Thursday, April 12, 2012

Certified success

Today I went for insurance training. This was not as exciting as it sounds.

Singapore's government has decided to regulate the selling of insurance, and what that means is that vast numbers of telesales agents from Johor Bahru are bussed down to Dhoby Ghaut so that they can sit through eight hours of powerpoint slides in a glacially cold room without any windows, and then take a multiple choice test.

Oh, and I was doing it too. For reasons that are not entirely clear yet.

I like insurance. Well, I like the colourful examples of bad things happening to stupid people, or stupid things happening to bad people, or just the schadenfreude of somebody incurring $160,000 of medical costs in the US and concussion when they repatriate her to the UK and drop her stretcher in the middle of Heathrow. We didn't get to hear many examples of that.

What we did get was page after page of terminology, written by somebody in love with legalese, and almost impenetrable to everyone in the room. I had this feeling of rapidly impending disaster when the lecturer said "and now I'll briefly go over common and statute law". Something tells me the correct audience for that isn't a bunch of narcoleptic travel agents, making the most of a day out to catch up on sleep, and me, hyped up on bad coffee and clinging to reality by my fingernails.

On the positive side, I now know what "contribution" and "subrogation" and "indemnity" mean, but it's unclear how useful that knowledge is, because in four years of helping to run a major insurance business, I never had it explained to me and never could have told anyone what it meant.

So I guess that's a good thing. And luckily I didn't repeat the anecdote of the self-abusing skier, because that wouldn't go down well.

Ahem. At least it gave me the day in a freezing cold room, and at the end of it I got to sit a multiple choice test. There's nothing I like more than having my intelligence insulted by a set of badly constructed sentences and a form I have to fill in by shading circles in with a propelling pencil, especially when this test is based on comprehension of a big stack of powerpoint slides that are sat on the table next to you.

Well, kind of relaxing, anyway.


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