River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Behold The Settee

January 2001

An amusing anecdote by an insurance salesman

I called one night at the house of a client I had known for sometime with a view to selling him another policy. It was a bitterly cold night and I arrived wearing a thick overcoat, gloves, scarf in fact, the lot On being invited in I went straight to the roaring fire in the living room; never have I felt so cold.

A minute or so later feeling much warmer, but still with my overcoat on, I turned to join my client who was sitting on the settee. I should add that I was, and still am, overweight and, what with my overcoat etc I probably weighed a ton. As I turned from the fireplace to the settee I lost my balance. The next thing I knew I had crashed onto the settee sending my client rolling on the floor with me beside him and completely ruining the settee; broken springs and legs everywhere.

Hearing all the commotion, my client's wife came rushing in from the kitchen wondering what on earth had happened. Ruefully getting to me feet, I apologised profusely to which my client responded: "You've busted our settee!" Full of remorse, I immediately offered to buy them a new one; in those days it would have cost some £500-£600. With that I quickly made my departure; I didn't think either of them would be in the mood to buy insurance from me that night.

I decided to contact the Insurance Company I worked for and to my relief they did on fact pay for a new settee for my client. Never will I forget the embarrassing moment when I had to fill in the Claim Form and answer the question "How did the accident happen?"

News of the event quickly spread and I received many phone calls, none of whom wanted insurance, but all of whom wanted me to call and sit on their settee's etc. Eventually, normal service was resumed but I never did go back to try and sell my client another policy; quite honestly, I didn't have the nerve to do so!

Les Lawrence

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