Stories of the Office: The Accountant

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Every morning the accountant took his break in the lunch room. Eat a small snack – maybe a sandwich, maybe some bread but always with some water or some tea.

He was a kind man, stubborn, gentle and aged. Aged well? No, but aged. He wore his glasses that looked brittle like they were prescribed 10 years old ago and his hair line recceeded leaving the side of his head with patches of black with fine grey streaks of curly hair. Well dressed for a business casual environment of the early 90’s.

While taking his break he would read. Always something in his native language. Maybe a print out. Maybe a newspaper or even a book from the library, but he was always reading. He enjoyed his breaks as they lasted a long relaxing half an hour.

He would go back to work, sit at his desk, process the invoices while chatting on the phone. Chat he would in his native language. It would always annoy the executive assistant who sat in the cubicle across from him who has complained countless of times of him chatting on the phone in his native languag to management.

He was scolded, but nothing came out of it.

He chatted because he was working another job. The job required him to be on the phone to work as a translator for a newspaper. He would then be paid for his translator position while on the job as an accountant. Kudos to him for the extra income in his pocket.

He would then make mistakes. Invoicing required some manual entries – ensuring customers who have free freight status obtain their free freight and entry of freight costs. Yet, there were always mistakes. Not one, not two, but many that occured. Some customers from time to time will freak out to see that they are required to pay $1000.00 for freight, but at the end of the day a credit would be issued and things will go back to its happy dandy day.

When 12:30PM arrives, he would take his lunch. Another relaxing hour – eating, drinking and always reading. Finished, he would tidy up himself and go back work.

He worked on credits and returns. Sometimes the company will get many, sometimes the company will get none. But they always landed on his desk. His desk was stocked up with returned and/or defective product. Some were re-sellable product, but never put back. It fusterated managment to see all the product on his desk and never put back.

He was scolded. Watched while he cleaned, yet they only met half way.

Around 2:45PM, he would look to see if he had any more urgent work. Nothing urgent? He’ll quietly walk into the lunch room and sit. Reading and drinking he did for another long relaxing half an hour.

He really enjoyed his down time, but it slowly and creeped up to managment realizing the best place to find him was lounging in the lunch room reading. It irritated managment. Two hours break a day! Other employees only had one hour.

He mentioned before that he was doing a three person job and it stressed him out. Probably, that is why he made so many mistakes. Management hired two new staff members to disperse the work better, hoping to see improvement. In turn, he sat and relax in the lunch room for two hours a day, talk on the phone all day in his native dialect which none of our customers speak and make consistant mistakes with no improvement. Management was baffled.

He was scolded again, if he doesn’t have any improvement soon he would face the consequences.

The accoutant didn’t care. He was with the company for 10 long relaxing years. I heard he once was a good, hardworking employee. I guess he believed he had seniority over others in his position and what mistakes or mishaps he did, they would turn a blind eye.

No one turned a blind eye. All companies have their gossip and their complaints. He was always the centre of gossip and complaints, even to management.

Only the accoutant was the one who turned a blind eye.

Before the day ended, I saw him walk in to the boardroom with my supervisor and that is the last time I saw him again.

Will he be missed? I am not sure, but all I know is I am happy he is gone. Companies don’t turn a blind eye to all the mishaps that occured. They make note of it.