By Terri Guest, CIRMS, CMCA, CAI-CLAC PR and Tech Committee
This article first appeared on the www.berginsurance.com blog here.
I had the pleasure of attending the Legal Forum put on by CAI for California communities a couple of weeks ago. It is always interesting attending these sessions as it gives a real sense of the current climate in our industry. I attended four sessions as well as the opening and closing general sessions, and it seemed there was a consistent theme running through each presentation. Well, of course current California law was a theme, but that isn’t what I’m talking about.
In every session, be it about rule enforcement, water leaks, or what qualifies as a nuisance, one subject always came up – people are angry.
I get it. We all get it. After 20 months of global pandemic, we have finished everything on Netflix, are suffering from Zoom fatigue, and are just exhausted at not having things back to “normal” yet.
I’ve worked in insurance since 2007 and I have never seen so many claims related to lack of patience and compassion as I have seen in the past year. In most cases, there was really nothing the association, board or manager could have done differently. Claimants were just angry and wanted to be heard, or wanted to lash out, or wanted to “get even.” For example, the unit owner suing the association because she was asked to fix her broken garage door, or the member demanding quiet during the day because they were working from home, but there were several school-aged children upstairs who were stuck with at-home learning and little ability to get outside.
So, what can we do? Another industry person came up with a saying early on in lockdown: “give them grace and space.” Equally important is to remember to give yourself that same kindness. Self-care is a necessity in this day and age. Add it to your “to do” list. Every week. I’m not kidding. (Go ahead, add it to your list, I’ll wait…)
So, if you are one of those angry people, please let this be a reminder to stop, take a deep breath, and think about ways to relieve stress instead of letting it get to the point that it explodes onto the people around you. If you are one of those folks on the receiving end of the anger, stop, take a deep breath, and think about how you can gently suggest that you take a break and come back to it at a time when you are able to both speak and listen carefully to each other.
Grace and space, people. Grace and space.
Terri Guest, CIRMS, CMCA, EBP is the Northern California Sales and Marketing Representative for Berg Insurance Agency. In addition to also serving on the CAI-CLAC PR Team, she also received the 2020 CAI-CLAC Volunteer of the Year Award, along with fellow members of The CAI-CLAC Tech Team.