You don’t only learn Health and Safety, on a Health and Safety course.

One of the guys on my current course…well, let’s call him Brendan. Brendan works for…umm…a major public utility, and is well into what he calls “scams”, although they’re not really – as far as I can tell they’re all legal and fairly ethical, and really just focus on doing the best you can for yourself without hurting anyone.

The best example is his expenses scam: This relies on getting a Tesco credit card, and using it for all your business expenses: You get Tesco clubcard points on all these, but your employer is paying for them. You then develop the system to maximise the expenses that can go on the card.

When I – and most other people – stay away from home on business, the employer makes the hotel booking and pays the bill directly – all that goes on the expenses claim is stuff like the bar bill and other incidentals. Brendan insists on paying it himself (with his Tesco card, naturally) and claiming expenses. To be fair, he stays away on business far more than I do, so the points he collects this way are worth having – he says he gets enough free airmiles for the family’s annual holiday that way. If a group eat out, he persuades us to all give him the cash for our meals, and pays for all of us with his credit card: I don’t know if he manages to claim that back on his expenses1, but he certainly racks up a few more Clubcard points.

I’ve never been organised enough to arrange anything like this, the nearest I’ve ever come is refuelling company cars at Tesco so I get the clubcard points for that. Maybe one day…

Oh, and thanks to Steve, we were all able to observe the effects of drinking six cans of Red Bull in the hour before being locked in an exam room for three hours.

1 But if he does, good luck to him if his employer is stupid enough to fall for it.

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