Thursday, 4 June 2009

Dirty Laundry

The shipping industry is, as you might imagine, host to all kinds of frauds, scams and tricks. In the monthly newsletter from the British International Freight Association which we received this morning, there was an article regarding a very low-tech but probably quite effective scam that some companies have been hit by recently - "cheque washing".

The Boss seizes upon this paragraph and insists upon reading it aloud to me (in a monotone, of course). I've rendered it here as per it's original incarnation in print, because to re-type what The Boss actually said would be far too painful for me -

The Boss Orates : "BIFA Members are to be alerted to another scam targeted at freight forwarders involving 'washed' cheques. This is where a genuine cheque has been intercepted in the post, it's payee, cheque number and signatures and account details are removed and replaced so cleverly that the cheque appears completely legitimate. When it is apparently cleared the goods are despatched the to the fraudsters, before the cheque is then refused by the third party."

Here's me : "Wow. Obvious in a way but it would never cross your mind would it?"

The Boss : "They'll try anything. So I want you to sellotape any and all envelopes you send out."

Here's me : just pretty much staring at her, silent and slack-jawed.

The Boss : "Do you have a problem with that?"

Here's me : "Er... first of all, firstly - do you think that a group of cunning cheque-intercepting forgery-making criminals are going to be deterred by a strip of sellotape? and secondly, and I do feel this is quite important, we, as you must know, don't actually send any cheques out, ever?..."

The Boss : "Doesn't matter. It's the principal of the thing. I want all the envelopes sellotaped."

I might have to take this to extremes in order to be able to cope with it mentally.


  1. Sellotape the ball on the underside of her mouse. Or the fan-vent on the back of her PC, so that it eventually switches itself off due to overheating.

  2. I am somewhat guilty for enjoying this blog so much. Your boss really does need injected with a liquid cleaning substance or bleach of some kind.

  3. But doesn't that kill the brain *last*???

  4. Personally I'd just make sure every item of mail she received was really bound up tight with an overkill of sellotape 'to keep out the criminals'.

    About 10 seconds of trying to get into an envelope without a chainsaw should help her see the folly of her ways.

    There again, I've been there and it'd just be your fault for applying her rules in the wrong way.

  5. As for 'the principle', that seems to be boss speak for 'I can't think of any reason in the world why anyone would do what I want done, but I can't back down now because I'm always right!'