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That Trip Down Memory Lane

Oh, that was a bad idea. But it's typical of what happens during tax season. Heidi made a comment on the last post and that dredged up memories. Names sprang into my head as I typed. Things buried deep. One paticular name, thankfully, has remained buried so far, but I can feel my subconscious noodling away at it. Stop. Just stop. Sleeping dogs should just be left where they are. Old dogs. But still with a bite to them.

I think it's about the same for Heidi, so this was like picking at a scab or turning over a rock together to see the ewwww! underneath.

Public accounting can do quite a number on people. Not all people. I have old friends who have had a successful career in public accounting, more power to them. But not me. While I appreciate the knowledge, the sheer volume of things I worked on, I also have scars from the abuse. I think they try to be less abusive these days. But not back then. It was all part of the hazing ritual. Oh and did we mention, you women won't have a future with us. There was a glass ceiling. It shattered later, but I don't know if parts still remain intact. When I was there, my offices had no women who were full partners. They were, at best, partial partners, known as principals and national partners. Never fully part of the fraternity. They used to say "in ten years, you'll see a more balanced representation of women at the top. Women haven't been working for us long enough." Right. Not the way they were promoting people. They promoted 75% of the men and 25% of the women. It took men two years to make senior and women three, for the most part. In ten years, that does not spell equal numbers after a few more promotions and a lot of annual reviews.

And people wonder why I'm the way I am. There's no sexism. There's no problem. Never was. Opportunity was always there and it's fully equalized now. Right. Pull the other one, it's got bells on it.

But I do, deeply, appreciate the good things that came from that experience, even as I express bitterness over the bad. My clients get the benefit of those years at every turn. I didn't crank out basic returns. I spent years learning complex issues that still continue to come up. I've filed in almost every state, corporate and individual returns. My next job was strictly corporate tax, but deepened certain skils. Still, it's my years of working with complex individuals in public accounting that's of the most use to me today. What it means to be self-employed, how to present a business case, what's gray and what's black & white. And how to do kickass estimated tax calculations.

Frog Out

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
dancinghorse
Oct. 18th, 2011 04:35 pm (UTC)
And how to give kickass financial advice on the fly.

I'm sorry you went through that but glad you're the person you are.
birdhousefrog
Oct. 18th, 2011 05:36 pm (UTC)
Some of it was necessary, I can see that. I had to be beaten up to learn to cope with my own limitations.

But in terms of how one gets beaten up? My memories of DC with Heidi are miserable by comparison to my memories of the fun I had in Atlanta while working like a dog.

But yes. Every single bit of it made me who I am. It didn't kill me and I'm a stronger, more experienced tax person (and all-round person) today.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )