About to be found out

One of the things I love about my job is the way we have to pick up temporary expertise. Just today I had to tackle some compliance people from A Major High Street Bank and take issue with a change they wanted to a video we’re making for them. I reckoned that a deliberate mistake that we were making a mortgage adviser make while taking a meeting with a client, in order for trainee mortgage advisers to spot and discuss, was too subtle and could trigger a fuss. Cue discussion, in which the fact that I know more or less nothing about mortgages, meetings, advisers or really anything needed to be neither here nor there. Not a problem. All in a day’s work.

But an email has me worried. Next week I’m spending a day brainstorming with a v. grown-up client for some future training ideas, and they sent me an orientation paper about the subject matter. It’s twelve pages long. The first half page is definitions. The third line of which says:

“The carrying amount is the amount at which an asset is recognised after deducting any accumulated depreciation (amortisation) and accumulated impairment losses thereon.”

At which point I’ve pretty much ground to a halt. I can handle the “the” but that’s about all.

I once spent a brief period making a living copy-editing Scandinavian scientific journals. I found that substituting nouns worked there – if a sentence works with “banana” it’ll work with a noun with lots of syllables too. (I was a rotten copy editor, btw, as you can probably tell).

But this is different. The nouns are actually the point. I’m going to have to embrace these nouns. By Tuesday.

This is not going to be pretty.


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