Evil Boss Put My Daughter’s Life in Danger, but I Proved my Values Are above Money — Story of the Day
My evil boss showed me the true face of an insurance company during a grueling trial period, which went against everything I believed. But I made sure he wouldn’t get away with it.
My daughter, Eliza, got into a car accident when she was six years old and was wheelchair-bound for life. Since then, it’s been a huge pain dealing with her insurance company and trying to get her everything she needs.
I’m a single mother and I desperately need insurance to cover these things to give Eliza a better quality of life. But it seems like they want to find loopholes for everything and make excuses for why they couldn't pay for her basic necessities.
I wondered how many people were going through something similar. That’s why I decided to do something about it myself. I studied hard and applied to work at several insurance companies. I was going to change their policies to benefit the people who truly needed help.
I was finally hired for a trial period at Tillman Insurance and worked directly under Mr. Lawrence Tillman. His father, Mr. Lance Tillman, was the founder of the company, and based on my research, he was an honorable man with great family values.
I thought his son would be the same kind of man, and we could work to support our customers through whatever they needed. However, my trial period was rough, and I was forced to work with my competition, Sebastian Rose.
The man was the epitome of everything wrong in the world of insurance. He only cared about money, but he seemed evil too as he took pleasure in denying claims from clients. It was despicable, but I hoped that our boss saw how much better I was at the job.
“Well, your trial period is almost over,” Mr. Tillman told Sebastian and me during a meeting in his office. “I have to confess that you guys are extremely prepared for the full-time position, and I’m having a hard time choosing one.”
“Mr. Tillman, I’ll never let you down, sir,” Sebastian commented. I almost rolled my eyes because he always loved sucking up to the boss.
“I’m so grateful for the opportunity, Mr. Tillman,” I added.
“Let’s go to dinner tonight. There’s a great place called Curiosité. It’s a fancy joint I love. We’ll celebrate this great trial period, and I’ll make my decision. How about it?” my boss asked.
“That’s fantastic. I love that restaurant too,” Sebastian replied. I was excited too because I’d never been to such a fancy place in the city.
“Remember to dress nicely, Ms. Donovan. The restaurant has a dress code,” Mr. Tillman said as we walked out of his office. I smiled at my boss and he walked away. I went to my temporary desk and picked up my things.
“You know I’m going to get the job. Why don’t you give up already?” Sebastian said snidely.
“If that were true, Mr. Tillman would have said that in his office. But apparently, he needs to see us outside the office to make a final decision,” I replied.
“Please, Marlee. You don’t have the drive to make it in this world. It’s a shark tank, and you’re just a little minnow waiting to be devoured,” he continued.
“If saying that makes you feel better, then fine. See you tonight,” I finished and walked away from my ridiculous co-worker. I got home a few minutes later and Eliza wheeled over to me.
“Mom, you’re home!” she exclaimed. She was getting so big. At 12 years old, she was outgrowing her current wheelchair, which was my latest fight with the insurance company. They didn’t want to pay for a new one.
I bet that this company's employees were exactly like Sebastian. I reminded myself that was why I worked so hard at Tillman. I needed to change things for my daughter. “Yes, honey. I’m home, but I have to go to a special dinner tonight,” I told Eliza.
“Oh! Are they giving you the job?” she asked.
“Maybe. My boss has to decide between a colleague and me. He will tell us tonight,” I replied.
“You’re going to get the job for sure!” Eliza cheered.
“Hopefully, and then I can start making a difference in the world. But now, how about you help me pick something to wear? It’s a fancy restaurant, and I need to look great,” I added.
“I know exactly what you should wear,” my daughter commented and wheeled towards my bedroom. We had a lot of fun talking while I got ready, and I was so proud of how independent she had become, even with her disability. She was an inspiration.
I got to the restaurant before Mr. Tillman and Sebastian. But they arrived together, laughing as they walked toward the table. “Hey, Marlee! I just ran into Sebastian in the parking lot. He has an amazing car. How about you?” my boss asked when they sat down.
“Oh. I don’t have a car right now. I’m saving for an SUV because of my daughter, and they’re pretty expensive,” I replied.
“That’s right. Your daughter is in a wheelchair. That’s horrible,” Mr. Tillman said absentmindedly while Sebastian stayed quiet.
The waiter came along and asked for our order, but I noticed right away that he didn’t seem to be feeling that well. “What can I get for you this evening?” he asked, looking disoriented. Mr. Tillman and Sebastian ordered a bunch of things. “What about you, Miss?” the waiter asked me.
“I’ll just have the Cobb salad and some water, please,” I answered.
“Come on, Marlee. You can order anything you want. It’s on me,” my boss said.
“No, really, I’m not that hungry,” I told him. However, the truth was I didn’t feel comfortable in that restaurant, and I didn’t want our waiter to be too stressed about another order.
Our food came, and we ate while Mr. Tillman chatted endlessly. Sebastian laughed at all his jokes, even though they were not funny. The check came, but suddenly, Mr. Tillman received a phone call.
“Yes, I understand. I’ll be there right away,” he said to the phone and hung up. “Come on. We have to go. There’s a big account at stake right now, and the client is backing out. Whoever manages to get the client back gets the job.”
Sebastian and I stood, rushing to get going. But I saw the waiter faint as he attended to another table, so I ran to his side. “Are you alright? Someone call 911!” I exclaimed while checking the man on the floor.
“Marlee, move! We have to get our client!” Mr. Tillman yelled at me.
“I can’t right now. Did someone call an ambulance?” I asked the people around me.
“Mr. Tillman, I’m ready to go. Marlee is clear busy here. Let’s get to the office. I’ll sign that client on for sure,” Sebastian said. I was about to yell at him for being so careless when the waiter on the floor opened his eyes and smiled.
Mr. Tillman approached me and clapped. “Well, Ms. Donovan. This was your final test, and you certainly win points for valuing human life over money,” Mr. Tillman said. “That’s why I’m going to have to hire Sebastian in the end.”
“What?” I asked, shocked at what had just happened.
“I’m sorry, Marlee. But any company values money over anything else. It’s how we stay afloat,” Mr. Tillman explained.
“You’re an insurance company. Our work is about helping people!” I exclaimed.
“That’s where you’re wrong. My father thought the same as you, and that’s why he couldn’t grow the company like I have all these years. Come on, Sebastian. Let’s go to a bar and celebrate!” Mr. Tillman said, hugging Sebastian and leaving.
“Did you get the job, Mom?” Eliza asked when I got home later that evening.
“I’m sorry, darling. I didn’t get it. But it’s better this way because the owner of that company is the worst kind of person. I didn’t notice sooner,” I answered her.
“Don’t worry, Mom. You’ll get another position, and everything will be great,” Eliza said, and she went to bed after watching some more TV.
She was right. I could get another job at another insurance company, but I had another thought riding the subway home. After seeing Mr. Tillman’s true agenda, it might not be possible to change the insurance world from the inside, but I could change it from another angle…
Five years later…
“Ms. Donovan, the next candidate is ready,” my secretary, Maria, informed me.
“Yes, Maria. Let him in,” I replied. I had been looking forward to this meeting after reading his résumé on my desk.
“Marlee?” Sebastian asked when he saw me.
“Ah, Sebastian Rose. I can’t believe we would meet again like this. You’re looking for a job? What happened to Tillman Insurance?” I asked although I knew more than anyone else exactly what happened.
“The company went bankrupt after many lawsuits, and I’m job hunting now,” he answered. He looked really uncomfortable sitting in front of me, and I knew it was because he hated the idea of a woman running the place. “You created this organization?”
“Yes, Sebastian. After you were hired and Mr. Tillman showed me the kind of men in the insurance world, I decided it wasn’t for me. Now, I help clients who have been cheated and robbed by these companies,” I answered. “And honestly, I was behind most of the lawsuits that hit Tillman Insurance over the last few years.”
“How could you do that?” Sebastian asked angrily.
“I did it easily. Because I value life over money. Tillman Insurance was the worst company in this town. They duped their clients and found loopholes not to pay over 80% of their claims,” I said. “What’s the point of having insurance then?”
“You cost people their jobs,” Sebastian added desperately.
“You cost many people their lives, their homes, their businesses, and more. My daughter was almost badly injured because our insurance didn’t want to pay for a new wheelchair,” I snapped. “I have no sympathy for you guys, aka ‘sharks.’”
“That’s not all my fault. I followed company policy,” Sebastian muttered.
“Oh, please. I got to know you very well during that dreadful trial period. I bet you loved every second of it. Now, you’re obviously not going to get a job here, so you can leave,” I finished. Sebastian stood up and walked out with his tail between his legs and I continued with my work.
What can we learn from this story?
- Human life is more important than money. Sebastian and Mr. Tillman only cared about one thing, but they lost everything in the end.
- Put your values first. Some people stay at awful jobs because they need the money, but you have to uphold your values and what you believe is right.
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