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Mercury General Corporation Message Board

  • janusmm janusmm Dec 21, 2000 1:20 PM Flag

    peace on earth, but not at mcy...

    As a former employee, I thought I would throw in
    my 2 cents on the current MCY

    There is some truth in both side's views. Overall, MCY
    was is not a bad company to work for. However, it
    clearly is not perfect, as some in upper mgmt would like
    you to think. True, you get a xmas bonus and the
    underwriting bonus, which is based on many things, but
    primarily the combined ratios and your production. But it
    is difficult to achieve quality production in the
    environment that the workers are asked to work in. It is
    difficult for most adjusters to maintain the expected
    quality when the volume is high. The reality of this
    frustration led to the turnover problems of this past year.
    But who is responsible for the overall conditions?
    The upper mgmt!

    The argument could be made
    that the reason why the california policy count has
    not grown past 800k in the the last few years, in
    spite of all the advertising $$, is because insds have
    gone elsewhere as a result of poor claim service. No
    one speaks of retention. Sure many thousands have
    signed on recently with mcy, but how many have left?

    So really, any praise directed to the upper mgmt,
    should be limited.

    SortNewest  |  Oldest  |  Most Replied Expand all replies
    • Come doubt there will be a bonus? It
      will be an improvement over last year. In case you
      forgot, our 3rd quarter results were above average but
      the fourth quarter will be astonishing! MCY stock
      doubled in the fourth quarter alone! A strong finish to
      2000. I get the feeling that most of you rarely get out
      of your cubicles and converse with the rest of the
      MCY world. Oh by the way, admin is always
      approachable should you have any questions(doubts)about
      intelligence, common sense, degrees, etc... This message board
      serves a purpose but there appears to be more serious
      concerns which might be better addressed face to face...
      Where's that positive attitude?

    • PGR's National Accounts people are always in
      search of these opportunities, so pursuit of the AARP
      account wouldn't surprise me. They have the range of
      products to make this type of relationship work very well.
      I'm not aware of the status of this courtship,

    • All good points Insguythen! They are the points
      that have been directed to the few on this board that
      have been so negative about a very good company.
      Preaching becomes important not for the informed but the
      uninformed (So, you may disregard it.). Many unkind and
      untrue comments have been made that need to be responded
      to (if only to allow the writer of those comments to
      realize how silly and unfounded they are). You recognize
      that most that work for MCY are very content with how
      the company responses to and compensates them. I too
      do not work for the company but I have "studied" the
      company and its position for many years. It is a well
      managed company but if I were the major stock holder I
      would move out of Southern California to a less greedy
      culture. In fact, I believe that if one looked closely at
      the background of upper and middle management one
      would find that most come from and were educated
      outside of the Southern California area!!!!

      and Shalom

    • "...for as I sould not work a M-F..." What does
      that mean? If you are in management it must be at the
      level of branch manager and given your comments about
      this company you should not be employeed by MCY! "Some
      started in clerical." Does that mean that they started in
      clerical and do not have a degree? Does it mean they
      started in clerical but do have a degree? Again, name
      names don't hide behind a board handle. "Regional Vice
      President"? Aren't you mistaken about that too! Does MCY have
      "regional vice presidents"? I don't think so!!! Do you know
      the background of that person that started in
      clerical? Do you know that person's educational background?
      Do you know that persons experience? If you say that
      G.J. has all of those skills, remember who makes all
      of the decisions about upper management. How much
      have you invested in MCY stock? I don't know that you
      are not in mgt but if you are, given your comments,
      someone has made a mistake. I repeat, if you would
      identify yourself, given you unkind and unfounded comments
      about MCY you should be given the opportunity to seek
      greener grass. Say, how come MCY is at over 43 today if
      it is so poorly managed?

      Joe (and I really
      believe it is more like Joett) don't look a gift horse in
      the month ("Mercury afords me that schedule." Not YOU
      Joett but MERCURY!!! Take all that negative energy and
      turn it into positive energy and you too will be "part

    • I don't work for MCY. Never have and probably
      never will. I'm an agent in the Midwest that doesn't
      even write for MCY. I'm simply a student of insurance
      that spends time on this board trying to undertand
      what is happening in our industry.

      people who post on this board need to get a grip on
      reality. MCY has an outstanding reputatation in the
      industry. The market loves this stock and has for some
      time. Yet, it is just another insurance company. It is
      not Nirvana.

      Claimsone... I made a suggestion
      about Gen Xers a while back and you immediately assumed
      I am an Xer. Sorry, the grey hair I pull back into
      a ponytail places me squarely in the boomer class.
      You and several others on this board think opinion
      has to be based on personal gain or loss. Opinion can
      be just that.

      Shalom... you (barely) mask
      your anger with psuedo-soothe. Try practicing what you
      preach. In fact, try backing off on the preaching. It is
      obvious you are addressing many who are unwilling to
      accept your wisdom. No company is a good as the one you
      describe. I admit the juvenile attitudes of joemanagement
      and others is hard to swallow... but they do have
      their points.

      Joemanagement... why are stock
      options so important to you? Do you really think the lack
      of stock options is the reason for high turnover.
      Might it be that many young people find insurance
      boring? Might it be that near full employment creates
      faults in the screening/hiring process? Might it be that
      young people today don't want to wait twenty years to
      see their careers blossom in an industry that is
      considered dead by many? Have you ever asked yourself why
      anyone with half a brain would go into the insurance
      industry? Almost zero prestige... limited future... low
      pay... minimal social significance... (This isn't how I
      feel. It is the perception of the public.)

      turnover is rampant in every industry. If you want the
      company to make changes regarding compensation and
      training... you probably need another argument.

      line... a little less rhetoric and a lot more compassion
      should come from both sides.

      And, while you are
      at it... try answering passinthru's questions
      regarding filings.

      Passinthru... what do you think
      about the rumor regarding PGR taking over AARP from

    • I can name quite a few, even a regional vice
      president, but I don't want to name them and cause potential
      embarassment/problems for them. "Name one person beyond managed", what
      does that mean?? Some started in clerical. It is great
      to have insurance experience, but you also need
      business sense, common sense, and people skills. G.J. has
      those, few others in Brea do. "the truth" is you can't
      handle the truth. I left the other company I worked for
      as I sould not work a M-F schedule and my family
      comes first and foremost, Beavis. Mercury affords me
      that schedule. I took a pay cut to come to Merc. In
      regards to the U/W bonus- you think there will even be a
      bonus this year?? Don't see much of one, even worse
      than last year. And regarding your comment about maybe
      me being in mgt someday, how do you know I am not
      already in mgt?

    • joemanagement,

      Name ONE person above
      manager that does not have a degree and no people skills!
      Name ONE. And while you are at it, how about telling
      us the years of experience each has in the insurance
      business. Tell us why you THINK these folks are in the
      positions they are in while you are not in an equal
      position. The "Shalom guy" has a far greater understanding
      of management and the workings of MCY than you
      appear to have. If you worked for another company, Why
      did you leave? Why not go back to that company if it
      is so good? Did you give the Christmas bonus back or
      did you keep it? Will you take the underwriting bonus
      or will you give it back?

      You know, if you
      turned you negative energy into productive work and
      suggestions you too might be promoted into management. Yet,
      your resentments keep you from realizing what you
      could be.

      Don't forget, put-up or
      one person in management beyond managed that does not
      have a degree and provide their years of experience in
      the business. And while you are at it, site three
      studies that support your hypothesis of a degree being
      needed to be in upper management (Say does the founder
      of Microsoft have a college degree? NO!). Do you
      know where you CEO and Chairman of the Board's degree
      is from? Opinion is something that is not based on
      fact nor knowledge...lets see some facts and knowledge

    • Yeah- these people you mention have no degrees
      and no people skills- which upper mgt needs to have,
      yet rarely has. Claimsone, you must belong to the
      same cult as this Shalom guy .Blah, Blah, Blah. When
      is the company going to start addressing it's real
      issues?? Our turnover rate is darnright embarrassing. We
      lose people while they are still in the training class
      for goodness sake. Our training is nothing compared
      to other insurance companies. I have worked for
      another company and have friends at our competetors and
      they do more than a 3 week training class before
      throwing them to the wolves. Why do you think they

    • It is nice to see a truthful post from someone,
      not the garbage propaganda spread by this "shalom"
      guy. He needs to get over himself. It is the 100%
      accurate analysis that when we can't retain employees we
      have rookie adjusters who provide poor customer
      service and over pay claims due to their inexperience. If
      we would retain employees, our premiums would go
      over the $1 billion mark. Until upper mgt and "shaloms
      of the world", who are truly the greedy, realize
      this, we will never attain the goals that have been

      • 1 Reply to joemanagement
      • Joe! Joe!

        Please try to deal with reality
        and not all the make believe that is in your head!
        You seem to have lots of resentments that you need to
        get over. What will you do when the recession comes?
        You must remember that what goes around comes around!
        Do until others as you would have them do unto you!
        Do you really think that you are owed something?
        Remember these ten two letter words: IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS
        UP TO ME.

        Up to ME not my employer!! Joe,
        you get nothing for nothing. Do your job and don't
        worry about what others do. You have control over
        yourself only!!!!

        Greed kills!

        Truth, dear
        friend, is a perception!

        Shalom and Shalom

    • Who should receive the praise? Those that have
      left the company? Those that bad-mouth the company?
      The labor force is difficulty these days and the
      quality has changed greatly. Many have benefited from
      MCY, many have been trained by MCY and moved on, many
      have been promoted to manager and above. Remember
      where upper management has come from; the rakes of
      workers that have been productive and loyal to the
      company. Too, keep in mind that claims is the most busy
      part of the company and the most under staffed. Under
      staffing has to do with the labor force and the
      availability of persons in the force.

      Peace is a
      perception and it is being perceived at MCY by its many
      loyal employees at all levels.

      • 1 Reply to intoins
      • Who do you think should receive the "praise?" I
        did not state that the mgmt should not recv any
        praise, but only that it should be limited. Nor do I
        believe that my post could be considered of the "bad
        mouth" variety that pepper this board.

        There are
        obviously two camps: one that feels that MCY is a near
        perfect company and that any critical comments are
        unwarranted and the other group that feels that those that do
        the work that are not compensated accordingly. From
        the tone of your post, I am conluding that you are
        not in a cubicle with a pending of 150 and that your
        phone is ringing off the hook.

        I was in claims
        prior to arriving at MCY, and I am still in claims. I
        have worked at all levels. I did benefit from my time
        at MCY. Again, I stated that MCY is not a bad
        company to work for, only that it is not perfect.

        As for the understaffing, yes that is inherent in
        any claims outfit. But you have to admit that MCY has
        had some turnover problems. And I think that is why
        some are critical of the upper mgmt. Who allowed it to
        happen? What was being done to curb it? Perhaps it would
        have benefited the company to take an aggressive role
        rather than a reactionary role.

        As for promoting
        from the ranks, unfortunately the phrase 'dangling a
        carrot' was used quite often, with regard to the
        possibility of promotion. I simply chose not to follow it any

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