Pushing the consumer privacy boundaries

Not one to shy away from getting value for money, I put the top 5 car insurance providers to the test last week. What dawned on me was the amount of information (PERSONAL information) these insurers were demanding before we even got to any questions about the car (yes I made it clear I was shopping around for the best deal) not signing my life away….just yet.

What struck me was the deliberate misleading by Youi insurance which started with Get a quote now on their website. I never got a quote…instead I got a reply saying thank you for your enquiry, one of our representatives will be in contact with you shortly.

The next day a Youi representative rang me and proceeded with an alarming number of personal questions, which in my mind were invasive and inappropriately pitched so say the least. Thirty minutes into the quotation and after just about giving away my entire life story, I finally got the ball park figure for the insurance premium, which was less than desirable.

I felt as though I walked away with nothing and the insurance provider walked away with all this personal information about me. Sure there are privacy laws in Australia, but where’s the guarantee I won’t be contacted in the future, by this insurance provider, even though I’d asked them to destroy all my personal information.

This experience forced me reassess future dealings with service providers and the level of control I have in disclosing my personal information. Namely, a reminder to thyself that I have the power to divulge the level of information I am comfortable with and not the other way around. Service providers can request all the information in the world but it’s up to the consumers to draw the line in the sand and say no if they feel the questions are plainly inappropriate or unwarranted.

Do you feel like your privacy boundaries have been pushed by service providers beyond your comfort? How have you dealt with the situation?

Corporate Executives…loosing grip on reality, whilst their employees reach breaking point

Having survived another gruelling week in the corporate cluster and never ending demands (some with good merit and others just dwindling the shareholder returns)….led me to a pretty harsh…. not to mention heart breaking reality, as I spoke to colleagues from different divisions, states and countries, chasing work at the wrath of unrealistic Executives. The disturbing part was that tempers were flared, and any hope of politeness was overpowered by anger and resentment, as they belted out …..”I’m literally about to have a nervous breakdown”……”I’ve been working 18 hour days”…..”I can’t do this anymore”…..”I’m burnt out”……simply heart breaking.

Their despair made me question, why are these Corporate Executives doing this to their employees? The answer came pretty quickly….because they do not live in the real world. Think about it….they live on excessive salaries, at the shareholder’s expense, get chauffeured around, stay in 5 star hotels, fly first or business class, the list goes on. How could they possibly understand the realities of the middle to low class society, whose lives are becoming tougher and tougher as they struggle to put food on the table, pay the bills and god forbid spend any (forget quality) time with their children or families?

So who gave Corporate Executives the right to play Russian roulette with people’s lives? What is it going to take to realise that unless they put the brakes on, we are going to see more and more stress claims as a result of anxiety and depression. Why isn’t our government stepping in? After all it’s in their best interest for a happy and healthy workforce without excessive sick leave claims. What’s the point of legislation, safe work practices, etc. when Corporate Executives override the law with their own laws of ‘put up and shut up’…or there’s the door. Until the next sucker comes along, burns out, and the vicious cycle repeats itself over and over again.

It’s time for employees to put matters into their own hands, rather than rely on Corporate Executives and/or our governments to save us from breaking point. We need to step in and assert some boundaries. You can say no to your boss to working crazy hours and you can say I need to leave at a reasonable hour and by reasonable I mean by 5.00pm most days. Don’t allow yourself to be at the mercy of this selfish high class, whilst you bust your gut each and every day to attain this so called perfection, through unrealistic deadlines and scarce resources, all the while feeling like you are letting them down or even worse feeling like you are a failure as a result of their unrealistic expectations to begin with.

You need to boost your confidence. By boosting your confidence to speak up, you will be better placed to find a happy medium for both parties concerned. As for our Corporate Executives, whilst I can appreciate, and trust me, most of us are pretty clear on the fact that you need to make a profit to be viable, have mercy on your workforce by being clear, transparent and accountable for your actions/inactions. You need to stop abusing and burning out your employees as it is not sustainable to keep going at a 100 miles an hour….eventually the engine will give up! There must be a balance.

Do you advocate your boundaries?

Don’t get me wrong, who enjoys being put under the bus, but unless we speak up and advocate our boundaries, people will continue to believe it’s okay to mistreat or to be mistreated.  An easy way to boost your confidence is by advocating your values.  For example, I advocate my value of respect on a daily basis so for me this is one boundary you do not want to cross.  Why not try it today.  Leverage on your value(s) to help boost your confidence and enable you to define your boundaries.