When I was younger and in my training period, I simply couldn’t get enough responsibility – I was hungry for it!
Despite the generally negative image of accounting, even back then, when technology was in its absolute infancy, I loved what I did.
Yes, the job had a tendency to be somewhat repetitive, but I really enjoyed the logic flow and brain teasing nature of accounting.
Also, we got to meet lots of very different people.
As I progressed through the firm with my fairly consistent ‘can-do’ attitude and hard-working ethic, I gained my first promotion.
For the last year of my four year contract I was made Office Manager. It wasn’t just a title either and for a young man of 21 to get it; well, it proved no-one else would want it!
Unfortunately, this was my first time in young working life where I realised just what responsibility really meant and it was messy!
Looking back with the benefit of hindsight, the role of Office Manager really was a poison chalice and this reached rock bottom when I received a buzz on my telephone from the senior partner; “Richard, the men’s toilet is blocked, could you sort this out?”
When I arrived at the toilet, I realised that this was no false alarm, it was indeed blocked and the results were floating around on the floor up to the seal of the door to prove it to me!
I did as they requested, through the inevitable gagging and I learned two very valuable lessons; one, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is and two, it’s a good plan in life to earn enough money to be able to pay others to do the messy jobs.
Despite all this, life back then as a trainee was an absolute hoot, as no-one was worried too much about time and efficiency, I guess because we cost so little to employ.
I spent a lot of my contract, playing paper office cricket, flirting with the girls and joking around. It really was great fun and I look back on these times with great fondness.
The profession in those days was a far cry from the ultra-efficient and competitive world of today, so no wonder we older accountants yearn for those days of just charging what it comes to (I don’t really)!