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Your room 101

Discussion in 'Personal' started by neddyfonk, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    Wow. I respect the lengths that you go to in order to uphold your principles and insulate your finances against risk.

    I'm curious about two things. Firstly, as I see you are transitioning from a career as a solicitor, I wonder: has your approach has been influenced by insights afforded to you through your exposure to the law and its breakers? Secondly, I wonder if it is only your money which you protect so carefully or if you also insulate other areas of your life against risk with such commitment: car choice, home security, health checks, diet, location, crime rates etc etc?
  2. NewToTeachingOldToMaths

    NewToTeachingOldToMaths Lead commenter

    I have spent quarter of a century dealing with the consequences of things going wrong, and attempting to resolve the resulting mess; and with reviewing proposed courses of action to identify what might go wrong, identify the consequences if it should, and make recommendations as to how best to mitigate the risk. I suspect this gives me a more acute appreciation than most of some (not all, but some) of the areas of risk; as well as an appreciation of potential consequences which are not so well appreciated by those travelling on, shall we say, the omnibus passing through Clapham. I am sure that this influences the choices that I make in many areas of my life.

    It has certainly influenced the choices I make about online security. If you were to do a search against my real name, you would find that my google footprint is practically non-existent. I value my privacy, and do not show up on the public version of the electoral register. My telephone number is a closely-guarded ex-directory number, known to very few.

    A proper understanding of the law of banking also helps. Too many people appear to believe that a bank account is in the nature of a "box with money in it", and that if the bank wrongly takes some of that money out of it then that money somehow "ceases to be there" until it is put back in. It suits the banks for people to think of their accounts like this; and so they do not go out of their way to explain that, actually, if you have paid £1,000 into your account, then they owe you a debt of £1,000; and if they mistakenly make a debit entry of £500 against your account and send you a statement showing only £500 in your account, then they STILL owe you £1,000, and the statement they have sent you is a false statement. They cannot unilaterally change the amount they owe you by making a false book entry. (It's obvious, really, if you think about it ... )

    I should say, though, that there are very few, even in my profession, who share my views and attitudes. Many of them think I am crazy in not using Oyster. I just think they haven't thought through the consequences. I KNOW that Oyster is capable of saying I touched in when and where I didn't ... and common sense suggests, therefore, that it is equally capable of saying that I didn't touch in when and where I did. If it does that ... and a revenue inspector boards my train and interrogates my card, and it says I didn't touch in when I did ... well, what do you think happens next?

    I'll tell you what happens next. All of the posters on the underground tells you what happens next. "You must have a ticket valid for the whole of your journey or validated Oyster card before you travel". And what do they say will happen if you do not? They say they will prosecute you, that's what.

    So ... you go before the magistrates on a charge of travelling without a validated Oyster. You say that you did have a validated Oyster ... and that you touched in ... and the revenue inspector is called to give evidence that they interrogated your card and their electronics said that it had not been touched in.

    Who do you suppose the magistrates are going to believe? So that's a conviction for an offence of dishonesty. Do you know what happens to solicitors who are convicted of an offence of dishonesty? They are struck off, without the option, that's what. Is that a risk I'm prepared to run? No, it is not. If I end up paying a bit more by buying a traditional paper ticket, or taking a taxi rather than the tube, so be it.

    As I say, my approach is conditioned by my training to consider what might go wrong, and the possible downsides if it should. Am I being reasonable or am I being unreasonable? Well, you will doubtless form your own views on that. But I am very happy living my life the way I do ...
    drvs likes this.
  3. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    And it will be the same with all the new initiatives you will face.
  4. NewToTeachingOldToMaths

    NewToTeachingOldToMaths Lead commenter


    But if the downside is not crippling financial prejudice to myself, I expect I shall be able to live with it.

    It's not as if daft new initiatives haven't been ten a penny in my career to date. It's not only teachers who get to have that sort of fun ...
    racroesus likes this.

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