The View From The Golden Dome

Views on the week's events plus some of mine.

Les Berman Weekly 11-16 Get Annoyed. Confusing Legalese. Great Gags. Phone Etiquette. Hair Cloning. and 125 Years… and much much more…

How often do you get annoyed because either there are stupid people doing stupid things, or smart people doing stupid things because it’s in the employee handbook? In which case, it goes up the line to supposedly smart people who are trying to dumb it down to the lowest common denominator (uhh.. that’s a math term)!


Let me give you today’s example. My regular readers may remember that I had knee surgery two months ago. So today I received a letter from an insurance company that said “please be advised that your notice of claim has recently been received…” and the next sentence says “please review your policy and let us know of all benefits in your policy you believe you might be eligible to receive.”


OK – you have my claim. It is for specific benefits. And now you want me to review the policy, written in purposely confusing legalese, and tell you what I’m claiming. Excuse me. Is there a little redundancy here. So when I called the insurance company to ask why, they said that not everyone knows what a claim is.


And again, if someone does not know what a claim is, either they should not be allowed out in public without a guide, or if it’s too late for that, perhaps the person who submitted the claim should assist.  And so we went in a circle. But I was polite.. and started to have some fun confusing the person on the phone.


And then, I was reminded of one of the great gags that my son did when he was a teenager. Someone had called our home line, and that was in the olden days when you answered the phone and just said hello without knowing who was calling. My son proceeded to carry on a conversation for 10 – 15 minutes with… a wrong number. And I still chuckle over his sense of humor. And I am guessing that he still does silly things like that, and I have to guess because his wife doesn’t reveal those secrets !


And while we’re on phone etiquette, if there is such a thing anymore, I would like to impart upon you, some wisdom that has worked for me for a very long time. Sometimes, you messed up and paid a bill late, or not at all, and you had somewhat of a legitimate excuse. Most people will call the creditor with a belligerent attitude, and then get really mad when you don’t get your way. And the person on the other end really digs in their heels and will not budge. And then you get really mad and it gets worse.


I used to counsel mortgage clients who had these issues, to call, and be super sweet. The people at the other end of the phone line are usually surprised by politeness, and tend to want to be helpful. After all, the previous 22 callers cussed at them and called them every nasty word. Most of the time, my clients were successful, and all because they decided to go out of character, and they were polite. It works. Try it next time !


Meanwhile, a team of researchers at Columbia University Medical Center published findings recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that should interest many of you, both men and women. They were able to clone follicles of hair and regrow them on lab mice. That in and of itself is wonderful for some of you hair impaired people who actually want hair. The agent that was used to generate the growth were discarded infant foreskins. So, in the future, as this becomes a standard form of procedure for hair growth, the jokes will start and many of you will call each other by that very obvious name…  ____head ! Yes, you read it here first ! (Now that is in very poor taste – but I know you laughed!)


On a somewhat serious note, which for me is extremely rare, I would like to salute the 125th Anniversary of a meeting that was attended by 33 men in Washington D.C. In 1888, these men gathered to found a society that would explore the world and tell everyone about it. 125 years later, we’re carrying out this mission in ways they never dreamed possible. I doff my hat to those men who founded the National Geographic Society. Over the years, I have enjoyed countless hours of my own exploration as I devoured the monthly magazine, and then the numerous NatGeoTV channels. I don’t know if I will ever get to the Serengeti or the Galapagos in person, but because of these men, I have been there several times both in print and on TV. We do owe them a huge thank you !


My three primary areas of real estate lending – veterans, foreign nationals, and  people needing private money loans for their commercial deals. And all of the regular buyers and refinance homeowners too.The magic number is 818.305.4695.

Have a better week !


Berman’s Factoids of the Week:


You carry jumper cables in your car – for your OWN car.

You only own five spices: salt, pepper, mustard, Tabasco and ketchup.

The local papers cover national and international news on one page, but require 6 pages for local high school sports and motor sports, and gossip.

You think that the first day of deer season is a national holiday.

You find 100 degrees Fahrenheit a bit warm.

You know what a “hissy fit” is.


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 Les Berman CMC
        Real Estate Loan Specialist   
NMLS ID 227675
Voice: 818.305.4695



December 4, 2013 - Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, medicine, stuff, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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