interesting accountants


Another bit of business left over from AMT261, addressed by Storm:

Re: the accountant who gets the ‘bored’ look from people when he tells them he is an accountant..
I’ve had this for years…I tried to evade the subject by just saying ‘I work in an office’ and then I discovered that my neighbours thought I was a cleaner!

I now try to talk about a project I’ve been working on, as I tend to find that what people think accountants do isn’t. For example I’ve recently been working on a project to open up new children’s homes.

In the 1980s there was a big move to use the private sector to provide old people’s homes, it was very successful with price decreasing and quality increasing. So the project was extended to children’s homes. Children in care are substantially different from old people, there is more shoplifting, casual violence and vandalism so the private sector haven’t been made keen to move into this market.

These places are really expensive: it costs less to send a child to Eton than to put them in a private children’s home. I met a guy who owned two children’s homes and had bought a helicopter to fly between them.

It’s better for children to be nearer their old homes, school, and friends. And I found that opening a new children’s home would save over a million pounds per year.

Good work, Storm: you’re providing many potential avenues of conversation for your chat-partner. However, not every accountant can speak of an interesting, socially important project. Does anybody have a useful gambit to say instead of, “I help a wealthy corporation stay wealthy”?

Or maybe it’s best to avoid referencing any jobs, ever. Here’s a cautionary tale from Kendersrule:

Many moons ago, while I worked at a supermarket deli counter…

*wibbley camera of the past*

One day when a woman came up to the counter to ask for some ham, we got chatting about the probiotic yoghurt drinks in her trolley.

I asked her how they tasted, as the actors in the ads all looked like they were about to vomit when they downed one.

She replied, somewhat indignantly, that she was one of the people responsible for those ads.

I said “oh” and we spent the next 30 seconds of ham wrapping time in silence. Whoops!

Silence was better than her screaming, “I don’t tell you how to wrap ham!” which would have been quite a reasonable response.


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