Is this because I am a woman?

@soccermom (3200)
United States
April 30, 2007 9:14pm CST
I am so peeved tonite, I've been pretty busy today, but now that I'm home and have had time to reflect on my day I'm getting irritated. I work for a large insurance company, and we have independant agencies all over my city. At the end of March I contacted one of my policyholders to let them know their homeowners was up for renewal and due to a large amount of claims their policy was going up drastically. I figure I'm doing the right thing contacting them ahead of time to try to soften the blow. Anyway, I explained to them that if they brought their auto policies to our office the discount they would receive on the homeowners, plus multicar discount would actually save them in the long run. I truly am interested in looking out for my clients. So I get a call from my district manager today to tell me that she received a letter form this policy older and they wanted to transfer their homeowners to another agent. That happens, but I decided to call the policyholder and find out what the deal was, as she was initially convinced it was my office and not the company raising her rate. Before I called I checked the company database and found my client was in there twice! It appears the other agent wrote her autos two weeks ago, knowing full well that she had a policy already in my office. It is an unspoken rule that we do not steal business from each other! The other agent should have at least called me out of courtesy first, that is just what we do. But this agent didn't, he pulled the business right out from under me! I talked to the policyholder and told her I put the transfer through, and that I appreciated her business the last few years and was sad to see her go, and then I called the agent and told him what I thought of his business ethics. I am seriously thinking about complaining to our district manager. I'm really busting my butt to have my name on the door when my boss retires, but it seems like the men in the our district have a problem with me. This took $200 worth of commission out of my office, and it is hard to recoup that with new business! Should I feel like I wasn't given a "heads up" just because I am a woman? Am I wrong in thinking this other agents business practices are unethical?
9 people like this
14 responses
@scammerwear (1433)
• Singapore
1 May 07
I was never an insurance agent, but I was (and from what my current boss tells me, would be) in Sales. The unspoken rule holds true here too, and it's a declaration of war to steal someone's client. Gender aside, what he did was unethical. If you don't raise a complain about him and pack enough behind it to make him feel the heat, it might just happen again. It's a lot more civilizated then getting hold of his client list and ... oops, maybe I shouldn't have said that...
2 people like this
@soccermom (3200)
• United States
1 May 07
Ya know, I was thinking about his client list. You know who one of his clients are? My inlaws! They have a home, 2 cars and 4 life insurance policies with him, and not once have I mentioned to them the idea of transferring to my office, I wonder how he'd like to lose that commission at renewal? However, I can't bring myself to lower to his standards. But I'd really love to.
3 people like this
• Singapore
1 May 07
Heh, we think alike on the matter then. Do at less complain to your boss, suffering in silent is just not the way. Remember to keep that pretty chin up gal, you can't fly high looking down ;)
1 person likes this
@SpitFire179 (2536)
• Canada
1 May 07
i guess you really never know what the reasoning behind something is, unless the other person lets you in on it, but i find it pathetic that they have to be so low as to take your business... He should have also explained to your client the way things ran, instead of just taking her, with no words in exchange other than what's happening at the moment... It could be because your a woman, and many men feel threatened by women in the workplace because of the name women have made for themselves, or it could just be about the money, 200 may not seem like a lot at first, but 200 gained is always a sure sign of improvement - in their eyes anyway, they just don't see that their low approaches and disgusting ways is getting them nothing but dirty money... Seems like your having a wonderful time these days hun... Maybe it's time for a break?
@soccermom (3200)
• United States
1 May 07
You're right, I do need a serious break. Even when I get a break it's not a break. Like my weekend away last weekend, I ended up being the only one chasing my kids around when my mom and sister were there to "help" with the kids. Even my doctor says I am on a slow burn. I think I'm more mad about this situation than I would've been normally just becasue even though my job can be stressful, I use it as my "escape".
1 person likes this
• Canada
1 May 07
I'm wondering here if your hubby would mind if you left the kids with him for a weekend and went camping or something? You really need to get out and take a break, and a couple of hours, though it still feels good, is not enough. i think that it's best for you to take a breather, but i'm not you, so i can't really say what's best, but if the doc thinks you need prozac, your having problems with the fact that you alone is taking the kids all the time, work is making you lose your mind even though it's supposed to be your solitude, and friends and family are frustrating you, then maybe it's time to take a couple of days to yourself. I went through a time a while ago where i couldn't take being at home, i couldn't take going out with everyone, i just wanted me time, and without going out when i wanted and telling everyone else to go take a leap, i think i would be in the loonie bin right now.
1 person likes this
@soccermom (3200)
• United States
2 May 07
Thanks spitfire. My problem is that even when I do get time I don't sit still and just relax. My hubby is having his mom take the kids on the 12th and demanding that we stay home, cook out, watch movies and relax. All I can think is sounds great I gotta have my house clean before the kids leave. But I haven't been myself lately, things that usually don't bother me have been sending me into a near rage, like one response I got to this discussion, but I can't worry about every ignorant person in this world.
• United States
1 May 07
People like your double crossing fellow agent do not back stab others because of their gender. They do it when they think they can get away with it. Women as a rule are nicer and less assertive usually then men, so guys like your weasel sometimes role the dice and try to take advantage of a person who happens to be a woman because of a perception there will be no retaliation. So, it comes down to this. You have to dish up consequences for this betrayal or it will happen again. People like your unethical fellow agent simply will not stop on their own. They enjoy doing this crap. P.S. Want to bet the snake in the grass was behind the client request for a transfer?
1 person likes this
@soccermom (3200)
• United States
1 May 07
Sorry red, I only take bets I have a chance on winning. I'm sure he helped the situation along, the man has 30 years in with the company and is looking at retirement in the next few years, which usually doesn't sit well with the insured. But even though I wanted to tell my policyholder this I kept my mouth shut. I was tired last night and maybe I am taking the gender issue a little far, but I have a feeling that if it had been my bosses name on that policy he would've at least gotten a phone call. I know I have turned down business because someone has a policy with another agent. I think this will be the topic of discussion at one of our district meetings this month.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 May 07
The pettiness one has to put up with in almost any organization is too much for me. I don't know how you do it. Good luck at that next district meeting and with dealing with this guy.
1 person likes this
@calvin222 (1607)
• India
1 May 07
No it is not becoz you are a WOMAN. this is the way the world of commerce works. dont bring the woman angle into it or it will make you feel miserable and persecuted.
1 person likes this
@soccermom (3200)
• United States
2 May 07
I have never in my life played the "woman card". But if you dealt with what I do day in and day out you'd have an idea of why I feel this way.
• Malaysia
1 May 07
i think you're not prepared for a realistic world.. are you? this type of unethical type of business practise is too common nowadays.. everyone using dirty tricks just to earn a living. .and they don't really care about friendship. .even if you both agree to compete with one another fairly.. i think .. you have to learn that human are very realistic when it comes to money.. they don't care much about you.. it's not that you're woman.. it's just that he needs to earn his living..and he's using backdoor to win you.. i hate this type of person.. i think they're losers.. they dare not to compete with you fair and square..
1 person likes this
@soccermom (3200)
• United States
2 May 07
I am more in touch with the reality of this world than you would ever know. I guess my problem is that in my company we have all watched out for each other, so this behavior has come as a shock, even to my own boss. And you're right, this guy is a loser, he's afraid of retiring and having a mediocre track record, but I believe in karma, so he'll get his.
@academic2 (7010)
• Uganda
1 May 07
soccermom, bussiness is getting more aggresive these days and the principe of "survival for the fittest" comes in handy here. When competition assumes a cut throat level, people doing similar bussinesses throw the towel over things like ethics and best practices, so long as they dont break the law. Am sorry for you having to lose you commission, but I dont think this has to do with your gender-the truth is, there is a stiff competition around your bussiness line-the best you can do is get tough your self and be aggressive with your marketting! Above all, just ignore this client and try to get more!
1 person likes this
@soccermom (3200)
• United States
1 May 07
I don't think I'd be as upset if my client had said "Hey, I'm going to State Farm" or some other company. But they are staying in our company! I have a feeling that my client called this other agent to see if it was just my office hiking up their rates and the other agent took the ball and ran. You are right though, it's time to be more aggressive with my marketing!
@Writerbob (572)
• United States
1 May 07
"business ethics" is an oxymoron much like "government intelligence". You can make the complaint to the manager and then one of two things will happen: If he doesn't like the other agent, then he will be dressed down and you will be compensated. If he likes him, then the "good ol' boy" network will close ranks around your adversary, and it'll all get swept under the rug. *sigh*
1 person likes this
@Impervious (1154)
• United States
1 May 07
Well soccermom, I admit that is a scummy thing to have done to you. Personally I don't think that it had anything to do with your gender. I think that it was just a jerk being more concerned about his wallet. I have a friend that works in insurance and have an Idea of the earning structure and the bottom line is that this guy was just out for himself. Try not to get too hung up on the being a woman thing though, As I see it that also has it's advantages. As to the ethics situation I agree. And remember what comes around goes around.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 May 07
I would contact your district manager immediately and tell him what happened. It is unfair of your co-worker to steal business from you. This is unethical and you should fight. I don't know if it was because you are female or if it's because the other agent is just plain greedy. In any case, you shouldn't let them walk all over you! Stand up for yourself because you are in the right.
1 person likes this
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
1 May 07
Putting the gender issue aside, this act was totally unethical and should be dealt with accordingly, so this practice won't continue when it comes to you. Women seem to have to be harder and more brutal when it comes to working in the corporate world. At the very least I would consult with your manager and file a complaint against this agent. If he is doing it to you, he is doing it to others. You work so hard to be where you are, and where your office is. You consider it a team effort, he is only out for himself. That is wrong. But gender is an issue in the corporate world.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 May 07
I don't think it is because you are a woman I think the other agent is being nasty in stealing your business and I would contact your district manager regarding this, especially since it is against company policy. If he did this once, he will do it again, obviously he can't get business the legtiment way that he is resorted to stealing clients from other agents in the same company.
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48716)
• United Kingdom
1 May 07
No you are not wrong in thinking that the other Agent practises was unethical But I don't think it was because you are a Woman it is just what People are like now inconsiderate selfish and do not care for the other People around them
1 person likes this
@tinamwhite (3255)
• United States
1 May 07
I do not disagree with you, Soccermom. I am appalled that the district manager did not pick up on this anyway...did they not check this client's name on the database themselves and see that the other agent had just written them a policy???? As you know, I sell real estate and if someone in my office did that to me I would not be happy either.... In my opinion, you did the right thing by calling and thanking them for their business for so many years....I am sorry that this happened to you, my friend.....you have such good work ethics so, of course, this is difficult for you to even comprehend... Do you think this happened because you are a woman or are you just venting.......in my experience, most of the general public actually tend to do business with a woman if they can, they feel that women are more trustworthy...so I have been told. There are always going to be people who are jealous of a strong, independent, organized woman in the business world....both male and female......Do not allow these people to change you or the ethics with which you do your business.....Stay Strong, my friend.
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
15 May 07
The other Agent was totaly in the wrong I hope you really gave it to him and yes MEN are threatened by what us women can do they dont want you to get ahead in anything above them GRRRRRRRRRRRRR