How many times did you hear that when you were at school?
How many times have you said it to those still fortunate enough to be there! The problem I found with those words was the timing. If you’ve just been on the wrong end of a run-in with Two-Ton Tommy Hardstone on the playground, on the same day that your teacher Crusher Cavendish has just grilled you into submission that ‘the dog ate my homework’ is probably the worst lie ever for not handing it in, then your Dad saying “Never mind Son, don’t forget they’re the best days of your life” has a ring of irony.
They were though. Despite the weekly Biology tests, the icy cold days on the frozen rugby field trying to tackle Bulky Balshaw, the trials of puberty and the embarrassment of taking your turn to stand in front of the class and ‘perform’as your mates tittered at the back, school was a blast. There was always a game of footy going on, some mates to have a moan with, some teachers to have a laugh with, and some teachers to have a laugh at. I’m sure none of my classmates will forget the Chemistry lesson when one of the lads ( who is now a very respected local businessman!) unscrewed the benchtop tap and stood back with pride as a fountain of water started a memorable impression of a stressed seagull from Mr Kell as he flapped around in a panic – control of the room was never his strong-point. My brother still has a taped recording of a term-end prank when he and a few of his mates did an SAS-style raid on their classmates midway through their lesson. As they poured in through the windows in khaki and camouflage paint you can just hear the startled teacher trying to restore order above the orders of the ‘SAS troops’ and the laughter of their mates, and the sudden silence when the Headmaster walked in …..
While I’m on memorable teachers, and most of mine were excellent (i.e. it’s not their fault …), some of their quotes were stupendous. I think Mr Clifton was credited with “You’re Men now Boys”, and “Well that put’s the cream on the gravy”. Mr Mack asked us to watch the board while he went through it, and Mr Bate taught about a clever manual machine for raising water from lower levels, when an Archimedean Screw was a man’s job.
Amid all those boisterous memories, we learned about stuff and we started to learn about life, but even after we’d left education and moved into our adult working lives, we’ve never stopped learning about life, nor stuff. In our Industry we simply have to learn, all of the time, as legislation changes, policy wordings change, and new insurances arrive on the market that were never needed when we started out all those years ago. Do you have cover for identity fraud in your home insurance? Does your business need cyber liability or environmental impairment liability insurances?
I’m proud to say I have some very knowledgeable colleagues. I read a technical article recently written by a policy wordings expert at the 3rd largest insurance broker in the world. He used to attend lectures by Tony Conlon, one of the Directors here.