Actuaries are not known for their laissez-faire attitude towards accuracy. Or, for that matter, a tendency to be over-optimistic. But just because we like getting things right to 6 decimal places doesn’t mean that you have a license to take the mickey. Perhaps we’re overly particular about apostrophes. And don’t get me started on coffee shops that try to sell me expresso.
But at least we usually get a little bit of respect from prospective employers. They know that they need us. And so when you look at a role profile, you’ll find them politely asking for ‘attention to detail’, or ‘analytic’, or that sort of thing. So I was just a little bit taken aback when someone forwarded me a job spec last week that included ‘pedantic’ and ‘cynical’ among the key competencies. Yes, those competencies usually go without saying when dealing with actuaries, but it would be a little bit politer if they weren’t said.