Working hard or…

Some people ask me what it is I do and how the new job goes. Once I attempt to answer their first question their interest in the answer to the second one fades. Nonetheless, let me tell you a few curiosities.

Although I work for a life insurance company we are more of an investment company with some life insurance added to the investment products. I deal with longevity (godforbid the policyholder lives long enough so that we have to keep paying him) and mortality (godforbid the policyholder doesn’t live long enough so that we don’t get a chance to make money from his policy) and attempt to find a fine balance between the two.

There is really a very small amount of ill-wishing to the policyholder that I engage in every day. In fact, I do not deal with people, just accumulated numbers from past experiences. Don’t worry, if you are our client you are not just a number to my company, just to me in my spreadsheets.

There are a few shocks that jolt me to remember that I am in fact dealing with people here, not just percentages. Death claims list is just a list of numbers, until you get to a comment for one of the values that clarifies that this policy was not a death, but a suicide. Or a special request that asks for the policyholder surrender because he is trying to keep the money away from his wife, whom he is divorcing. Things like that remind me that there are people on the other side of the contract and that this can be but should never be lost in the daily routine.

With this banal observation, I go back to the numbers!