Uncluttering Your Electronic Life (Part II)

It’s simple: this is a real estate company that puts the consumer first.

I know that sounds like a slogan; and it is something any real estate company would probably say. But in this case it is a powerful truth.

Ordinary real estate companies put the agent first. It is a tradition that goes back to the 1970s, when brokers realized that every time they added an agent, they added that agent’s sphere of influence, his or her client base. Suddenly brokers decided the way to grow and be profitable was to add more and more agents. They got out of the real estate business and into the recruiting business.

Today, there is not one whit of difference in the basic consumer offering of any ordinary real estate company. What distinguishes one from another is what they have to offer agents. A couple of posts ago I talked about making a conscious effort to ‘Unsubscribe’ from junk mail feeds you receive. You know what I’m talking about: all of that mail you get every week (sometimes every day) from some cause or vendor to whom you inadvertently did (or didn’t) give your email address. Now you get their messages so regularly that you recognize them in your mail box and instantly hit ‘delete.’ I suggested it’s time to make all of that disappear for good and urged you to spend a few minutes each day in all of your mailboxes (including spam and trash), unsubscribing.

I’ve actually been at it for about 3 weeks and my inbox is soo much cleaner. Almost everything I receive has relevance and I’m spending very little time skipping and deleting. It feels much lighter!

Now I’m going to suggest you do the same thing with your Facebook Newsfeed. If you are like me you have dozens of ’Friends’ you’ve never met, many more you know only casually. Some of them may be HUGE Facebook users, posting ten to twenty things a day, all in your Newsfeed, making it very difficult to find the posts about which you really care. You don’t want to ‘Unfriend’ these people – that would be rude; and it’s not that you dislike them . . . you just don’t care much about the things they are posting.

An example would be the Title Rep I met at a party a few years ago. I’m sure she’s a great Title Rep and she’s doing a bang-up job keeping her name in front of the people she’d to refer business to her. But I don’t sell real estate (at the moment), don’t need a Title Rep, and rarely see anything in her postings that causes me to click for more information. In addition, I don’t think she has ever ‘Commented’ on or even ‘Liked’ anything I’ve ever posted. I don’t want to ‘Unfriend’ her – I might need a Title Rep some day. But I don’t want all of her junk cluttering up my Newsfeed.

Here’s the solution. Find one of her posts in the Newfeed. Click the little down arrow in the upper right of the post. Scroll down and select ‘Unfollow Suzie Title Rep.’ Her stuff will no longer appear in your Newsfeed, but she will sty on your ‘Friends’ list. She will still be able to message you and to post directly on your Timeline (with your permission), and vice versa, it’s just that now her routine postings will not appear in your Newsfeed.

The Ongoing Scooter Drama

I am finally out of my cast. The best part of that is the ability to wash my foot and leg; they hadn’t been touched in 5 weeks!

When your cast is removed, what is underneath is gross. The outer layer of skin on my foot died and came off in limp white sheets. After a couple of days moisturizing with Aquafor, the new skin is delightful, but at first? Yecch!

Now I will be wearing a knee-high ‘boot’ for about six weeks. It’s a kinder, gentler cast that comes off for bathing.

I ran into a friend shortly after the accident who strongly advised me to get an attorney. Seems dealing with insurance companies in these kinds of situations is always easier when one has a scary advocate. She referred me to the biggest, baddest, most frightening personal injury lawyer in San Diego: King Aminpour. I pictured a Klingon in a suit.

The office went to work, getting a copy of the accident report and attempting to discover whether the guy who hit me actually was insured.

Understand this: when you engage a personal injury attorney after an accident you are really nothing more than a revenue opportunity. The quality of the opportunity is not determined by you, but by the person who caused the accident. If he or she has good insurance with high levels OR significant assets, you represent a good revenue opportunity. If not . . . well, the law office probably can’t help you much.

The first thing the lawyers did was to put their private investigator on the case. You’d think a PI would be snooping around looking for evidence, but that’s not the case. His job was to first determine whether the guy who hit me HAD insurance (he said he did), and then to determine how much insurance was in place. I know: you’d think you could just call the insurance company and ask . . . but I guess it doesn’t work that way.

Meanwhile my out of pocket expenses have been adding up: my co-pays and deductibles are running about $1,500 so far – and I have pretty good insurance!

A week ago, I learned that the guy who hit me has only minimal insurance: the barely legal kind. If that proves true, MY insurance companies will probably recover what this accident cost them, but there will be little if anything left for me. But wait, there’s more.

Yesterday, his insurance company called my lawyer to say they were not sure this man’s policy was in effect at the time of the accident. They would have to investigate! Maybe the missing payment is at the agent’s office or something! In all likelyhood, there is no insurance. It’s almost as likely that there are few assets. In other words: I’m the loser here.

This man was not cited by the police. They noted that he made an illegal left turn from the center lane, but did not cite him. A policeman explained to me that it is rare that they issue a citation in an accident situation because they didn’t actually witness the event. In addition, it appears that the driver claimed to have insurance when he did not: a clear violation of California law.

So here I am with a broken foot. I will lose 3 months of normal activity and, if the doctors are correct, will likely experience ongoing pain and compromised functionality in the future. My trashed scooter and bad foot have cost me $1,500 so far and the end is not in sight. That’s what I got out of this. The driver? What did he get? A bad day. He was an hour late getting home from work. That’s all. I get a life sentence for his error and he gets inconvenienced.

Can you tell I’m a little angry? No: I’m a lot angry. I hate the fact that we live in a litigious society. I hate that for some, a minor accident is an income opportunity. I hate that this is our reality. But it is. If all this guy owns in the world is the truck he hit me with . . . then I want the truck. There have to be consequences.