I realized, while researching auto insurance quotes in the state of Minnesota, that I was approaching the problem as I would approach writing a story, and that even if I don’t *grow up* and *become* a journalist, it has provided me with just about the most valuable set of tools I could have as a powerless white lady trying to navigate vast bureaucracies that are designed to suck me dry of every last penny. Power!
I first researched all the terms of auto insurance — PIP, etc. — then literally wikipediaed the history of car insurance, went to the main page of the Minnesota organization that covers/handles all car insurance which each provider has to reckon with to see their warnings and notifications, googled the consumer reports ratings of all car insurers (2010), read their warnings and suggestions, collected the advice of my mother and grandmother into a word document and high-lighted suggested coverage points, and came up with a list of a. what i needed b. what i was wary of and only then did I realizedthat I had basically come up with a list of interview questions, which I was prepared to ask of any insurer, as though he were Bloomberg! I was one step away from ACRIS-ing their home-addresses and looking up their political records!
Anyway, I’m going to teach a class called RESEARCHING for your LIFE someday, where we do this for everything.