A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about adjusting

Living and Working on Long Island

A brief look at our lives while working on Long Island

The days of working in New York were much the same, drive down to the Marriott, sign in at 6:30am, work in the lobby until I needed to leave for my appointments then off to inspect. In the afternoons I’d go back and write up the estimates, sign out at 6:30pm then off to the Extended Stay. All of our work and hotels were on Long Island.

This routine lasted a week and was well and good but then I realized that I could stay at the Marriott using Priceline. Wow, $89/night what a deal and I didn’t have to leave at 6am to drive down, just walk down the stairs. (Stairs for the exercise)
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The Marriott was so nice after the Extended Stay which was old and dirty. I was ready for a nice place to live again. Plus I was happy that I could actually work in my room where people wouldn’t bother me. There were adjusters who just didn’t know what they were doing, and while I wanted to make sure that the company looked good, it just took way too much of my time to help with basics.

Because I’d stayed so long at the Marriott in Folsom, I’d accumulated lots of reward points and the highest status. Never mind that I’d used all my points in Toronto I hadn’t lost my status! Here I was given access to the top floor where breakfast was served, hors d’ Oeuvres in the evening, water, soda, coffee that downstairs was $3/cup. Not too bad.

Hated to move when we had to at the very end. The Clarion wasn’t any comparison.

The claims varied from totally destroyed houses, completely boarded up houses, houses being rebuilt and those already rebuilt. While I appreciated that all of my inspections were close together, I didn’t appreciate that I had the houses around the golf course, the big houses. I had only a couple of condos. Some people had all condos so had time to sit around. Alas, I had to work but then I got to stay longer.

Fortunately, not all inspections were around the golf course, there were quite a few on the beach with a 2nd bunch of inspections. It is always so hard to imagine how the storm really was when standing looking out at the beach. The water is so peaceful out, gentle waves, blue skies. Then behind is a house where waves washed completely thru it. I’ve seen the same thing over and over again in hurricanes since 1991. The power of water is amazing.

The stories, and each person must tell theirs, varied from barely making it out of the basement moments before being crushed to death by water breaking down the door and rushing in, to houses partially falling down. Others had little damage at all, didn’t leave, but because they lived up a little higher they were able to watch the devastation occur.
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Every storm I get asked how bad that owner’s damage is compared to everyone else or in the whole of all the hurricanes I’ve worked. I always tell people that their damage is the worst for them because it is theirs. A non-answer that seems to make everyone feel good.

Posted by Miss Chris 11:45 Archived in USA Tagged landscapes new_york work adjusting long_island hurricanes Comments (0)

Toronto Hotel Adventures

View_from_the_new_room.jpgIn Toronto it seemed that I was a gypsy. I stayed in about 8 different hotels in 6 weeks. I never unpacked my bags, just kind of piled up my stuff in groups in the bags so that I didn’t have to dig for anything.

The reason I moved so many times was quite simple, the price of hotels went up and down. Of course the Hilton and Marriott’s were quite nice but when the price would go up over $120 then it was time to move.

I used Hotels.com mostly as the best deals were there but also used my free points from the Marriott. So what were some highlights?
I stayed at one Sheraton that I’ll never forget. Apparently it sold the week before I arrived but I’m not sure that it made any difference. This hotel was not in a bad area of town but it was iffy. Older and sort of refurbished.

So I got to the hotel and as I walked up to the counter a young woman, dressed a little skimpy outfit walked past to the elevator. As I got to the counter a man, who had been leaning on a table went to the elevator. And while they did not enter together, there was no one else in the lobby and I thought “oh my”.

I actually had a nice room on the 10th floor, a 1 bedroom suite. If I sat on the couch in the living room, toward the window then I could look out over Lake Ontario. The tower in Toronto was visible during clear days. That was where I worked in the afternoons writing up my estimates.

That 1st night I woke up to yelling outside. I looked out the window and here were 2 women yelling “stop”, walking down the middle of the street. There were no cars around so it was not apparent to whom they were yelling.

One of the last mornings I was there the fire alarms went off at about 6am. Over the speakers/alarms the staff was assuring us that they were investigating and would update. I looked out the door but there was no smoke. Fire engines arrived on my side of the hotel, sirens blaring, the smoke alarms still going off and I made the decision to hike down the 10 flights of stairs. If there was a fire I wasn’t going to be stuck on the 10th floor. I looked around at what I should take; I grabbed my camera bag containing the good camera and grabbed my personal laptop. I decided to leave the work laptop; not my property, not my problem.

Out in the hall another couple was trying to decide what to do; the woman could not walk well at all. I told them I’d take up the rear in the event there was a true emergency then I could help carry her. So down we started. As we went down more people joined us on the stairs. That was the longest 10 flights I’ve walked.

There was no fire, just a big adventure.

The place was sold and the new owners wanted to renovate so there were no rooms when I went to extend my stay. Off to new places.

Posted by Miss Chris 15:17 Archived in Canada Tagged hotel canada adjusting catastrophe_claims Comments (0)

Working in Toronto

Toronto was quite an adventure. There had been a huge rain storm flooding basements that were, for the most part finished and used as living areas. I like these sorts of claims as they do not require a ladder to carry around. An adjuster can just walk down to the basement an do the inspection, not burn up on a hot roof.

The people were, for the most part, really nice. Many would insist that I have coffee or would have a plate of cookies on the table and coffee made and we would need to sit down briefly before starting to inspect. Since I can’t eat wheat I couldn’t eat the cookies but that was probably better for keeping some extra weight off.

Then, there was the town idiot who thought that even though I have a husband and family that I’d maybe like to really be with him. He called and asked what was going on with his claim. I told him that it would be submitted soon and gave him the cost I’d calculated. He then told me that his son, a musician, was playing and he really wanted for me to see his son play. I thanked him and was sure it would be a good concert since it was his son but I was busy and actually would likely be gone by then. I didn’t bother to tell him that I really wasn’t into him.

As I was driving to the airport to leave for home he called and asked again what was going on with his claim. I told him that he’d need to call the office as I was leaving for home at that moment. He said “but my son is going to play in a concert and I wanted you to see him”. I was the bearer of bad news when I told him that I’d really rather see my own sons and my husband! Alas, the breaker of hearts!

Posted by Miss Chris 17:33 Archived in Canada Tagged travel canada business_travel claims adjusting catastrophe_claims Comments (0)

Off to Work in New York

Going to work Hurricane Sandy claims, 1 year later.

I haven’t even written about my trip to Toronto and here I am leaving tomorrow for New York. So I’ll try to keep with New York and then write my impressions of Toronto later.

A few days ago I got called to go to New York, on Long Island, to work Hurricane Sandy claims. Mainly, as I understand it, we will be doing reinspections and writing some estimates.

I did not work Hurricane Sandy last fall. I was working in Sacramento and just stayed with that assignment. So now I’m going to get a taste of what some of my co-workers did.

I’ve already packed, pretty unusual for me; usually I’m finishing up as I dash off to the airport. But I’m packed; got a large duffle bag, a large wheeled suitcase, a wheeled carry-on, camera backpack, purse and a tote bag. Each of the large bags is just ounces less than 50#’s. The wheeled carry-on is over 35#.

I strap the wheeled carry-on to the large red bag then pull both large bags while wearing the camera bag, purse and tote bag. Quite a sight I’m sure.

This is an assignment that should be fun at the end. Dale and a couple of granddaughters are planning to come just to have some vacation time. Also I’ll be on the east coast for, hopefully, the changing of the leaves and we have good friends in that area that we get to visit.

So off to a new adventure.
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Posted by Miss Chris 18:34 Archived in USA Tagged new_york travel work hurricane adjusting Comments (0)

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