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For what it's worth...

A very close friend of mine is a "captive" State Farm agent (I'll assume you know the difference but let me know if you don't). ALL my insurance (Life, Auto, Home, Personal Liability, etc) are ALL from State Farm. it was his father's office, and his son (my bud) took it over when his dad became ill and subsequently passed away.

I happened to mention to him your post above. While I am certain there are LOTS of different situations on this topic, his PERSONAL feedback was "..what baloney!". SF agents are supposed to scheduled reporting of claims, policy changes, etc. This is especially critical at month, and moreso, at quarter and year end.

That said, regardless of holidays, personal crisis or anything else, every captive agency is expected to deliver their results AND resolve any discrepancies before the end of the month.

Unlike sales or manufacturing, where you can predict or forecast revenue/expense, and make changes as necessary, in the insurance biz, no one knows if you are going to have an accident at 5PM on the Friday before Christmas. SO, (I am told), the typical comment is "Ed Rust is working today - so should you !"

While there was a time that there was enough "fat" in insurance to have assistants on hand to delegate to (and in a large insurance agency there probably still is) for a small town CA trying to balance a personal life and the pressures of an ever changing insurance state regulations can quickly impact one's plans. In addition, the mentors you reference are nothing more (again, I AM TOLD) that what you and I grew up with as OJT. Even with a degree in risk management, or another insurance discipline, unless you plan to be an independant appraiser, there is only one way for SF to be sure that you are working with THEIR rulebook..a mentor.

While I considered you MY mentor, our relationship was based on where you thought I needed to improve my skills, and the opportunities to demonstrate skills by providing a platform to do so. Remember when we had "Manager's Manuals"? They still do.

So, while I respect your applause, is it possible that it was simply good marketing, and not necessarily applied by SF regularly?


The State Farm org that had the work life focus was their internal IT group and one can argue that that is VERY different than any client facing organization. Sales (where the revenue comes from!) is the tip of the arrow for company current quarter success and it is often where the most pressure lands.

My only advice to someone in a sales org on finding balance (where life can be 24x7 as the accident can happen any time) would be to formally organize time out of the office.

Don't make appointments from 2pm on once in a while and get out. (Tell your bosses you are seeing a client!). Cell phone and e-mail can provide semi-connection, but it might help produce some sanity, too.

Great dialog, Ed. Thanks! And did I really mentor you? Wha' happened?

I think u took pretty good care of me..once I got my translator powered up...

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