#174 In which our hero meets an oddly zoomorphic man who appears to have never mastered the art of shaking hands.
About a month ago The Scientist declared that I need more life insurance. She has a policy, and I have coverage through work, but I should have more, she said. Just in case, y’know, something were to happen to you. Then she smiled evilly and added, “buh-ha-ha-ha!”
But yeah, sure, it’s a good idea… but life insurance is one of those things (at least for me) that I don’t want to think about. For obvious reasons. But also, we’re not exactly swimming in cash, so I’m hesitant to add yet another monthly bill to the pile. But it was decided that I should at least call our insurance agent.
Now, I’ve never met this guy. The Scientist had home/auto/life through this guy before I even knew her, and since it was cheaper for us to have everything under one roof, I took out an auto policy with this guy when I moved in. And in the years I’ve had a policy with this guy, I’ve only talked to him once to inform him that I bought a new car. Whenever his name is mentioned, The Scientist rolls her eyes… but he seems competent, and I’ve never had any complaints.
So I call the guy and we talk; he’s a little chattier than I care for, but I get it that it’s part of his job… he needs people to trust him, and most people enjoy this mostly meaningless chat: “Where do you work? Oh, what do you do there? Boy, that’s very interesting!” I, however, do not. I just need this guy to do the paperwork, and frankly, if I could just do it all online I would. Anyway.
We talk a bit, and then he wants to set up a time to come to the house. This is necessary, I guess, since there’s paperwork to be signed. Fine.
He comes over last night. He had a bit of trouble finding the place in the dark, so he’s not there until 8PM. And we’re already off to a bad start. Macey still isn’t used to the time change, so our 8 o’clock is her 9 o’clock, and that’s just about bedtime.
We sit and he’s apologetic about being late, and that’s fine let’s get to it, shall we? But he asks me where I work, and you’re a copywriter, that’s interesting, a friend of mine owns a small agency downtown, wish I could think of the name right now and blah, blah, blah. Clearly, this guy doesn’t get it that there’s a ticking time bomb playing with block mere inches away and we need to get this thing buttoned up pronto.
Problem is that it’s immediately apparent that insurance guy is one of those people who take twice as long as needed to explain every. Little. Thing. I mean, yeah, it’s important, but I’m a reasonably smart fellow, and you’ve already explained the coverage to me in two different ways -- I GET IT! I was constantly saying, “Okay, yeah, got it. What else?”
But he’s taking his glasses off, squinting at the forms; putting them back on, giving me what he must think is a concerned, listening face; taking his glasses off… if I were reading a description of insurance guy in a novel, I’d complain that the author was being lazy, using an obvious stereotype instead of fleshing him out as a real character. This guy is a little paper-pusher who sits in a dark office pouring over numbers all day. And with this guys squinty eyes, pale completion and cheesy little mustache is looks all the world like a mole suddenly turned out into the light of day.
So we talk about different coverage levels, and we consider increasing the policy that The Scientist already has and, of course, it all boils down to what we can afford month to month, and nothing’s ever easy, is it?
Macey is getting progressively more cranky, and around 8:30 she finally looks up and says, “Hey, y’know what? This staying up past my bedtime? Fuck that and fuck you!” and she loses her mind. The Scientist quickly shuffles her off to bed, and the insurance guy and I finish up.
As we stand, insurance guy extends his hand for a handshake. Now, I know I’m totally old school in this, but I like to do business with people who can give me a nice, firm handshake. I mean, it doesn’t have to be a ridiculous cartoon pump up and down shake, but I want to feel like you have a grip on my finances. Get it? A grip? Right…
This guy extends his hand into the proper handshake posture, but apparently no-one has every explained the entire ritual to him, because he just leaves his hand out there, and when I squeeze his hand, he doesn’t squeeze mine in return. He just hangs it out there, like a prosthetic hand. And it’s not, because I just saw him complete half a dozen forms with it. Yuck. I Purell’d my hands thoroughly afterward.
Now, he goes back to his
She just better get here before 8 o’clock. And shake my hand like a man, dammit!