Monday, July 11, 2016

Being Batman

Agents and brokers chastised me for suggesting they were no protection for "sophisticated employers" and that I discounted the services they provide.

I also upset some friends for giving some of the complaints "air time," which put them in a bad light.

I take a lot of heat. My callouses were developed practicing law. Back then I used to tell people who couldn't figure out how to pronounce my name or address me that, "I'm called all sorts of names - I'm a lawyer after all - so I don't care what you call me, as long as I know you're talking to me."

Well, a lot of people were talking to me.

I get it.
Always be Batman...

I also understand that most people read and absorb what they want, in general missing the context of what is trying to be communicated.

Everyone has a different reality because an individual's experiences flavor our perceptions.

Sure, one plus one equals two for most of us, but others will interpose an experience that tells them that equation is actually not so succinct, and perhaps the answer may be different depending on how one looks at the problem and the solution.

I like to call this the "life algorithm". defines algorithm as "a set of rules for solving a problem in a finite number of steps, as for finding the greatest common divisor."

How we perceive life is permanently filtered through our own experiences. The life equation is so complex that every single one of us needs to distill all that is around us into more simple parts that we can digest in order to get on with the next decision (major, minor or inconsequential) with which we are tasked.

These are algorithms. They make life understandable to most of us - probably about 80% of everyone all of the time. Some that don't get that understanding, or can not process it adequately, have troubles - probably about 20% of everyone all of the time.

The overused 80-20 rule is, unfortunately, quite accurate. 

Yep, no matter what you're doing in life, there's always someone who is going to be a challenge, who is going to be the bad example, who is going to act irresponsibly, irrationally, offensively, or with malintent.

The 80-20 "rule" plays out all the time, and attracts our attention because of the vast resources such actions take.

My personal life algorithm bends each experience into a positive factor, which may explain why I never did well with math, algebra, calculus, and all of the other pure logic-based disciplines; my life algorithm usually spits out a positive numeral because negative numbers don't make sense to me.

So I took those critiques and suggested that if indeed one does something good for workers' compensation then that person or entity should be recognized with a Comp Laude nomination.

And I'm standing by that - nominations end, for real, TODAY. The process is simple - just contact information and a brief description of why someone or some entity deserves accolades, whether they be an agent, lawyer, doctor, injured worker, employer, insurance company, vendor, copy service, therapist, etc.

You get the picture. And if you are too busy to make the deadline, call WorkCompCentral and someone can take your nomination.

There's a poster hung in a kitchen cabinet of a rental I like. It depicts a child in a Batman costume. The caption is, "Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Always be Batman." 

I think that summarizes my philosophy quite well.

Or as Batman once counseled Robin, "That's one trouble with dual identities, Robin. Dual responsibilities."


  1. Always be Batman: no matter what challenges we dance with, Batman is always the best dance partner.

    My work has me sharing the dance and the dancefloor with every conceivable section of workers compensation.
    In any given day I can be having coffee with a lawyer who prosecutes injured workers, but he is seeking my advice for another injured worker who he is defending. I can go to lunch with a manager from one of the regulators who for the most part deny that community has a role to play within workers compensation I can go to dinner with an employer who wants to opt out of workers compensation and provide an alternative concept of care for his small workforce.
    The music changes constantly, the dance floor is never level, the angst thrown at me washes off in the shower.
    The level of responsibility I carry is at times immense and intolerable.
    I accept that when I entered the fray I had no idea as to what I would be facing.
    However the workers compensation system is different because I stand because I dance and because I sleep with the devil all dependant on the views of others.
    As for me I can have an easier day today because now I know that my friend and my colleague David De Paolo is Batman- for now it doesn't get much better than that.

    PS Yes I would value highly a Comp Laude Award- I don't qualify for one as I don't live in America.
    But as Batman said the Awards are about recognising those who work within our industry who have climbed a little higher, have held the light a little longer and have cleared the path to make is easier for those who came after.
    I am very proud my friend (Batman) started the Comp Laude Awards.

  2. That all sounds good. So can I nominate Batwoman AKA Asm. Lorena Gonzalez for the Comp Laude Awards? She seems to take the heat from all sides as well, and still stands her ground and fights like heck for injured workers, their rights, and well beings. As well as all the other residents of CA. I would like to nominate Asm. Lorena Gonzalez AKA (Batwoman) for the award. Peace and thanks.

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