If our relationship’s so personal, where’s my wife’s birthday card?

I’m not in favour of the meaningless, machine-signed corporate birthday card.  Of course I’m not.  It’s as silly, and potentially as counter-productive, as those birthday funeral plan mailings I used to get every year from Cornhill Insurance on the erroneous premise that my date of birth was the fifteenth of the tenth 1903.  (They congratulated me each year on reaching such a ripe old age up to, as I recall, 2008, in which year I’d have been 105:  at that point some sort of data-cleaning exercise must have taken place, because I haven’t heard from them since.)

But there are various financial services providers, especially in my household’s segment which I guess I would define as “upper mass affluent,” who pride themselves on a more genuinely personal approach.  Naming no names, but the kinds of firms I’m thinking about include our financial advisers, our rather exclusive private bank, the black card provider and maybe the classic car insurers who cover our small fleet of (2) ageing seventies sports cars.

All these firms would claim to justify their premium prices at least partly on the basis of their close personal relationships with us.  All of them have provided us with the names of specific individuals who are supposed to be looking after us.  And of course although none of them knows very much about us, one thing they do all have is our dates of birth.

My wife is coming up to a Big Birthday in the next few days (although some might ask what’s so big about being 39 again…).  I wonder how many of these named individuals maintaining these close personal relationships will take the trouble to send her a card.

4 thoughts on “If our relationship’s so personal, where’s my wife’s birthday card?

  1. In the early days of creastive talent trade – “in the day” as they irritatingly say these days – I was sent a birthday postcard from a very early, fruity gay headhunter saying, “Have a super day.” It had never occurred to me to have a super day, but I liked his fizz, I was genuinely impressed. Ever since, I have sent friends over many years birthday cards for them and their children – they are stunned.

    It’s probably best to die on the same day you’re born like Shakespeare. If that doesn’t make sense, then nothing will with me until I’ve decided what to do with my pension pot in a month’s time, let alone my pot belly.

  2. Creative not creastive, sorry. The mother of our two girls – whatever I’m supposed to call the bird, these days – tells them that checking and correcting their work is as important as doing it in the first place.

  3. Lucian, the fact that you have not now reached your 111th birthday according to Cornhill’s database is no doubt actually due to the fact that they closed down their Over 50s Plan in the early noughties. But sadly not that it was only ever open to people aged 50-80 (attained, as we say in the life cover game).

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