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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Life Experiences And Lessons - Part Three

Having trained the employees  it was now time to depart. I sort of gathered from my bosses closed door that others in the office were not happy about my departure. My secretaries were having fits of crying and silence and I believe his life was becoming more and more troubled. It probably didn't help matters that a cluster of secretaries followed me to the elevator all crying loudly. Another supervisor had come to our office from a company that he claimed was the best company of any - bar none. He drank himself out of a job there and when I left he called the state manager and told him about me. I was called in for an interview and the next thing I knew I was working for Ohio Casualty.

That one single event changed my life dramatically. I was working with a bunch of highly skilled professionals at OC. It was not dog eat dog like it had previously been but now a team working together in unison. When I was claim manager for Hartford in Gainesville, Fla., Hartford had a motto that “we pay what we owe and not a dime more nor less“. Ohio Casualty was actually doing this, without having it as a motto. Clearly it was the outstanding company Jim described to me. I was sent to Tallahassee and told to run the company there just like it were my own. I had total freedom as well as policy limit authority and the company prospered while I made many N. Florida friends in the process. I was back to doing what I truly loved and that was helping people and treating them just like I would want to be treated if the situation were reversed. It is said that God doesn’t close one door without opening another. That was sure the case as my life took a dramatic turn for the better. No stress like I had left behind. My previous home office supervisor with the company I was fired from fell over dead with a heart attack at his desk. Stress was the norm with that company but OC was more family oriented and laid back.

I came out of this situation a stronger person and Ohio Casualty is the company I ultimately retired from. It is now part of the Liberty Mutual Group of companies and I can say Liberty Mutual made a very good choice. I made good friends in Tallahassee and that is where I met and married Carol. Our friend base was considerable and many of those friends still keep in touch with us. Working for OC freed me up to participate more in our church and other activities. That one episode taught me to rely on the Lord and it set my life on a totally different direction and a much more positive one. It also enabled me to actually achieve my life long dream of retiring in the mountains. I was able to travel around the country in the course of my duties and focus on the more difficult claims. The changes that occurred from that request by several state legislators totally changed my life. Not for the recognition of drafting a new wage law but far different from what I could ever possibly imagined. I have kept that law drafting episode pretty much secret until recently. Several nights ago I dreamt of it in vivid detail and figured maybe I needed to write about it as it may help someone else going through a similar situation. If so whoever you are you may be in for one of the most enjoyable journeys you could imagine.

So the lesson learned is when life knocks you down just get back up and move forward. Take the hand of the Lord and if he turns you in a new direction don’t resist as He has things in store for you that you could never imagine. One single traumatic event  put my life on a course that gained me more than I could ever have hoped or dreamed for.  Prior to that event I had been very confident, driven and self absorbed. That one event totally changed everything for me and set me on a far better path that has left me some fond memories. When I look back on that time period I can see with clarity how my life took a 180 degree change for the good. Perhaps the case could be made to not work for an insecure boss but this boss due to his insecurity did me one huge favor.

There are many more lessons that could be stated here but these are the most important ones in my opinion. Never in my wildest dreams would could I have suspected where that invitation to meet with our legislators  would take me. Strive hard to be the best you can and treat people along the way with respect because you never know when those people will re enter your life to help you out in the future. I’m pretty sure I know who recommended me and I will be forever grateful for their confidence and trust.    

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