Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Connections bring things home.

A few days after the Clackamas Town Center mall shooting last year, I experienced in a very tiny way how far and wide such an event can affect people. As an Oregonian, of course I was affected, horrified. But honestly; it was something I watched on TV. It wasn't... real.

At work as an adjuster with a worker's compensation insurer, I was on call for the "supervisor line," which is where experienced staff handle general calls from policyholders go when a supervisor isn't available.

An owner of a store in that mall called on behalf of their manager; she was unsure and not quite sure how to talk about what she was asking. Together we worked it out. Essentially, she was asking if she could get coverage for short term mental health needs; could employees who were on shift when the situation occurred and as a result were having stress and anxiety issues file a claim? She was very concerned about her employees, and explained some of the things that had happened. I remember the odd feeling of "zooming in" as the unthinkable situation became just a little more real as we discussed.

(And the answer was that, yes, an employee could file a claim.)

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