the street from us when I was a child in Tempe. I'm not saying anything bad about the name, but you can imagine the image in my head when I hear that name! *laughing*

Thursday Threesome...still my favorite meme of the week by far!

Onesome: Girl- Girls' (or boys') Night Out- Do you ever just feel the need to drop everything and go hang out with your pals? What do you all do when you go out? Something "wild" like partying at the bar, or something as "mild" as just hanging out at a coffee shop and discussing the latest books you've read? Or do you head over to a pal's house to watch the big game? Yes, I do, and when I feel that need for girl time, my favorite activity is lunch with a friend and an afternoon of shopping and/or stitching. Simple but effective. Shopping at the mall is about the only activity I can do where it makes me feel about ten years younger.
Twosome: Scout- Were you ever a scout as a kid? Which branch? Did you join willingly or was it something you did because everyone else was or your parents thought it would be "good for you?" Not only was I a Girl Scout, my mother was the troop leader for years. I think she started being a troop leader when I was about seven or eight, and it continued into eighth grade until we moved away from Arizona. It was great, although I have weird memories of my garage being filled with cookie boxes when my mom was the cookie mom for the area. Very crazy. But I have great memories of going to Girl Scout camp with my mom going.
Threesome: Cookies- What's your favorite kind of cookie? What's the strangest cookie you've ever had or heard of but been too afraid to try? And do you buy Girl Scout cookies? Which ones? My favorite kind of cookie are the Bordeaux cookies by Pepperidge Farm (kind of like cinnamony shortbread with almond extract). I can eat a whole package of those cookies without even thinking about it...they are that good. I wouldn't say that I'm afraid of them, but I've always been curious about Mallomars. They are marshmellow cookies covered in chocolate. I've heard that you can only get them in the northeast (hence why I've never tried them) so maybe sometime if I ever get up that way to visit my dad in New Hampshire I'll get some. Or (if he's reading and he remembers) maybe he'll bring me some when he sees me at Thanksgiving in Orlando! (How's that for a subtle hint?) I do buy Girl Scout cookies and I absolutely adore them. I have NO idea what the current names of them are, but my favs are Thin Mints, Scot-Teas (the shortbread), Hoedowns (the peanut butter and chocolate patties), and the Samoas (the chocolate, caramel and coconut cookies).

The Thursday Tattle!

Do you like to drive? I wouldn't say that I like to drive. It's okay...but considering that I usually drive between 300-400 miles a week JUST for work, it's hard to like anything that much.
How many accidents have you been in? Three. When I was sixteen, I rear ended a Cadillac when it was raining. I didn't do so much as chip the paint on her boat, but I crumpled the bumper of my parents' Accord at the time. Then when I moved to Texas, I tapped one person in front of me at a stop light when I accidentally took my foot off the brake (no damage) and the same thing happened to me about a year later but in reverse (again, no damage).
How many tickets have you had? *laughing* So many that I have to constantly keep in mind when the last time was that I took defensive driving so I know if I'm eligible again. I've hired two attorneys to get me out of tickets, I've gone to court twice to get tickets dismissed, I think I've taken defensive driving at least three or four times, and I have had deferred adjudication several times. I think at last count it was eight tickets. I've talked my way out of two others.
Do you like to drive fast? Yes, very much so, but I'm working very hard to break that habit. It's getting old paying for all these tickets. Think of how many Dooney and Bourkes I could have by now if I would just drive the speed limit!
Is your car clean or a mess? It's a mess because it doubles as my office when I'm in the field, but I do my very best to keep it fairly picked up. I usually clean it out whenever I am filling up my car at a gas station since I can't talk on the phone.

And...the Daily Dirt is up for tomorrow, so why not?

1. Coke or Pepsi? Coke...specifically, Diet Coke with Lime. That's my favorite!
2. TV or Computer? Computer.
3. Vanilla or Chocolate? Chocolate.
4. Sprite or Sierra Mist? They taste the same to me. I like 7up better than either one of those.
5. Avril or Pink? Avril. She is one rocking chick!

I'm off now to obsess a little more about how I'm not the picture of perfection and to stitch like a mad woman on Egyptian Sampler. I have had this DVD to watch for quite a while in my house and tonight I'm going to watch it!

Tune in tomorrow...


Blogger Christine said...

I think you should be VERY proud of your accomplishments in your job! As a person who can be a perfectionist herself (but not always), I can understand where you're coming from. It sounds to me like you work very hard and are very good at what you do.

I do agree though, that taking a half-point off was a bit much!

7:23 AM  
Blogger Annette said...

A half point for such a small thing? They agree with your calculation but as you didn't provide the basis you get a serious mark against you? Having *done* those audits in the past, I think that's a bit harsh...

And I'm also happy Survivor is back! Though I have to say none of the current group really jumped out at me last night....need a few episodes before I can pick my favorites ;)

1:53 PM  

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