Two ducks have moved into the moat around the Scottish Widows building. This means that the high point of my working day for the last couple of days has been watching them bob about, diving for edible rubbish and so on.

Previous high points have included:

  • Noticing customers with especially entertaining names.
  • Similarly, learning of policies we sell which have faintly amusing titles, like 'Top Hat' or 'Temporary B00B Assurance' ('oh yes madam, I can assure you that you do indeed have boobs right now - but please do come back soon so that we can make sure they're still there').
  • Teeth-gnashingly furious letters from Independent Financial Advisers, which I am in a position to be meanly entertained by as I have no personal stake in any of it and don't know any of the people involved. My favourite so far was scrawled in inch-high letters in black felt tip, something of a break from protocol in the financial services industry.
  • Stumbling across a hither-to unknown relative, out in Wales somewhere. Their surname, Crawshay-Williams, guarantees that they can't be more than a few branches of family tree distant, but beyond that I have no idea.
  • Writing poems which I know won't be entirely understood by anybody who doesn't do my job, like this:

    Transfer Thief

    Somebody’s stolen my transfer.
    I had it right here in my box.
    Destini Applewood, exiting Sesame.
    Many an agency.
    Where did they go?
    Who’s violated my drawer?
    I might start to lock it, and take home the key.
    I don’t want strange hands in my papers and tea.
    And I don’t like my transfers just walking away.
    If somebody wants them, why don’t they just say?
    They can take them, it’s fine, I would just like to know,
    ‘stead of sitting here thinking ‘When, where did it go?’

    Oh, hang on… I sent it to Credit Control.
    ...and this:

    I Seek The OB Liability

    I am on a quest.
    Scouring through hundreds of pages of policies,
    I seek The OB Liability.
    Like a haggis hunter out in the Highlands
    I try to keep faith
    That my prey must be out there, somewhere.
    I pray that I will know it when I see it:
    That I’ll not let it slip past my watchful gaze
    Like a heffalump hiding behind a tree.

    I have been on my mission for months now.
    Hundreds of times in dozens of transfers
    I have thought that I caught me a glimpse,
    Like a flash of a unicorn’s horn through a forest
    Which, when you come close,
    Shows itself to be merely a gleam from a stream
    Annuity payments and other such things
    Make me think for a time that my quest’s not for naught
    But look closer, they’re more airy nothings.
  • Finally finding a pension policy with OB liability attached to it. The joy! The validation!

Oh, how I wish I was joking.

i want a new job.