And now, a brief item based on a shamefully weak pun...
Many people find it difficult to have much sympathy for doorstep lenders, but they have their problems too. A recent report revealed that many leave the profession early after suffering severe health problems. And it's not surprising, given the stresses and strains of the job, as Phillip Hodd explained.
"Lugging filthy great chunks of concrete from house to house is no fun, I can tell you," he told us. "Few people borrow doorsteps these days, preferring to buy them outright from DIY stores or specialist doorstep and lintel emporia. In fact, if you buy a new house, you may find that the doorstep comes with it. At one time we might have set out with maybe ten or twenty doorsteps and gradually got rid of them as we went along. Nowadays you'll start with a dozen or more and get no takers, so you end up dragging them around all day. By the time you get back to the van you're knackered, dripping with sweat and doubled over in pain."
Responding to these criticisms, a spokesman for -
"And another thing - they don't half make your eyes water when you drop them on your foot."
Yes, thank you. Responding to these criticisms, a spokesman for the industry claimed that lenders are given full support in their role. "I don't mean to say that they're given actual lifting equipment," he said meaningfully when we queried the nature of this 'support'. "I mean that when they join the business they are taken through a twelve step programme. We start them off with a small step - just a slab really - then gradually work up to the full size doorstep. It's all very scientific, you know."
Nevertheless, a campaign has been -
"As we say in the industry - keep your knees bent!"
Yes, thank you. Nevertheless, many doorstep lenders continue to support the need for reform and some have already taken part in wildcat strikes - despite earning the condemnation of a number of prominent animal welfare charities.