“Hang up the phone and step away from the computer!”
In a hushed tone she says, “I’m going to have to put you on hold for a moment.”
And then, Muzak. With an announcement every minute or so, “Your call is important to us. Someone will be with you shortly.”
I wait. And I wait. And I wait some more. I’d hang up but we were right in the middle of my insurance application. The verification process. You know, when you let them know that no one in your household has cancer, AIDS or the dreaded hangnail. I don’t want to start the process all over again. I want to get this over with. Now.
But ten minutes goes by and now I’m starting to analyze what I heard. I’ve already processed that it was an odd thing to hear in the background. Was I imagining it? Do I watch too many crime shows? Or maybe someone is going postal on my new (fingers crossed!) insurance company.
I can’t hang up. I don’t have a call back number. I was transferred to her phone. Ah, but I do have the phone number of the original agent. I pick up my cell (keeping underwriter lady on speaker on the land line) and dial his number. It goes straight to voicemail. Sheepishly, I tell him I’m probably imagining things but there might be something going on in the underwriting office. Maybe someone should check it out or call 911?
I wait. And I wait some more. A full 45 minutes I wait and then give up. I turn on the television to see if there is any breaking news of a mad gunman in the area. Nothing.
I tell my husband and he cracks up. “You watch way too much crime TV. It was probably the IT guy coming to fix the computer.” He’s probably right. Earlier in the conversation she had to call me back because of some problems with her computer. Boy, do I have an imagination.
But then, the next morning, I get a call from my new (hopefully!) agent. I apologize for my voicemail message, embarrassed at my overreaction.
He says, “No, I need to apologize to you. I’m so sorry that happened to your call. But you were partly right. It WAS a scene right out of Law and Order.”
He goes on to explain that apparently, a disgruntled former employee reported that there was only one agent out of 80 that was actually licensed. And since they are a company that deals with people all over the country, that’s a federal offense. And apparently, this warranted the FBI and the local SWAT team to come in with guns raised to check it out.
But after interviewing 30 of the 80 employees and finding out that yes, indeed, they were all card-carrying, legitimate insurance agents they let them all go home. Shame on that former employee for making the bogus claim. But she got what she wanted. A little revenge, shutting down the company for a day. Lost revenue and all. I hope they sue her.
“Hang up the phone and step away from the computer.”
Just call me Detective Jane.