If I Can Be Serious for a Moment…

No really.  I’m going to be serious.

I don’t like to talk about my job on the blog…but I had a phone call today that I feel the need to share.  I’m not breaking any confidences or saying anything bad…so I think this’ll be okay.

Part of what I do at work is try to find people to go out and appraise (usually auto) damages in areas where there aren’t a lot of appraisers.  Nine times out of ten, it’s not a problem, and we find someone and do awesome work for people who need it.  Fortunately I was able to find an adjuster for the call I took today as well…but that’s not what’s sticking in my mind.  What’s sticking in my mind is the setting.

Today, I had to dispatch a claim in the tornado-devastated state of Alabama.

If you somehow missed it, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Virginia, and Tennessee suffered storms of pretty much Biblical proportions this past week.  It makes the five tornadoes that hit St. Louis on Good Friday look like a Spring shower.  Hundreds are dead.  Thousands displaced.  And the full death-toll might not even be complete yet.  (In St. Louis, there were no confirmed serious injuries due to the tornadoes, much less deaths.)  I heard about that on the news like everyone else, and thought, “That’s a shame,” but it didn’t really register until I was talking to an adjuster who freaking LIVES there today.  (And someone who was lucky enough to have phone service, no less.)

Her voice was noticeably shaky when I asked how hard her area was hit by the tornadoes.  Suddenly, we weren’t talking about my day-to-day job getting vehicles inspected anymore.  It’s still ringing in my ears, “We’re okay here, but you can’t even get into Tuscaloosa yet.  They’re still going through there with the cadaver dogs.”

I’d never heard the term “cadaver dog” before.  It’s exactly what you think it is.

The fact that we were able to talk business after that is nothing short of astounding.  The only way we got through it was that (thank God) I’m human enough that I cared about her story and (thank God again), she was human enough to know that our jobs help people.  That’s what we do.  We help people.  In times even like these, we help people.

So…

I guess what I’m saying is this.  Try to be good to each other.  People died and they haven’t been found yet.  And you’re alive, and so am I, and we owe each other kindness.

Okay?

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