The weather has turned bad again. That means that the company I work for is going to be very busy. The business I work for feeds off the Insurance industry like a leech. When the weather goes bad and an Insurance company gets inundated with insurance claims for storm damage, the bigwigs of the company I work for start rubbing their chubby, clammy hands together.
Not the greatest at foresight though.
Why? Oh I don’t know. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that this bad weather was forecast days ago and despite that they still had no plans in place to deal with it. Furthermore, when tendering for the business of one particularly large client, they said they could deal with up to 1500 claims a day. However the team they have in place is made up of about three staff. Three staff that struggle when more than 60 claims come in a single day.
So staying at the forefront of service, leading the way with a golden torch of management excellence, how do they create the resource to deal with such an influx of between 200 and 300 claims in a day?
Ask any leading business mogul, Donald Trump, Richard Branson, Alan Sugar or even Vince the Ice Cream Van proprieter and I’m sure they will tell you the same thing. Throw a load of inexperienced temps at it! After all I’m sure when tendering for the business they did mention that their highly trained staff have over 100 minutes of combined Insurance expertise!
So today as the claims started to drop into the inbox from this client, it was panic stations. Temps being moved around, being told to sit here and just do that and I could see the blank looks on their faces as with wide eyes, they were wondering what mundane madness awaits them. But it’s not their fault.
The man in charge with bringing these temps up to scratch is my good friend, all round good guy and man about the office, Justin. It’s not his fault either. He’s the office trainer and he has the difficult task of trying to train these temps as quickly as possible, not only the computer systems but also a wealth of insurance background knowledge to help them to take on the wrath of the distressed Policyholder, on the phone, who has had half of their roof blown off. He has to sit in close proximity to these people who are sent through the door by the agencies regardless of their seemingly lack of personal hygiene habits. But he doesn’t moan about it…much.
I think it’s fair to say that Justin and I have a bit of a Bromance going on. There’s nothing homosexual about it and we definitely do not exchange bodily fluids but let me tell you that when it comes to doing a combined 360 degree spin, mid air into a sweet and crisp hi-five, with a sound that makes the windows shake and the roof nearly blow off the building, even though we are on the fifth floor when there are six, purely because of the amount of testosterone we emit, we have definitely got it down. I am also high on the list of receiving one of his lovely wife’s amazing chocolate brownies when he brings them in. Not as follically challenged as I and he can grow a better beard but that doesn’t matter because we are both bespectacled, both share a passion for the shirt and sweater combo and both are proud owners of a Matalan card. We have one each that is. We don’t share the same one. That’s just weird. It would be like sharing a child. A child that allows you access to a fashion buffet of high quality goods at low quality prices.
Because there was hardly any guidance and Justin with the temps was just thrown into the situation, I could see that Justin was not best pleased about this.
My Matalan brother was getting distraught and I felt I had to offer some words of wisdom that will switch off the darkness and switch on the light. Wisdom that can make a soul sing with enlightenment. Wisdom that opens doors and allows a man’s spirit to soar like an eagle into territories he had never had the courage to soar into before.
I went over to my friend. I placed a firm hand on his deltoid and looked into his slightly magnified eyes. I think it was the lenses that magnified his eyes. Either that or he was looking at me as if to say, “What the hell are you doing? Get your hand off me.”
I attempted to exude an aura of calming wisdom and guidance like that of a holy man. I wanted him to know that this difficult battle was not one to be lost. Indeed he could overcome these difficulties. He would once again soar.
I had only just had a packet of cheese and onion crisps and only upon reflection do I realise this but I may have had pungent breath. I hope he didn’t notice. His wide eyes weren’t watering.
Anyway, calmly yet assertively like one of those voices on a charity advertisement off the telly I said, “Give a temp a fish and they will eat for a day. But give a temp a fishing net and they will feed themselves and their family for a lifetime!”
Yes I know. Deep. Of course, we are dealing with insurance claims for damaged roofs, not sustainable fishing. But perhaps it was a metaphorical awakening, giving Justin guidance to say hey, if you give these kids the right skills, you will make a bigger difference than you know.
Or perhaps, it was just a parody of an Oxfam T.V advert from a few years ago.
Either way, I think Justin was a little overwhelmed. “Right, Okay, Thanks,” he said through a slightly red face. Now I realise that perhaps he had noticed my Cheese and Onion crisp breath. He had been holding his breath.
I’m pretty sure, he appreciated it and absorbed the meaning within those words because throughout the day, he didn’t seem as pissed off as he was earlier. No more episodes from him!
The temp who was sat next to him when I gave the life lesson, didn’t seem that blown away by it. I don’t think they were even slightly impressed. Perhaps they did take it literally and were wondering where the nearest large body of water was so that they could fish, sustainably.