Monday, January 05, 2015

Sent Away

I don't like whining. That is not completely true. Whining is like those belgian chocolate filled doughnuts I had to walk past on my way home from work. My inner voices always used to tell me how hard I had worked that day, and how much I deserved a treat. We all love a good whine even though we know it is not good for us. I am going to indulge in a little bit of a whine in this post. I justify it to myself that there is a broader issue at hand, but you can decide whether it is just a doughnut.

image: skyrock

The source of my whine is admin. I am trying to cancel a policy and I need to get my signature witnessed. The form says I need to go to the local police, a justice of the peace, or a solicitor. Over the last few days I have gone to and been sent away from all three. In fact, I went to three solicitors (none of whom were prepared to witness my signature because I was not an existing client) and two courts. No one is prepared to take the risk since they don't know me. I have a friend who is a policeman and does know me, but even they have been told that they can't sign because of the risks. I spoke about the trade offs of size in 'getting bigger'. Ariella spoke about the benefits of being small when it comes to food. One of the real trade offs in size is that people don't know each other. Each interaction becomes so specialised that there isn't a history. This has led to problems of trust. Anonymity allows money laundering where proceeds of crime can be 'cleaned' and brought back into circulation so the criminals can spend 'their' money. Governments have stepped in with 'Know Your Client' regulations and liability for those who (unknowingly) help in the cleaning. Badly worded or excessive regulation can have a real cost. They add friction (wondering around for signatures) and cost (systems that businesses need to build). Even though I know why the regulations are there, it sucks how difficult it is to find trust.

I like my posts to be positive but I actually don't know the answer here. We undervalue small.


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