I did a bad thing. Maybe not quite on a par with the time when Jez did the bad thing with Superhans, but it’s close. Today, and both days this weekend, I’m was and am an insurance salesman. And that’s not even close to the worst of it. I’m doing it around campus, to people my age, with a clipboard. I feel dirty after just two hours today, and tomorrow will be even more horrendous as I snare Freshers with my farce of a smile and the sneaky line ‘Hi guys, is your stuff all safe and insured?’ I have become Beelzebub.
The worst of it is that they all already have insurance. It’s included in the price of the cost of their halls, and it’s pretty much only their laptops that I’m selling them insurance for. Granted, that’s probably the most likely thing to be stolen, but it does seem a little crappy that they have to get that insured seperately. It’s like looking for car insurance and them saying ‘Oh yeah, if you want crash cover that’s extra, this only covers you for spontaneous combustion and divine intervention.’ I had a desktop computer last year and I couldn’t really think of anything in my room that was at risk, despite the fact that I was at the ground floor. I guess that’s the advantage of having a load of heavy stuff.
So I sidle up to people, catch them with a line and try to reel them in with conversation into spending money for something that ultimately there’s a small chance that they’d need. Of course I think home insurance, especially as a student, is probably far more necessary than car insurance, in that the premiums are completely unaffected by number of claims, and thus you won’t be scared to claim. I’m treading dangerously close to having a rant on insurance, which would be far more than the word limit for this post. So anyway, back to me losing my soul.
There’s something about becoming the man you find massively annoying on the street that is rather humbling. Most people brush you off with a poor excuse, never stopping in their stride as they carry on forcefully towards their destination. Others will stop, let you begin your pitch and stop you halfway, claiming that they don’t need the insurance. Others will hear you out and then ask if you have a website, or say they’ll get it another time. I guess those are the polite ones. And then you get those who ignore you completely, hunker down and stare intently at the floor. They’re the rude ones, but probably more honest because of it.
So that’s what I have to do, and it’s a terrible thought that I have to go back there tomorrow, hounding parents instead of students, and I’ll probably force many people to sign up for what will turn out to be utterly pointless insurance policies. I guess the age old saying of ‘better safe than sorry’ comes into play now.