A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about work

Paying It Forward in Northern California

We’ve been driving up to the very northern part of California for claims again; driving up and inspecting on one side of I-5 one day and the other side the next day. This has been going on since returning from Canada. Since we have been doing this for awhile we’ve found some favorite restaurants, one being the Hi-Lo which is associated with the hotel of that name.

Most trips have been fun but nothing really remarkable, and with working so much there really hasn’t been anything to blog about.
So we went up and this time stayed at the Hi-Lo hotel so we could just walk to our room after dinner.

1st a little about the restaurant; it is a real local place, everyone knows each other. It is really a fun place for a meal and the BBQ is really good.
So this time we went to the back and found a place by the large rear windows with a view of Mt. Shasta. 2 families were seated at the next table, each with a couple of kids. At the table on the other side of the families was a single woman, eating alone.

Now I’m not real big on kids so don’t see them most of the time, even when they are right in front of me. But these kids were really well behaved and as the parents left I told them so. The 2 families left and we spoke with the woman by herself. We just talked about how nice the people are that that restaurant.

As we spoke the waitress came up to the woman and asked if she’d like desert. The woman said no, and then the waitress said well you must get dessert. The waitress went on to say that the 2 families had paid for her entire meal plus dessert. Needless to say, the woman was so moved by this she started to cry. She explained that she’d had an appointment that was very difficult and the families were so kind. She’d talked to their children while they were waiting for dinners to arrive. By then all of us were in tears.

What a nice way to end our meal. But it also reminds us to make sure we do some random act of kindness once in awhile.

Posted by Miss Chris 19:45 Archived in USA Tagged food travel work mt_shasta Comments (0)

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)

Dominican Food for Lunch

There is a group of us who seem to travel together to storms. This started in Sacramento last year when a bunch of us worked in an office and got to be friends. Now we were together again in New York.

At lunch I ran into one friend, Jim Duda, in the parking lot. I suggested that we eat together and we hopped into my car. Jim Goggled food and Dominican came up. I suggested that we go there, it sounded different. Wow, what a great restaurant! So much food that it makes 2 meals. The pinto beans are so great; fish fillet with garlic sauce is to die for.

At least there was good food to help survive the day.

Posted by Miss Chris 22:46 Archived in USA Tagged food work claim claims_adjusting dominican_food Comments (0)

And It's Off to New York

Off to work on Hurricane Sandy stuff.

I’d barely been home for a week when I got the call to go to New York. There is some program for Hurricane Sandy claims and I was asked to work as an inspector for the program. I had a choice of dates I could arrive so chose the last one possible. I chose to start on Friday; I’d fly on Thursday, arrive in the evening then attend the workshop all day Friday. Flight was booked and I got myself ready to go. Fortunately I’d never unpacked from Toronto so I didn’t have too much to do.
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I’d gotten a late morning flight, probably not the greatest idea but I thought that it would give me time at home and still get into New York at about 9pm. I got a room at the Extended Stay; a friend had already arranged a good rate for us adjusters. It was about 20 min from the meeting on Friday a.m.
Dale dropped me off at the airport with my 2 large bags, each about 50#, plus roll carry on, Ferrari bag, camera bag and purse. Again, since seasons were changing I brought both warm and cool weather clothes.

I checked in, checked the bags and went on down to the gate. After sitting and sitting it was announced that the plane was going to be late. Then it was announced that it would be later. Finally the plane came and we flew into LAX. There all flights were delayed, for hours, due to weather. Oh brother, now I was getting into NY later and later. I tried to switch flights but every flight was jam packed and late.

Finally, after a very late flight I arrived in NY at about 1:30am, tired and still needing to get to my hotel. I went to Avis to find that my rental car had fallen off the reservations so after a long line with only one reservationist, I got my car by 2:30am. Since I’m a Preferred Member my car is always waiting for me with no line. I got to the hotel and into bed by 4am. 7am came way too early.

Posted by Miss Chris 18:23 Archived in USA Tagged flying travel work airplanes Comments (0)

Another Hotel Yarn

Adventures in a Toronto Hotel

So one more blog on the hotel adventures. I was staying at the Hilton when the price went up to $200/night from $85, not a good option. I was leaving for home soon so I just went for price, the Super 8. Well this was not a Hilton.

The room was clean so I can’t complain about that but it was at a truck stop with truckers in and out. There were lots of families there so I wasn’t too concerned about safety. The main problem was that there was no place to work except on the bed. I slept, ate and worked while sitting on my bed. But it was easy to take a nap, I’d just scoot down, nap, then scoot back up to sit and work.

I was working one evening when I heard yelling in the hall. A woman was yelling “get your hands off me”, “I’m going to call the cops and you will be arrested” and on and on. I called the front desk and told the guy that he needed to get up there and reported what I was hearing. He asked me if I’d gone out to see what was going on. I told him that I had not gone into the hall to see what the fighting was about and did not intend to, that was his job.
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In a bit I did hear manager talking to whoever was having issues and that was the end of that excitement.

Posted by Miss Chris 13:05 Archived in Canada Tagged travel hotel work hilton super_8 Comments (0)

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