Bureaucratic daftness

Bemused by two examples today of silly things that big organisations do:

  • A letter arrived from the NHS for a friend with information about an important and urgent medical appointment, which was sent by second-class post. “Please contact us on this number”, it said, “if you haven’t heard from the hospital by the 2nd November”.  It arrived on the 2nd November.  

  • A financial institution says it needs certified copies of three months of my bank statements.   That means I need to go and show them to a neighbour who will sign them to say they are true copies of the original, and then I can scan and send them.  But it’s been years since we received our bank statements on paper, so I will be printing out a PDF for them to sign.  Are they signing it to say that my printer hasn’t made a mistake?  In that case, what about my scanner?   But I checked, and yes, that’s really what the institution concerned wants me to do.

    So I will send both the scan of the signed printout of the original PDF asserting that it is indeed a true copy of the original PDF… and the original PDF.

Imagine if I actually had anything else to do, like earning a living…!

Enjoyed this post? Why not sign up to receive Status-Q in your inbox?


I suspect that the vast majority of the delay in the nhs piece was between the keyboard and the outbound RoyalMail sorting office. Aside from business mail like this, there’s actually no mechanism in the delivery path to differentiate between 1st and 2nd class letters.

On the subject of out of date authentication, I was wondering how fast enterprises are going to be in updating their threat assessment for the reliability of land-lines for authentication as they’re moved over to VoIP.

Your bank is a corporate buffoon.

What’s it going to do? Track your neighbour down and question them as to the voracity of your bank statements/

Your bank is also asking you to share private financial information with a third party. It’s 2023, not 1923. Maybe time to find out how effective the account switching service is?

    Yes, and the irony is that we’re having to do this because we’re switching away from them! And the fact that they’re happy to accept scans of the documents means that I could easily have manipulated the digital versions post-signature…

    It’s not actually a bank, though; it’s a P2P lending platform, and the complexity is because we’re moving an ISA which belonged to my late father to my mother’s account, but they want it to go via mine because I’m an executor…

    You don’t want to know 🙂

    Anyway, craziness.

Got Something To Say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To create code blocks or other preformatted text, indent by four spaces:

    This will be displayed in a monospaced font. The first four 
    spaces will be stripped off, but all other whitespace
    will be preserved.
    Markdown is turned off in code blocks:
     [This is not a link](http://example.com)

To create not a block, but an inline code span, use backticks:

Here is some inline `code`.

For more help see http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/syntax


© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser