accountant

I’m a creature of habit

This time last year, I was getting ready for a hybrid work-pleasure trip to France for my 3rd 30th bday. Today, I’m sitting at my desk, watching my inbox fill-up with reminders of my impending trip to France that begins tomorrow.

  • 4 days in Toulouse (pleasure – sight-seeing à la touriste)
  • 4 days in Paris (work)
  • 2.5 days in Nîmes (pleasure – a mini dance festival)

I’m really digging work’s habit of sending me to France around my bday. This is a habit I am embracing wholeheartedly – may it continue for as long as I turn 30.

Like last year, I intend on cramming all of my clothes into 2 carry-on bags, to facilitate flopping about cities. Like every trip ever, my plane is leaving in 24 hours and I haven’t started packing. I haven’t even done laundry. I’ve no idea what to bring, the weather, anything. Will I rush home after work, and get cracking? Nah. Dance class, y’all. No way I am skipping my weekly 4-5 hour dose of kizomba. #priorities Will I have an exhausted meltdown tonight, as I try finish packing at 1 or 2am? You know it. #thepoweroftradition

Still…

I’m hyper. What else is new?

Year-end pettiness

While all y’all might be excited about Christmas/New Year’s/Festivus, nah. December 31 = financial year-end for the company. Aka, the suspension of all aspects of my life that are not work related. I haven’t started my Christmas shopping.

Case in point:

I left work “early” on Wednesday, at 6:30pm, to get my hair dyed and cut because #prioritiesyo. How can I possibly determine if we are missing any accruals or if margins are off if I have roots? Impossible.

15 minutes after I’d left, my emails stopped working on my phone. I tried to suck it up. I did breathing exercises. By the time I’d arrived at the hair salon, I was having cold sweats. I sipped on a glass of wine, telling myself that this was an excellent opportunity to work on appreciating the present moment, that taking a break would allow me to return to my workload refreshed and concentrated.

Yeah, no.

My scalp halfway covered in dye-goo, I had a nervous breakdown, insisted on getting the salon’s wifi code, booted up my laptop, and spent my hair appointment working from my hair salon chair.

The next morning, I arrived to the office to sort through the 50+ emails that had come in overnight. These included an email chain between a French coworker and somebody in one of our sister companies. In that chain, he makes reference to me “Vanilla, the Chief Accountant of XYZ Co.”

Now. My signature clearly states Accounting Manager. French Coworker has met me, multiple times. He has introduced me to people as his counterpart, the chief accountant of XYZ Co. I’ve bit my tongue, tried to talk myself out of this fixation on my title, reminding myself that such small details don’t matter, its probably just a language barrier/translation issue, it’s the quality of my work that dictates my brand & professional reputation. I can’t do it. I’ve worked too damn hard to get where I am. I negotiated this title just like I negotiated my salary. I firmly believe that in a business setting, titles matter: people respond differently depending on the rank of an individual. Sucks, but so it is. And don’t get me started on the whole gender thing and how THAT impacts perception. I’ve fought my way to where I am, I will continue to fight going forward, and I will NOT accept that any of my due is casually discounted as being a trivial detail.

That is why, Thursday morning, when everyone across our organization was mad scrambling to close out the year, I took the time to call French Coworker and gently remind him that my title is not Chief Accountant, it is Accounting Manager. Because why be a mature team player when you can be the Grinch of Year-End Pettiness? #oops

#imajoytoworkwith

#brash

#holidaycheer

This is how I handle stress

 

 

That is all. Except I happen to avoid suffocation approximately 5-15 times a day. #scurvy

All while listening to La Traviata as loud as possible. Because what are my struggles when compared to true love, social ostracism, tuberculosis, and terrible communication skills?

Lyrics of that excerpt:

Farewell, happy dreams of the past,
The rosiness in my cheeks has already gone pale;
The love of Alfredo I will miss,
Comfort, support my tired soul
Ah, the misguided desire to smile;
God pardon and accept me,
All is finished.

The joys, the sorrows soon will end,
The tomb confines all mortals!
Do not cry or place flowers at my grave,
Do not place a cross with my name to cover these bones!
Ah, the misguided desire to smile;
God pardon and accept me,
All is finished.

If that doesn’t give one perspective, what can?! “All is finished”… yup. Sounds ’bout right to me. If you want an even bigger punch to the gut, watch this. Woman is reunited with her lover, all is forgiven, they pledge to live happily ever after, and then after two 3 minute arias, she keels over and dies. #bleak #nowthatssomeheavydutyadulting

#nomorebangingbod #definitelynotaskinnybitch #pleasantlyplump #ineedavacationandabottleofwine #lovemyjobiswear #notadramaqueennoway

Learning to enjoy being a girl

Reared in a strict Christian household, I was taught that pride is THE biggest of all vices, and vanity was more trivial, obnoxious and easily spotted – a transparent window into person’s character, and indicative of poor judgment and priorities (I notice a certain irony, now, that it is by appealing to my vanity that I was dissuaded from ever exhibiting any). As an only child, with an invalid mother, I grew up without any role models of how to be a girly girl. Sure, my mother would talk of how in her youth she loved the theatre of clothes, and passed a lot of her knowledge on to me, but it remained something that was not deserving of time and effort. I internalized the message that caring about my appearance (other than to avoid appearing slovenly/underdressed/vulgar/sexy) was indicative of poor priorities and a lack of meaning and purpose in my life. Worse, given that I was a woman in a man’s world, it was imperative that I earn people’s respect for my intelligence and character, not for something as transient and superficial as my appearance.

Well.

Early on in my career, I learned the lesson that people respond better to someone who is well put together. Dressing for the part (of smart, competent, reliable, engaging career woman) was necessary to ease the social interactions that are so key in the business world. But that wasn’t  vanity, that was a practical recognition of behavioural norms. So I revamped my wardrobe transforming myself into a power accountant. Still, I avoided spending unnecessary time on my appearance, other than investing the time necessary to shop for well-cut flattering clothes and good haircuts. #couldntbebothered

In the past 24 months, I’ve undergone a bumpy journey to body acceptance. My (former) therapist prescribed me with the obligation of never going more than 48 hours without getting a minimum of 30mins of exercise. He stressed that it wasn’t a matter of breaking a sweat, but of moving enough to trigger the endorphins my brain so needed to counteract its corrosive tricks, like going for a walk outdoors. And so was born the notion that I should commit to doing things that make me feel better – that I must be an agent (to some extent) of my happiness and well-being. From that point on, I made sure to never do less than 3 intense workouts per week. The link between my emotional and mental equilibrium and the consistency of my workouts was apparent almost immediately. My dietary habits also improved: I applied the same notion that I should eat what I genuinely wanted to eat to make me feel good. Sometimes that could mean chocolate and wine for the soul, French fries and pizza for the fun of it, or salad and chicken because I hate the bloaty, gassy feeling that comes from eating unhealthily for more than 2-3 consecutive meals. Unsurprisingly, I lost a fair bit of weight and got in shape. It hasn’t been all smooth sailing:

Then, I had a second watershed moment: accepting the sexy. Through dance, I’ve started to enjoy my body as a source of appreciation to myself and others.

I can finally admit that I LIKE having a bangin’ bod – something I never believed was within my reach. I LIKE that people admire it: I enjoy it, I’ve worked hard for it, I’ve gone through so much with it, I’m proud of it. I LIKE feeling good about my appearance, and will continue to take the time and effort to help my body and my brain be the best versions possible. I LIKE putting together an outfit that is flattering and makes me feel like whatever version of myself I feel like portraying. Always? No. There are plenty of days every week where I roll out of bed, pull on wtv is easily accessible/clean and forget to put on mascara. But there are plenty of days where I enjoy taking an hour getting ready for work and spend the day feeling like a million bucks. Maybe because I am so confident in my intelligence and my character, I no longer feel that has to be the first thing people notice about me. Any person who deals with me for longer than 30 minutes and does not realize I am smart, pretty awesome and beyond competent at what I do is merely demonstrating their sub-par observation skills.

I tell myself this isn’t vanity, as my happiness is not dependent on others’ perception in myself: I delight in my body and mind. Is it pride, the mother of all sins? I sure hope not. It feels like joy and peace, which is such a blessing after years of anxiety, paranoid brain and depression. I have no intention of fighting these new-found gleeful feels.

This is what accounting humour looks like (spoiler: WAY funnier than engineering humour!)

So I had my first call with our auditors this afternoon to prep for the audit happening in November. Of course, Auditor asked me if there were any known or alleged instances of fraud thus far (mandatory audit question). Of course, I answered ‘No’ because we are good people here. I say “of course” because that is what every client has ever said to me, back in my audit life, and that is what every auditor hopes to hear – bc otherwise, their life goes from bad to hellish. That is why this is funny not an exaggeration:

I can hear you all giggling. Really, I can. “That is funny stuff!” you say. Never fear, there is a lot more where that came from.

And for possibly the most accurate gif ever, for any accountant worldwide, regardless of role or company…

Best for last… Excel is bae.

Told y’all we were hi-la-ri-ous!!!

#accountantwayoflife

#ratchetenoughforya?

Skunks, raccoons and poodles and a weather update

Brown Socks kindly sent me several pictures of the grey rainy weather today, in case I hadn’t noticed that it was raining. He is quite proud of his statistical analysis (described here) which allowed him to determine several months ago that today, Sept 12, was not the right day to get married. 

#weathergroomzillawin

Moving on to the main point of this post:

At supper yesterday, chez my darling P-dot’s home, I took this picture of D-man and P-dot’s 10yr-old poodle. 

They look cute, don’t they? But what y’all don’t realize is that that dog was fulfilling an extremely important role: watch-dog.

Perhaps you are surprised. There really is no reason to be.

  • D-man is an accountant
  • D-man is a city-boy and is unused to the suburbs (never mind the fact P-dot does not in fact live in a suburb. She has a backyard. Close enough).

We were hanging out in P-dot’s backyard when D-man thought he saw a skunk. This made him very nervous. He did not want to get sprayed: he felt that would ruin the enjoyment of his evening. P-dot tried to reassure him that she’s never had a skunk in her backyard, that it was probably some other small animal. (P-dot is a very laid-back person. Live and let live, even skunks.)

D-man’s nerves settled long enough to establish there was no nearby stench smell,  effectively validating P-dot’s assertion that the animal was not a skunk. The question then became: WHAT WAS THAT ANIMAL. By process of elimination, logic and beer, we determined it might be a raccoon (or a hedgehog, or a cat). D-man was not significantly reassured. Raccoons have rabies. He did not want rabies.

And that is when he grabbed P-dot’s old poodle, and designated her as his personal watch-dog.

#whosayschivalryisdead