THE CHURLISH ADJUSTER – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Churlish

I couldn’t have picked a better word for this morning if I had searched the dictionary myself.

I should start by saying that Garry has been a customer of Commerce Insurance, now renamed MAPFRE since he moved to Massachusetts in 1970. Admittedly, part of the reason was that there weren’t a lot of companies servicing Massachusetts in 1970 and for private vehicles (Garry was a renter, not a homeowner), Commerce pretty much owned the market.

They are not even close to the cheapest insurers on the market. In fact, they are a couple of hundred dollars more expensive than most of the other companies, but over the years through lots of car bang-ups, they’ve been fair with us and even when, for reasons I still don’t understand they doubled their rates this year, we stayed with them. We have a long-standing record with them and I always think — usually to my detriment — that loyalty should be rewarded. I am usually wrong. I still anticipate when you’ve hung in there with a company for 49 years, they should at least treat you with civility and respect.

When I reported the problem, I was assured I’d be seeing an adjuster by Friday. I assumed it was a done deal.

Indeed I got an email and a telephone call from the agency assuring me the complaint had been received and properly filed and would be dealt with ASAP. I had a complaint number. An adjuster would be calling shortly to make the appointment for Friday.

I’m not sure why this stuff always seems to happen on a holiday weekend. It’s Murphy’s Law. This is not merely any old holiday weekend, but it is followed by an extremely busy week including more checkups with my heart specialist, Garry’s eye doctor/surgeon (his cataract surgery might need a bit of updating). Plus, a meeting with his friend who he is hoping will help him find a spot in the voice-over business.

Every day next week is booked and supposedly, we are going on vacation shortly thereafter — the vacation that got deferred earlier in the summer. I haven’t even begun to deal with Owen and dogs yet because until this mess with the house is sorted out, I can’t go anywhere.

Thus when the adjuster did not call yesterday as expected, the last thing I did last before going to sleep was write down the number of our insurance agent as well as the claim number so I could call first thing in the morning. There are events you can cancel — but then, there are events you really can’t and shouldn’t cancel and next week is full of the latter.

I called my agent and then, reading the emails I got from MAPFRE insurance, I called the agency itself. My claim agent (who is not the adjuster — just the person who handles the paperwork) was out until Tuesday. Long weekend. It’s the last time the kids won’t be in school full-time. I used to do the same thing, so I wasn’t surprised.

I really needed to see the adjuster today. I moved Garry’s doctor appointment to next Tuesday because I thought I needed emotional and mental backup today. That appointment officially made next week 100% fully appointed.

The adjuster finally called me and yelled at me for 10 minutes for apparently having the gall to call him TWICE inside a few minutes. Twice! He shouted how he had more important places to be than dealing with my little problem (it’s good to know they are concerned for my welfare). I pointed out in my best dulcet tones (no yelling) that all I had asked him to do was call me. He said he hadn’t heard about the appointment until Wednesday night and I said, “Today is Friday and all I asked for was a phone call.”

He finally agreed to see us later, around two. I said I don’t move fast, so please wait. It takes me a while to get to the door. He didn’t seem to understand what I meant but finally said he’d call and tell me when he was on the way. I said “thank you” and hung up. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been talked to that rudely by anyone with whom I was doing business. I didn’t think business people talked to clients like that. I know when I was in business, I’d have been fired for yelling at any client. Even if I had a good reason — and he didn’t have one.

I thought about it awhile, called MY agent, explained that I just been thoroughly dressed down by the adjuster who apparently didn’t think my job was important enough to give me a phone call and make an appointment.

I’m worried about the mold, too because Garry and I haven’t been feeling well and I wonder if the mold has something to do with it. I know we just saw it, but it has probably been growing underneath the damaged vinyl for weeks. Months?

Churlish hardly begins to describe this morning. I don’t even understand why. Has he been watching too much Trump on the news? Maybe he had a fight with someone else and I just happened to be the person on the phone.

Overall, not a great week. I’m trying to feel better, but I don’t think I’m succeeding. I’m working on it, though.

I’M A MAN – THE SONG – Rich Paschall

Who Sang It Better, by Rich Paschall

The British rock band The Spencer Davis Group was formed in 1963 and had various success in the mid 1960s. One of their biggest hits was “I’m A Man” written by singer-songwriter and keyboardist for the band, Steve Winwood, and their record producer, Jimmy Miller. The song was released in 1967 and made the top ten in both the U.K. and U.S.

Spencer Davis Group

Winwood is on lead vocals and drives the Hammond organ with a strong beat. It was the last big hit for the group. Winwood and his older brother Muff (Mervyn, actually) left the band shortly after to pursue other interests. Steve formed the band Traffic and Muff joined the record industry as a talent scout and artistic developer.

The band The Chicago Transit Authority, later just “Chicago,” covered the song 50 years ago on their first album we know as CTA. It was not released as a single and found little success in the early going. It was, however, a band favorite in concert.

The Chicago Transit Authority

When Chicago started to earn success and singles were hitting the charts, “I’m A Man” came out as the B-Side to “Questions 67 and 68.” Radio stations were playing both sides of the record. The song even did as well in the U.K. as the original.

Today, Chicago continues to play the song in concert. It is an extended version with a long break in the middle for the percussionists to show off their talents as the other band members literally take a break.

The version below is with the incomparable Terry Kath on guitar and lead vocals for the first verse. The entire Tanglewood 1970 concert from which this cut is taken is available on YouTube — for free.

You might be able to guess my vote for best if you have been following us here.