Numbered Claws?

Today I had a call with regarding Tutors International’s Terms and Conditions.

There were the usual questions about adjusting the standard probationary period arrangements, how time-off works with anticipated vacations arrangements, resolving disputes, the details of accommodation and transport arrangements.  For each question I referred to our Terms, starting with 4.8, which essentially says that if any party has any concerns it will first attempt to resolve those concerns by talking with the other party or parties.

The Terms are split into 4 sections, each one numbered 1-4.  Each section is further subdivided into clause numbers.  So it starts at 1.1…1.2…1.3…

Then the next section starts 2.1…2.2…2.3…

The associate I was speaking to could see clause 4.46 (the last one) but could not find 4.8

I suggested he work backwards, which he did, calling out the last number on each page as he went:

“4.35…4.16…3.30…  It’s not there!” he said.

“Look up the page from 4.16”  I suggested.

“4.15…4.14…4.13…4.12…4.11…4.10…4.9…4.8…  I found it!  What a stupid numbering system!”

“I’m sorry,” I said, dumbfounded.  I wasn’t so much apologising and wondering what was stupid about it…

“Why on earth is 4.8 before 4.46?!”

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Well, perhaps if he was responding to an ad for a Maths Tutor, then at least he’d shown a good understanding of the decimal system, place value and for the logic therein – though sadly not for the common system for the numbering of ‘points’ in a contract or similar.