The Loh Life is writer/performer Sandra Tsing Loh's weekly take on life, family, and pop culture in early 21st century Southern California.
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1000 Points of Light

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Sandra Tsing Loh...

As we sit on the cusp of a new year—“Lucky 2013!” as I like to call it—I’m going for some fresh perceptions and attitudes.

I am so happy that I’ve just turned 50, which I consider a kind of cosmic oil change, my odometer cleansed with zeroes.

I am an old dog learning new tricks—you should see me do Keynote on an IPAD now, while twizzle-animating my photostream—

Even though I am a Democrat, I love Bush the First’s phrase “a thousand points of light,” so I’m going to celebrate it—no irony.

In so doing, I’m going to celebrate some unsung heroes, in this great land of ours.

Insurance agents.

Insurance agents have long been mocked.  Remember Groundhog Day?  “Ned!  Ned Ryerson!”  Am I right or am I right?  Funny, but it’s time insurance agents get some respect.  I gave a speech last year to a group of Farmer’s Insurance agents, for which they gave a generous donation to the 24th Street Theatre!  I’m on the advisory board of a non-profit that received $20,000 from State Farm to promote child car safety!  Good things are happening, people!  Thanks to insurance—or as some people call it, IN-surance.

Insurance has an interesting history—which, I admit, I wiki-ed FOR that speech.  The first insurance policy?  On a Babylonian Obelisk—Hammurabi’s Code!  Early group insurance?  Medieval Guilds!  Early instance of underwriting?  American Colonists!  Lloyd’s of London!

But what about service?  I had Newport/Balboa home insurance that got sold to QBE, but they wouldn’t renew it due to an erroneous CLUE Report.  That’s all the detail you want to know.  This was five hours on the phone with liability, claims, adjustment, customer care—who either tell me they can’t do anything or will “return your call in 24 hours—”  NONE DOES.

As a last resort, I call a supervisor, Gregg Langerfeld, to leave a complaint.  To my surprise, Gregg picks up before the second ring, listens, takes action—  By the end of lunch, I have insurance!  I mean, QBE is a giant conglomerate, I need them more than they need me—  It seemed unnecessary for Gregg to give such excellent customer service—and yet he did!

I write both Gregg and his boss honeyed thank you notes, to which he wrote back a thank you note which read: “It’s nice to hear when we have made a customer satisfied.  We try to do what is right and offer the experience we ourselves would want.  We cannot always achieve it but we keep it as a beacon of light to forever strive to obtain.”

What a pure notion of service—  Am I right or am I right?  Just like our American Colonists, it’s a brave new world.