It’s Not Fair

Written by mitch on. Posted in Uncategorized

When our daughter was little and she didn’t like something I said, the restrictions I imposed or the limits I placed on her, she would do what affectionately became known as the “It’s Not Fair! Dance.”

It was a site to behold…

This beautiful child with an angelic smile and the cutest pigtails you’ve ever seen, would turn red, contort that beautiful face, plant one foot firmly on the ground and then ratchet herself around in a circle, stamping one foot on the ground, pumping her fists up and down and screaming at the top of her lungs, “It’s Not Fair!”

The more frustrated and angry she became the harder it was to take her admonitions seriously. There were times I actually had to look away rather than break out in what would have been a very inappropriate outburst under the circumstances. And, that sensitivity, the realization that as comical as daughter’s behavior might have been it was the result of some very serious frustration, anger and anxiety – all of which were very real to her.

Well, I feel like it’s my turn to do the “It’s Not Fair! Dance”today. I know it won’t accomplish anything. I know it’s not going to change what happened. Nor, is it likely any good could come of it. But, realistically, I’ll bet the exhaustion that followed such an outburst and the release of all that frustration and anger, anxiety and angst, would have to leave you in better shape than just bottling it all up and keeping it inside.

Besides, it’s not like we’re at a loss of things likely to torment us… There are days Dante’s Inferno would probably seem like a pretty good choice for a vacation spot!

The reason I want to plant my foot and bounce around in a circle screaming “It’s Not Fair!” today is the one accident our business has experienced in just about twenty years and what it just did to our Worker’s Comp Insurance. One accident in twenty years, with an otherwise spotless record – Admittedly, a mildly serious laceration to one finger, something no technician wants to comtemplate – and, our rates are about to go up 47%.

I know… That isn’t very fair, is it? And, that’s the rub. The prison is being run by the inmates with more crooks and charlatans in positions of responsibility, authority and power than there are honest, thoughtful, reasonable people to fight the lunacy.

One accident: twenty years: 47% increase in premium… Well, it doesn’t seem fair to me and I’m not sure what to do short of ‘the Dance.’

I understand the need to protect our employees: all employees, for that matter. It’s the right thing to do. I understand there are those who would brutalize the system through abuse. But, I’m not one of them. I just want to fix cars, take care of our customers, take care of the people who have cast their fate with mine and live a relatively simple yet productive life. It’s hard to do that in our business when your overhead is about to increase by $700 a month!

It’s hard to do that when Comp is based on Payroll and the only reasonable way to control the cost is to reduce the overhead and that means laying people off! Not exactly the way to end a Recession, is it?

So, here I am at sixty-five feeling like a five-year-old: jaw locked, teeth clenched, fingers curled into a ball and the vein in my forehead about to burst, begging to plant that left foot in the ground, ready to start singing and dancing.

I want to be five and my daughter and scream, “It’s Not Fair!” But, I know it won’t do any good. There is only one of me and one of me isn’t enough to tilt against that Windmill. It would take all of us… All of us in every State… To stand up and say, “It’s Not Fair! You can’t get rich on our backs any more! You can charge a fair premium for the service you provide, but it will have to reflect your record and not just a random mischance of fate. And, you certainly are NOT entitled to make back your loses no matter how large or small in a period of time so small it constitutes and unfair burden on your insureds!”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough!

OK, ok… I know… Calm down! But, you know something… It’s hard to remain calm when the insurance companies are making more money than they have ever made in the past and the people they insure are working harder, making less and struggling more than at any time in history.

So, are you ready? Are you ready to stomp and shout and raise a little hell? If you are, all you have to do is plant that left foot, scrunch your face up a little, clench your fists and then slowly, yet methodically, take your right foot, raise it up and then set it down hard just a few inches in front of where it was when you started, and howl at the top of your lungs, “It’s Not Fair!”

It may not change anything, but I’ll bet you feel better when you’re done!

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I am a fourth generation, forty-sixy year veteran of the automotive aftermarket: an ASE Certified Master Technician, Service Consultant and Approved Automotive Manager. I grew up in this business with a passion for all things mechanical, particularly those things relating to performance. That passion grew to include all aspects of management, leadership and personal development with a special focus on every day shop operations which resulted in an eight-volume series on automotive shop management published by Cengage Learning and Thomson Publishing. I have been a trade journalist writing to the aftermarket for almost thirty years, devoting my professional life to improving both the image and experience of everyone struggling to succeed in the service industry and I've worked diligently to improve communication and increase understanding between all segments of my industry. This site and everything on it is both an extension and a continuation of those efforts

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