Category Archives: carry the one

Who’s better at math?

This guy?

Or this guy?

A 3000% price decrease! That’s 2900 more percents than you got under George W. Bush! Obama is clearly a superior president.

about that handsy client

Lest you all thought that I was being groped or worse by one of my clients when I mentioned it the other day, let me clarify.

That was kind of a funny situation. The man was about eighty years old, and I mentioned to one of the partners that he was calling me terms of endearment and always touching my shoulder and whatever – I was just talking about it in passing with her when she came around in the morning to see how I was doing, laughing it off, the GOB was due to drop dead any day, let him call me sugar if he wants to. Whatever. Well, she apparently told the other partners in a partner meeting, and the head of the audit department called me into his office. Very somber and serious. I thought I was in trouble for something (in fact, a few months later when he fired me, he did have the same facial expression and soft tone, haha). And then he said that he’d heard about the way the client was acting and asked if I would like him to speak to the client about the situation, and he wanted to be very clear that the firm did not tolerate sexual harassment. He said he would personally take it up with the client to make me more comfortable. I said, ah, no, that’s okay. He’s just a good ol’ boy; it doesn’t really bother me. He’s not tried to grope me or anything, and he doesn’t make lewd or suggestive comments. It’s cool. Well, my boss looked worried. And I did what I always do in semi-funny uncomfortable situations. I blurted out what I was thinking. “Oh, don’t worry. I’m not gonna sue you or anything. Really. It’s fine.” The next day, he called me into his office to tell me that he’d gone ahead and talked to GOB anyway. He was a good boss, and this was the first experience I’d had with this kind of situation, so it was pretty cool that my boss was sticking up for me. Covering his own butt or not.

audit nightmare

When I was an auditor, I had a lot of great audit clients – people I liked working with to get the audit done. Easy clients, difficult clients – as long as the people were nice and got me what I needed when I asked for it, I liked them. I also audited a lot of Class A jerks. People who made no secret of the fact that they hated you, felt they were above the audit process, and thought they were most definitely smarter than you. And then there were the audits where the people just did not have it together. Their bookkeeping hadn’t been properly done or checked all year (reportable conditions for sure, sometimes material weaknesses), and the audit, which we always scheduled in advance, was always delayed. And I had to find something else to do while my client got their act together. What irked me most about that was that we always called the week before to make sure they would be ready for us. They said yes, of course, and we showed up only to find that they didn’t even have a trial balance ready. I shudder to remember it.

One of my worst clients was a company that specialized in employee leasing services (by the way, that link is not to the company I audited – I would never ever name a company I actually audited). The CFO was a complete pig. I was a girl, so naturally, I was an idiot in his eyes. One of those, you see. This was *not* the same client who tried to get handsy with me and called me babe and darlin’ all the time. This guy was just a ginormous jerk. I’ll save the handsy client for another post.

Okay, so the employee leasing guy was something else. He told us that everything was ready before we got out there, of course, and when we arrived, we had a trial balance that was out of balance, the federal wage reports didn’t reconcile to *anything*, and several of the supporting schedules were missing. Did I mention this was one of my clients farthest from the office? I drove all the way out there for the first day, and we had hardly anything to work on (I was used to this by then, so I had another client’s files with me so I could work on those in my spare time). Sure, my staff had plenty to do, but all of the items I was budgeted to work on were either not ready or incomplete.

Of course, we told Mr. Pig that the TB didn’t balance, and I thought he was going to throw stuff. Dude, it’s your trial balance. Not mine. And no matter how many different ways we tried to make sense of the wage reports, we just couldn’t (and it wasn’t just me, the senior – the manager and two other staff members, including the smartest person I ever trained, arguably smarter than me, were completely stumped). The 941s didn’t reconcile to the out-of-balance TB, the payroll and benefits accounts… they didn’t even reconcile to the schedules that the client said supported the numbers! By the way, I always thought that was a stupid test. You’re comparing payroll expenses per the trial balance (something prepared by the company) to the federal wage reports, also prepared by the company. This was supposed to be a good test, because the theory behind the test was that the federal reports would surely be accurate, because they will most definitely make sure their 941s are correct. Nobody would ever file incorrectly with the feds. Ooooookay. And this was not the only firm I worked for that did this stupid test! It’s in a lot of audit programs.

Anyway, we kept pushing the client. He kept yelling at us and his employees. I was steamed, because he was yelling at my staff, yelling at me… I already had one man making my life suck, I was so over this guy. We actually had to have a big client / auditor meeting about the 941s. Since they were an employee leasing company, their biggest expense was… dun dun dunnnnn… payroll! And there was nothing to support it. The 941s didn’t work, we had exception after exception in our controls tests for payroll, which meant we kept having to broaden our testing scope. It was a beating. And what’s scary is these people also offered payroll services to other companies, so if their own books were this hosed, you know their clients’ books had problems. So in our client / auditor meeting, the head of the audit department came along with the manager and a tax partner (yeah, we were going to do their taxes, too – so glad that didn’t fall on me). I didn’t really care to be in there, but I knew more about the situation than the partner or the manager, so they wanted me in there. Fantastic. Mr. Pig addressed only the partners and the manager. The men. The partners and manager would ask me questions, I would respond, and the client would not speak to me. He would answer my responses but make every effort to indicate that he was speaking only to the men and not to the stupid little girl. By the end of the meeting, my feelings were all over my face, as I had had quite enough of him, and the partners and managers were looking at me like, “Please don’t explode. We’ll buy you good lunch if you just hold it in until we get back to the audit room. Please?” Funny thing was, my big boss, the head of audit, was having almost as hard a time as I was keeping a passive face. I did, by the way. I waited to get back to the audit room before exploding, and I looked at my bosses with that, “See? He’s a horrible man! Told ya!” look on my face. And they did buy lunch that day.

I don’t even remember how we resolved the whole situation, and I can’t remember if we gave them an opinion or a disclaimer. Everything is fuzzy (I don’t even remember the name of the company or the name of the CFO) except the way the client treated everyone. That and the fact that Sarah H and I had good Indian food nearby during the course of the audit, and I also introduced Sarah H to Vietnamese food. Oh! And I do remember that they worked out pretty early on that Mr. Pig was going to pay 100% of our billing. There would be no write-offs. That made me so happy.

Have I mentioned how glad I am that I’m no longer an auditor?

essay made me snort by using my own phrase on me

SARAHK: Hey, I’m about to walk into Home Depot to buy paint, and you know how bad the cell phone signal gets in there. So I may lose you.
ESSAY: Right, right.
SARAHK: So if I ..ike, it means I’ve lost the signal. [I think I'm so funny sometimes.]
ESSAY: Ohhhhhh. Thaaaaaanks. Thanks for carrying the one for me. [She starts talking all slow, and I start laughing, guffawing really.] Really, Sarah, I don’t know what I would have done without you to help me along there. I mean, you’re such a saint to put up with such a stupid friend as me. [By now I'm crying, and I walk through the front door of Home Depot, just in time for...]
SARAHK: Oh that was lovely. I just walked into Home Depot, and there are like a hundred people standing just inside the door at the returns desk, and I just snorted. SNORTED. Right in front of all those people.
ESSAY: That is awesome.
SARAHK: No, what’s awesome is you calling me a saint. I can’t wait to tell everybody.
ESSAY: What?
SARAHK: THE… IMPORTANT… THING… IS… THAT… YOU… CALLED… ME… A SAINT! [So what if the old guy in the paint aisle looked at me like I was crazy? I'll probably never see him again anyway.]
ESSAY: Ok, you’re breaking up now.
ESSAY: Ok, talk… to… you… later. [She wasn't committed to the bit like I was, or she would have yelled, too. And she was at home.]

I think I heard her call me a weirdo in the background as she was hanging up, but I couldn’t be sure.

i blog about my health

because i have a lot of health problems. they’re a big part of my life, and i blog about life.  i generally am not asking for advice about my health, i’m just venting to give Frank a break. i still get a lot of unsolicited advice; i expect that i will, because i post in a public forum. some of the advice i get is good, and i look into it and maybe follow it. some is neutral. some of it is repeated over and over by different people (or by the same person – Bikermommy tells me to go to a chiropractor every chance she gets, and i’m still not going).

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we saw a commercial for that movie Firewall the other day, and Frank said to me, “do you know what a firewall is?”

he knew before he finished saying it that it was a really stupid question. i just looked at him and silently thanked him for offering the biggest “1″ ever.

“of course you know what a firewall is.”

“yeah, it’s one of those walls… that you set on fire…”

sometimes i think he really thinks i’m dumb.