Last night, my boss Kay went to All Points East, a mini-festival in London’s glamourous Victoria Park.
She was going because one of her favourite bands – Hot Chip – were playing. And as an added bonus, The Chemical Brothers were headlining.
(Primal Scream were also on the bill, but we’ll gloss over them after lead Screamer Bobby Gillespie made some rather unsavoury comments about Madonna last week..more of this at some point over the weekend. Maybe.)
Anyway, on Thursday Kay did two very kind things which I’m very grateful for, which I thought I’d share with you.
Firstly, as Kay was out of the office on Friday – off having it large, no doubt in furry moonboots and waving glowsticks – she left me in charge of sorting out something on the most expensive live claim we have at work.
I’ll explain, as much as I am able to: we both work for my local Borough council, dealing with claims made against the council. Mostly these are by people who’ve tripped over a wonky paving slab and hurt themselves in the process, or whose car has hit a pothole, but occasionally a much more serious – and potentially
valuable expensive – claim crosses our paths.
At most insurance companies, depending on your status, you will be trusted with claims of an estimated value. Unsurprisingly, it’s no different when working in the public sector: my authority limit is to deal with claims…umm…wait…I should know this…of about up to, let’s say £60,000 or so.
So, if a claim comes in which is worth £60,000 or less, than I investigate it, and decide whether it is one which we have a legal obligation to pay, or whether we have a legal “
(I’m wording that very carefully, as Kay once told me off for describing my job as “trying to find a way out of paying”. Nowadays, I describe my job as “Telling people to fuck off for a living.” I’m not sure she finds that much more acceptable. I stand by both descriptions.)
But if the claim is considered to be worth more than £60,000, then over to Kay it goes. And the claim she trusted me to deal with was one such claim.
Obviously, I can’t go into specifics, but the claim in question is valued at over £1 million (I’ve written that as I’m not sure how many noughts there are in a million – proof enough that I should not be regularly trusted with this kind of claim). The task in question: get a statement from a rather elusive witness. Succeed, and we can (try to) dispute the claim in total. Fail, and we would be on for paying. A lot.
At the same time, I had to chase down another witness on another claim, who we needed a statement from, where the claim which has been presented is very obviously fraudulant, but without his statement, we would have to pay.
Both had a deadline of 15:00 hours on a Friday afternoon, and I’m happy to report that – after a lot of frantic emails and phone calls – I managed both: our Defences on both are able to continue with a not unrealistic chance of success.
So, anyway, I’m pleased as punch to have been entrusted with handling, albeit briefly, the most expensive claim we’ve ever had, and to have sorted it, along with another tricky one at the same time.
And secondly. It’s a Bank Holiday weekend, but our payday is the 28th of every month – Tuesday. The day after the Bank Holiday. I was talking to the chap who sits next to me at work, and who has to listen to me chunnering on about how obviously dodgy the claim I’m looking at is, and I was expressing my dismay at payday landing where it did this month. For I was skint, and having to manage to my last few quid so that I could afford to eat for the rest of the weekend.
On Thursday, having landed me with the above tasks, Kay strolled over to my desk, purse in hand, and shoved £40.00 under my keyboard.
“I can’t have you having a miserable Bank Holiday weekend,” she said. “Pay me back next week.”
I had budgeted for a bottle of red on my Friday night, but now the stakes were upped.
I’m writing this late on Friday night, working my way through the bottle of vodka which Kay’s gift allowed me to purchase. The bottle of red is on standby.
I gave Kay a ring when the statement on the £1 million + claim had been procured, and told her that I would spend her money on vodka in celebration, and would spend Friday night listening to Chemical Brothers records. Needless, to say she approved.
It’s rare, I think, that you can call your boss a mate too. But mate’s lend their mates some cash when they’re hard up, and bosses don’t.
That’s a thank you, by the way *hic*.
So, by way of an extra thank you: my favourite record by The Chemical Brothers. Not a popular choice, I would imagine; in fact, possibly not even the record preferred by many with the same guest vocalist.
One of the reasons I love this record, is the video which acompanies it. Directed by Michael Gondry, who went on to create one of my favourite films ever, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, this is just wonderful: