When the Going Gets Tough

This week has been a stark contrast to the idyllic holiday I was enjoying just 3 weeks ago.  The first signs of it being a tough week appeared on Monday.  A flood of enquiries suddenly came in – new potential deals, dormant deals that got revived, price benchmarking checks by some bankers, etc.  Things got a little panicky on Tuesday when a client needed an urgent endorsement to their policy to be effected by Friday and the only underwriter in the Australian office that issued the policy was away for holiday.  Managed to sort that out by going directly to the insurer’s head of underwriting in New York so thank God for that.

But things got incrementally worse… yesterday, another client informed us that they needed to bind a policy with a particular insurer today.  However, the only underwriter who could make a decision, was away on a biz trip in China!  And he was uncontactable till he came back to Singapore.  The good thing was that he is back in Singapore today… but the bad thing is that ‘cos we lost 1 day to work on the policy, we have yet to get final confirmation from the insurer’s French head office on whether the premium rate required can be approved.  Will definitely need to rush this tomorrow.

And to top it off, 2 days ago, I emailed a 3rd underwriter to inform her that the deal we were working on will be moving ahead, and we need the policy to be in place by Friday.  I gave her Tue & Wed to review all the documentation and to read/ comment/ approve the first cut of my policy wording.  I didn’t hear from her at all… so today, I rang her to check what’s the status of the deal.  She has yet to read any documentation ‘cos her daughter was sick yesterday and so she was not in office.  Sigh.

She has promised to review everything by tonight (she’s based in Toronto which is 12h behind Singapore) and have a reply for me by the time I reach office tomorrow morning.  I’ve yet to place a policy that gets an "ok" on first draft so I told her to please please please let me know what amendments may be needed, and to do a conference call if necessary.  It’s quite scary that I’m not even sure if my policy structure, especially the part about premium payment terms, etc, will be approved. 

I really hate it when there’re urgent tasks that need to be done… and I need to deliver certain results by a certain deadline to my clients… but yet I’m unable to expedite anything because the hold-up is not on my work per se.  I think this sort of situation is way way way more stressful than having loads of work piled on me.  I mean, I can work till wee hours of the morning if need be… but if I need to rush for a deadline and yet things are out of my hand… it’s really bad you know? 

Sigh.  Going to sleep earlier tonight.  Tomorrow is going to be a looooong day.

So when the going gets tough… the tough… goes drinking?

I think I want my rum & raisin milkshake soon.

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April 2008