Thursday, September 15, 2005

Today's pointless work anecdote brought to you by the letters W,T and F.

RSJS writes:

So, Bob the Broker sends through a sweaty bundle of paperwork labelled a “PI claim”. What the fuck, asks I? This is no such thing. I note on the sweaty bundle “WTF?” to remind myself to ask this very question of Bob once the blizzard of stapled sheets was pinned down and punched into submission by Teh Filthy Assistant. Said assistant proves they are unaware of editorialising comments from on high and “WTF?” is entered on the global computer networky system of vast intercontinental ballistic knowledge. I am now claiming it stands for “Where’s The File?” referring to the absence of much of the paperwork needed for polite processing of the matter. It is now becoming accepted shorthand in the office. I laugh and cry at the same time making a strange gurgling chuckle-noise like when you drown squirrels in Grape Fanta.

The point is, the claim was not a PI claim. It was an MC or a PL or a ROFLMAO or any number of acronyms but it sure as shit wasn’t PI. To give the barest bones of an explanation, PI is paper-shuffling business types with striped shirts crusted at the bottom from too many lap dances and gold expense account cards crusted with speed along the leading edge from too many late-night negotiations with transgender hookers called “Steve”. Whereas what had been sent in was an MC claim, for burly Scotsmen in skirts who juggle dumptrucks and shit houses. It is the equivalent of claiming for the $50 billion in property damage wreaked by Hurricane Katrina on your pissy Southern X medical insurance.

So I politely say “Pull the other one mate, it’s got bells on” and Bob the Broker said “Bring it, bitch”. All couched in paragraphs chock-ful-o “heretofore” and “apropos” and “what my esteemed colleague seems to have failed to notice pertaining to our valued mutual client and their apparent house-shitting Glaswegian predicament…” The next step is to spell out as one would to a Teletubby “This is what is covered (sound of ruler smacking chalkboard producing Hong Kong Kung Fu puff of dust) and this… (pause to run over to another board) “Is what you’re after” (sound of second board being thrown out window) “which are two VERY different things” (Cue impact of board on passing parent with pram. Hollers of orphaned child added bonus).

Bob was not deterred by the heart-rending squeals from below or the demonstration provided to him. Instead he tells me “Ah, but the wording we agreed to says something different, and I will send it to you”.

The plot thickens, as does my file, and into my inbox drops a policy wording. Still set to show formatting changes. Hmmmm, says I, let’s have a look at this pristine 2-year-old document. Lawks, the wording was modified just ten minutes ago. And look, the deleted information is still shown in this little pop-up box. And looky, the change is in error thanks to a ham-fisted typo and doesn’t strengthen Bob’s argument AT ALL. Oh, dear.

I must say, this was the most incredibly inept piece of fraud I had ever seen. I was too surprised that someone claiming three decades of experience would try such a lame cut’n’paste, leaving Yeti-sized footprints across the work and failing to improve his situation at all as a result. Still a bit gobsmacked that some mouth-breather who had the power of speech was this dim, and this insulting of my meagre intelligence, I rather politely replied pointing out the flaws in his masterful piece of trickery. There were a lot of flaws. I bullet-pointed them. And sat back to receive a shaken apology and a mea culpa and hopefully a little .mpeg of Bob falling on his letter-opener. At the very least I wanted a finger in a napkin.

Instead I got a note stating “Ah, yeah, you could see that, eh? Okay, I’ll fax you the wording so you can’t see what I’ve done to it”. Fax duly arrives, with a mis-typed extension crammed in between lines looking like a child’s attempt to turn a D- mark into an A+. I wanted to cry.

I did not, of course. For I am a Man and we do not cry over the career-suicide of incompetent boobs, we merely dine out on the tales of their idiocy and pass on their written confessions of attempts at megabuck-fraud to the relevant parties. In this case, everyone in my address book. THAT’S what Bob gets for thinking I’m dumber than him. The silly cockholster.

There is no moral here.

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