I wrapped up November, having gained a few experiences and learnings.
The month began on a promising note, with 2 clients agreeing to work with me. One was in the medical-tourism domain, who wanted me to undergo a test. Having succeeded, I was assigned for a start, 2 articles. I enquired what would be the benchmark for evaluation and was informed the task was to attract viewers to the site. On further inquiry, I learnt that the article would feature in the blog section of the company website! And how would traffic be generated to the site? The company was still working on that! Anyways I decided to work on just one topic. As anticipated, the expectations were very different. So requested the client to give the same inputs to another writer, and then share the write-up with me, which would also be a learning for me. Client now does not respond to my emails.
Learning: At times, one needs to stand up to the courage of one’s convictions.
The second client was a Bangalore based startup providing news and information to other startups. I must admit, they were much more professional and ethical. Defined their reader aged between 20 to 35, 75% males. The agreement was for me to provide 2 rewritten news articles per day. The client drew a line between news and trends, defining the latter as write-ups which covered interviews, research etc which were the rights/property of the respective media, hence were out of bounds to be published by me. 2/3 of my articles were thus rejected as they were classified as trends, a line that I must confess I have yet to properly identify.
Learning: There is a fine line of difference between “News” and “Trends”, the latter I yet need to identify.
3 years ago, a common friend had recommended to me, a third party for medical insurance, whom I signed up with. After a month of chasing him for renewal of my premium, he lands up at my home, wanting me to change my service provider since the provider had discontinued the product. He suggested a few others where I could get insurance portability – similar to mobile number changes – I did not know it existed in insurance too, so a new learning again. And guess what? To avail of this portability, I was asked to provide the cheque within 4 days, since the scheme ended in 30 days and the agent had let 26 days lapse. On investigation, I learnt that the person was not an authorised agent but part of a brokerage network.
- Do not go by recommendations alone. Do your own homework.
- Check which industries offer portability schemes for the future.
With just a few days in hand for portability, did a thorough online and offline search, and shortlisted CignaTTK online. After disclosing my medical history to the sales team and verifier, I was told to submit my cheque. Then I received a call from a doctor so repeated exactly the same history (can history change?), who was very cooperative. I suddenly received an email, rejecting my proposal. On intensive follow-up for the reason, was given a reason that the underwriter’s decision was final. My point was, the same history was disclosed to the sales team, etc and I was informed that this was a company policy. So I responded that instead of disclosing their company employees to an external audience, why don’t you educate your own internal teams. I received no proper responses so resorted to tweets. (One will be surprised at the power of tweets). Also escalated the matter to the highest levels where more light got thrown, but not to my entire satisfaction. However, decided not to pursue it and now still looking for a medical insurance provider.
- Insurance is a highly complicated maze.
- Pick your battles – don’t sweat the small stuff.
Welcome December, Hello Santa!