The exchange is reminiscent of the way cinema imagines prisoners in the yard asking, “What are you in for?” Replace stenciled orange jumpsuits with bulky thermal coveralls and knit beanies, and move the conversation indoors to a burned-out shell of a living room where yellow police tape is laced around a floor lamp and upholstered […]
The Work of an Adjuster
Today is Poetry at Work Day. Not so long ago, when I first started playing with poetry, it often centered on my work. In fact, I used to house it all at its own blog, called PoetiClaims, until I got comfortable enough with the idea of writing poetry to actually put my own name to […]
I’m an insurance adjuster. We’re a jaded, thick-skinned lot, and no matter what names you call us or legal action you threaten, we get all our crying done the first month on the job. We take our coffee thick and dark, the most hardcore among us chain smoking between cases of Diet Coke or bourbon at our desks. This Fall, I converted.
There was a time when I did most of my work by telephone. I knew some customers by voice but mostly by a flat manila jacket with a seven-digit code scratched across the top edge. With a hands-free headset comfortably in place, I could talk to one customer and email another at the same time. […]
She eats fear with morning coffee chunks of ash, black in her mouth worries cinders between delicate fingers mixed with a trickle from her cheek to spread on burnt toast
He said to watch the ice, an adjuster’s nemesis lying in wait under a light scatter of snow on the walk. I ground a boot heel into its smooth cheek, spidered the outer crust and skipped through the back door. Once inside I saw the double-cross too late. The ice cracked a smile as I flailed on the dinette’s frieze.
A man in bright Bermuda shorts tapped a chisel against the ice to free a wide-eyed yellow duck caught swimming and mid-squeak when the cold snapped His wife laced up hockey skates on winter white legs and sniffled that they don’t wear flannel in Florida I poked fingers into frozen pipes and advised it is […]
Five blue candles dripped puddles on white icing sentinels atop round layers after the fire trucks drove away