A reader hits almost all the TLIC talking points discussing the lazy poor people answering phones at AEGON.

I will start by saying I work for Transamerica and have been for over 10 years. I am not in management nor do I have any desire to work towards that. In review of your story it seems you heard one person’s unsubstantiated claims and decided to make it fact without even performing the due diligence to determine if there are two sides to this story?

Let’s start by looking at the facts; we are talking about a customer service representative whom answers countless calls all day every day. It is one of the most cumbersome and lowest paying jobs in the customer service industry. It is the equivalent of working the counter at McDonald’s in the corporate world. It is also one of the lowest skilled jobs in a company and I don’t mean any disrespect to those who do it; because, I know I wouldn’t/couldn’t take calls all day every day.

The fact is it is an entry level position with one of the lowest pay scales in the company. I worked for 3 other customer service type business in the Cedar Rapids areas prior to joining Transamerica and I can tell you for a fact that those places were much much worse than anything I read here, they paid lower wages, had un-realistic expectations, and did not allow any opportunity for a person to grow or expand.

This one depiction of Transamerica is not a true reflection of the company overall. How about a success story:

I started out over 10 years ago answering calls and doing data entry at a basic entry level position. Similar to the position mentioned in your story; however, not quite the same. Yes, the supervisors and managers at that level required they know where we were and for how long because they have to account for calls being answered and having staffing levels to meet calling needs. Remember it is not about us, it is about the customer experience and they don’t know your previous call interfered with your break time, etc.

It was not pleasurable; but, it was what that position required and what I signed up for when I took the job. I didn’t like it so rather than complain about it, I worked harder than most for that under paid wage mentioned in your story. After the first year I jumped at an opportunity to get off the phone (not completely but close) and research complex situations with customer’s accounts.

Another year or so after that I took a position under some of the technical staff assisting with IT work and still researching those complex situations. I continued to work hard, learn, and grow as an employee learning anything and everything I could to better value myself in the company. That hard work has pushed me in to an IT position today where I have flexibility, great management, a good salary, and a feeling that most days I am happy to go to work. I did not settle for answering the phones; I fought to become more so I was in a position that gave me these things. I was not going to get stuck at the counter of McDonald’s.

Don’t get me wrong; TA is not perfect, no company is. In a corporation there are so many people it is easy for a bad supervisor or manager to survive and go unnoticed, so hearing these stories doesn’t surprise me.

Writing an article that takes one person’s story and attributes its negativity to an entire company is just irresponsible. To the person who commented for the article; don’t sit idly by and be a number. Try and become more; set yourself up to learn and understand the business and your job. Find a way for you to stick out above others and eventually become the supervisor/mgr and then you can start to control things based on what you determine will make a good team and help the company be successful. Also remember, there are so many more opportunities in the company outside of the world your in; take advantage.

You see Call Center employees? All you have to do is pull up your bootstraps and work harder! Then you’ll experience the joys of employment at Transamerica….since there are plenty of supervisor jobs for everyone!


  1. The first article was not just one view. That first article was dead on. The culture is dead at Transamerica. I got laid off and it turned out to be the best thing that happened to me. TA is so out of touch with their employees. They could give two shits about what there employees thought. One time during the layoffs for India we were told by a director we each get two tickets to come to their office and ask a question, no questions asked. Really? We have to get special tickets to be able to talk to our leaders?! Cmon TA employees, quit drinking the kool aid!

    • mark me in the agreeing with extremely accurate column. You can’t believe the bad word of mouth that place gets around town. So sad, it used to be a sense of pride to tell people in the community you were employed by AEGON. Now you get and “ewww you work there??…sorry”. What does that tell you?

  2. The first article may be accurate but, did The Defender attempt to get management’s responses or views? While I really, REALLY like the reporting done here, I just wonder if it falls short of the standards of responsible journalism. Then again, since The Defender reports so much unsourced, anonymous hearsay, I don’t wonder at all. Just remember to take it with a block of salt.

    Also, how hard would it have been to provide a LINK to the original story from this one (e.g. hyperlink the words “your story” in the first paragraph)? Although I eventually found it by clicking one of the end tags (those are also hit-and-miss), it should have been easier.

    Speaking of links, most of those in the black bar at the top of the page are invalid (Error 404).

    Nevertheless, thanks for what you do here. This is my first day here and, it’s … refreshingly different. Although I’m not impressed by your seeming fascination for the word “shit,” as long as you go no lower than that, I’ll be coming back for more.

    • We really appreciate you taking the time to check us out and offer constructive feedback! You captured everything we’re trying to be with one word….”different”.

      That said, we face many challenges going forward. This is week three of our existence and admittedly we’re a work in progress (see: broken links). We are adding a link to this article per your suggestion….and I’ll talk to my writer about over-using that word 😉

      Any feedback we receive from you is invaluable. You can’t get better at writing without criticism….and thick skin.

      Thanks again, we hope you enjoy our future content.