A week ago I started a two-month temporary job with an insurance company. I worked insurance in Kansas, and I can honestly say that when I quit that job last July, I never intended setting foot inside another one like it. Not that this one is much like it. That one was huge and involved an immensely complex, intricate electronic filing software. This company pays me almost twice as much money per hour due to the higher cost of living in CA (my monthly expenses are nearly identical) and files its claims by hand. As in a physical, real, manila folder with documents in it and color-coded numbers on the side. They also have filing software, but it’s remarkably tiny and frustrating in the way out-dated things are. Frustrating not because we’re confused by them but because we’re not used to thinking in such limited terms. If my previous company was Windows 7, this one is DOS.
And for the time, I’m liking it. I’m a little less bitter and burnt out now than when I left my old job. Also, it’s a nice thing to realize you have acquired a set of skills and understanding in a complicated area. My first day I had nothing to do so they gave me a couple claims to look over. Looking at the estimate a contractor had submitted, I got out a pen and started marking next to all the superfluous line items. Extra hours of labor for simple tasks, completely unjustified roofing materials when their report didn’t even mention the roof and they took no photos of it. I don’t know that I feel comfortable, because it’s still the insurance business. But I do feel capable. And now that I’m handling claims again, I’m finding that my previous job’s training has paid off and my documentation is extremely thorough and precise. In the insurance industry, this is never a bad thing. The only trick now is learning this new system and seeing how things go.
This isn’t my career. The final three months working in Kansas were awful. I was bitter and angry, partly because the job was getting worse (my company started treating employees like crap) and partly because I didn’t want to be there anymore. I wanted to be gone. As good as some things were in Kansas, a lot of things weren’t. Two months from now, if I can’t stand it, I walk away. If I like it, think I can take it for a while and am doing well, it can become a permanent position.
One thing that helps, too, is that I’m, also making a new film. It will occupy as much mental space as the job does. Making sure I pour myself into what I ultimately want to do makes going to work every day a little easier. Oh, so do the paychecks.