If I could put time in a bottle, I’d be drinking a LOT.

This weekend wifey and I put in some long overdue labor working on our ridiculous contents list, which is now approaching 6000 items.

Looking back at our time since the fire–almost a year now–I’ve done some math and estimate we’ve spent 300+ hours on house fire administrative chores (not including the 3-4 weeks we took off last summer to recover and shovel ashes). All this time we’ve either taken off from work or arranged for weekend childcare for Meadow.

And for some reason, it seems every Saturday or Sunday we spend working on our mind numbing bureaucratic pile, the weather outside is gorgeous.

Our big time sink is listing out and organizing receipts for every single little item that burned. Most individual items are worth between $5 and $15, a relatively small amount. But add them all up and it’s a big chunk o’ cheese. Cheese that we can only get by first listing all the items, and then sending in a receipt corresponding to each item.

With thousands of items and already hundreds of receipts, it’s a mounting task that grows the more we ignore it.

I’m convinced the Allstate counts on people getting fed up with the laborious process and if not outright giving up then at least cutting corners. This is illustrated simply through the fact that the forms they send for listing out the contents are designed for hand writing. I can’t imagine hand writing and organizing 6000+ items without a spreadsheet. I wonder how many people in this same situation start writing their lists by hand, get fed up, send them in prematurely, and get gypped by their carrier.

If you add up all the man hours we’ve spent, plus all the staff time Allstate will spend processing the list, it would surely be cheaper for them to just cut us a check for the amount of our contents coverage.

Silly huge corporations, tricks are for kids.

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