Mistake 'n pride entity

Professionals who take a pride in their work and who are, consequently, quite excellent at it are unfortunately quite a rare breed

Peter Edgerton

Friday, 30 October 2020, 14:40

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Sometimes I fantasise about bringing together all the professionals I know who take a pride in their work and who are, consequently, quite excellent at it, and forming a crack team in order to plan something quite absurd... like an expedition to Timbuktu riding on donkeys, singing every word of every number one song since nineteen seventy-three and eating only plates of scouse and oranges. I'm sure it could be done. After all, these are people who have an attitude to work which is a wonder to behold.

Unfortunately, it wouldn't be a very extensive team - they're a rare breed, these chaps. Come to think of it, they probably wouldn't have time either; as far as I can see they spend most of their working days resolving problems left in the wake of their polar opposites - people who see their job as an inconvenience, depriving them of their precious free time which they like to spend taking photographs of their feet with the sea in the background.

Last week, I went to the bank to order a cheque book (remember those? Well, they still exist and, somewhat pathetically, I still use one). My heart sank as I was greeted by a bloke whose whole demeanour screamed "I don't want to be here! It was only supposed to be a summer job my dad got me twenty years ago." The conversation was painful.

"Good morning. I'd like to order a cheque book, please."

"*Yawn*. Er, ok - which type?" Uh-oh, this didn't sound good. In the last five years, no-one had ever asked me this.

"The usual, it's blue and it says 'cheque book' on it."

"That might be type A, I think." Uh-oh again. The words 'might' and 'should' are never what you want to hear in these conversations.

"Please, just check what I normally get."

"No, no, it should be fine." Uh-oh, times six.

Needless to say, an unidentifiable charge for seven euros was made to my account this morning, which upon further investigation proved to be for ordering the wrong type of cheque book.

Luckily, there's a man - let's call him Paco - at the bank who's a top professional. I pinged him an email and within five minutes all was resolved - money refunded and correct cheque book winging its way hither. Paco must spend half his working day rectifying other people's mistakes and this must surely make him really annoyed and - just sometimes - wish he was somewhere else.

I wonder if he knows how to ride a donkey?

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