The Cellar

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monster 08-04-2016 04:17 PM

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They actually look this cool IRL!

Clodfobble 08-04-2016 09:41 PM


infinite monkey 08-04-2016 10:15 PM

Those are great!

fargon 08-05-2016 07:02 AM

Real purty

DanaC 08-05-2016 01:59 PM

I started my new job on Monday and so have just completed the first week of my five week classroom based training :)

I think I am going to like this job. I had no idea insurance was so interesting!

The chap training us is awesome. He's a natural teacher (as well as very knowledgeable about his subject).

The cpmpany seem to be really good employers - they certainly are willing to invest in their staff - 5 weeks classroom training (with half a day per week spent up on the floors, shadowing one of the claims handlers whilst they work) followed by 3 weeks in 'creche' which is taking calls and doing some of the claim handling work, but in a separate area, with masses of support and someone on hand at all times to step in if needed.

It's 35 hours a week - training is 9-5, once we go onto the floor we'll be working rota shifts between 8am and 8pm. You work in teams of about 8-10 people, so the whole team are on the same shift. Some saturdays (with day off in the week) I think they said it was something like 1 in 4 saturdays. But the way they work the shifts is one of those things that changes according to staffing levels and business need.

Open plan office, but ....I get my own desk!!!! Yey. No more hotdesking or sharing headsets :) This will be first time I'll have had my own desk in over a decade.

Lots of room for progression, or movement within the company if I end up staying and don't bugger off into an academic job (I'm still keeping an eye out, but they are few and far between if you aren't prepared to relocate to another part of the country, which I am not) and the pay is ok. Not great - but ok.

I get the impression the people working there work hard but have a laugh as well. Very telling that many of the people I've met there have been working there for decades.

The ethos seems to be that as long as the work gets done and we are doing our best then it is fine to have a laugh and a bit of chit chat because - as the manager of the Home section says 'you spend far too much of your life in work to not be enjoying it'

There's a metric fuckton of stuff to learn. My head is spinning with it all and we're still on the theoretical stuff. Which is waaaaay more interesting than I ever would have imagined.

Had our first shadowing session yesterday and the claims handler I listened in to was brilliant. In the two hours I spent shadowing her she took 5 calls - three were dead simple, and were instant declines or authorisations and a policy information request, 2 were much more involved, with her organising surveyors to look at stuff and asking all sorts of questions about the situation, all were completely different. Whilst she wasn't taking calls she was jumping onto the section tasks list and dealing with some of those - mainly redirecting emails to more appropriate specialist teams, but also requesting further investigation into a suspected attempt at fraud, and trying to figure out why a 3rd party was enquiring about an outstanding payment when the system showed a payment had been made.

So - it's not just sitting taking calls all day - though there will be days where that is the majority of the work (like when the floods were happening and they were inundated with insurance claims). Some days the phones are really quiet - might only take 6 or 7 calls in a day - other days you take lots of calls, but there's always something to busy yourself with if the calls are few and far between.

I'm also on a permanent contract for first time in a decade (with a six month probationary period) . Annualised hours - so they can ask you to do overtime (but not excessively so - there won't be expectations of doing back to back 12 hour shifts and they have to give at least 48 hours notice at a minimum, but they try for 72 hours or longer) and those are paid at overtime rates, depending whether they are within normal operating hours, or fall on a public holiday and you get the hours back later in the year. Usually, what happens, apparently, is that overtime happens quite a bit in winter, and those hours will usually be given to you in summer.

No doubt there will be corporate and bureaucratic nonsense aplenty, but the immediate level managers seem to mitigate a lot of that by being decent human beings. They all seem very down to earth, and so far the ones I've met all started at the bottom so know what the work is actually like. I can't speak for the higher level management, because they're up on high :P Two of the people in our training group are already long-standing employees who've chosen to move from motor insurance to home insurance - they seem happy and have both been with the company in one dept or another for over 20 years (one started 30 years ago, but took a 6 year break to bring up babies and then came back)

There's no such thing as job security these days, but this seems about as close to that as it gets as long as you don't take the piss or do something shady. So that's a plus.

The job, I think will be fun, interesting, varied, occasionally frustrating, occasionally uplifting and with a good sense of camaraderie.

Gravdigr 08-05-2016 02:17 PM


This will be first time I'll have had my own desk in over a decade.
What? Are you counting high school, or something?:eyebrow:

You've told on yourself a little bit, there, Dana. You might be older than I thought you were.;)

BigV 08-05-2016 03:01 PM

You didn't share a desk in high school?


Clodfobble 08-05-2016 03:02 PM

Pssh. The best we could afford was low school. Damn near scraped the ground with our faces, it was so low.

elSicomoro 08-05-2016 04:22 PM

Our new house has appliances, beds and cable/internet. No living room furniture for another month, but fuck that. It's time to finish this move.

infinite monkey 08-05-2016 04:39 PM

Dana, it sounds wonderful. Very happy for you.

Pico and ME 08-05-2016 06:23 PM

Me too Dana. Good Job!

classicman 08-05-2016 09:14 PM

Congrats Dr. D!

DanaC 08-06-2016 02:07 AM

Thanks youse guys :)


What? Are you counting high school, or something?

You've told on yourself a little bit, there, Dana. You might be older than I thought you were.
Oh Grav, you say the nicest things :P

This first week has floored me - I was so tired last night - but also wired. Partly this is because my body clock is set to working one day on and one day off - suddenly I'm going in every day! And partly because there is such a lot to learn - it's very intensive. My head is spinning - I can't believe how much we've covered in this first week.

When I started on Monday I thought wow, five weeks, that's a long time to be in training. By Friday I was thinking wow, how the hell are we going to cover all this stuff in just five weeks :P

This is my first proper full-time job in a decade. The last time I worked regular full-time hours was when I was a literacy tutor 2004-2006. I've had times of doing a lot of stuff - like when I was juggling full-time university and council work, but I wasn't full-time out of my house, I was working from home a lot, and on my own schedule. Even when I was doing my PhD and teaching, I was only away from home for a portion of the week - with periods of business and periods of slack. Then working part-time jobs, or home-based jobs.

That said, I've reduced my travel burden from around 13 hours a week across 3 days to around 7 hours a week across 5 days. So that takes some of the sting out of it :)

limey 08-06-2016 06:26 AM

New job for Dana, new house for Syc, visit from Sundae on the horizon. All good! All making me happy!

Sent by thought transference

Griff 08-06-2016 10:26 AM

Good stuff folks! keep it coming.

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