There’s no accounting for taste
It always surprises people when I tell them that I have an accounting degree. I’m sure this is because I don’t act like an accountant or dress like one or talk like one. I’m not like all, you know, um . . . put your net worth income in hedge funds. Oh wait, I think that’s finance – but you get the drift.
When I first mentioned to my partners, Dawn and Kristyn, that my background was accounting, they were suspect then curious.
“Really? asked Dawn. “Did you graduate?”
“I sure did. When I was thirty-two,” I told her proudly.
“From an accredited school?” Kristyn pressed.
“And you have a diploma?”
“Somewhere,” I replied.
Honesty is my best policy
But in all honesty (and I pride myself in being honest – to a fault), I’m not really a good accountant. If I were to interview myself, I would find me charming and witty and a good cook, but when it comes to the numbers, there are issues. This dates back to my diagnosis of having contracted a viral infection called Fibrosis in Bottom Brain Involving Numbers & Graphs (F.I.B.B.I.N.G.) when I was a small child.
Because my parents were never interested in my well-being they did nothing to treat it and it has affected my ability to, well basically, count. And tell time and a number of other digit issues that I share only with my therapists.
I don’t want to jump back on the “blame your parents” bandwagon - again! I am an adult now have accepted and embraced the fact that they were to blame but there’s nothing I can do about it. Sure, I can tease them with not caring for them when they are old and kid them about leaving them in dirty diapers for days, but I digress, I was talking about how they royally screwed me with the whole disease thing.
So, needless to say, I did graduate, (no thanks to them) but I limped across the finish line. The horror story that I will share with you haunts me to this day and I have many a reoccurring dream that puts me right back in the situation – with the exception that I am only wearing a towel.
Marketing, shmarketing . . booring!
Marketing classes always threw me for a loop. The vague terms for the airy-fairy concepts were so different than the vague terms for the accounting concepts and I found the subject tested my patience and understanding. I studied many hours, often late into the night with my good friend, Karen, trying to master the ambiguous ideas.
The last final of my college career was my Marketing one. It was also on Friday, the last day of finals and at 3:00, the last time-slot for a final – the last of the last of the last. Karen had been over the night before until the wee hours and when she left, we were exhausted but confident we could hold on to the “A’s” we currently had going into the test. (At this point I should explain that I what I lack in certain areas, I make up for with enthusiasm and many many hours of rote learning)
What’s that about the early bird and the worm?
I decided to show up an hour early to the test and sit outside the auditorium where the exam was being administered. I didn’t want anything goofy to happen and I sat, fully prepared, on the bench beside the exit doors and waited patiently for the current exam to finish.
Eventually, students began filtering out; their faces flush with excitement at having the last of their tests behind them. I recognized many of them from the business school and from possibly other classes we shared, but when a girl that I had actually done a marketing project with walked out of the doors and gave me a funny look, a feeling of panic hit me like a ton of bricks.
I raced into the auditorium and flew down the aisles, past Karen, who called out in a loud whisper “Are you finished?” and over to the teaching assistants at the base of the stage. I breathlessly explained my situation, stating I had actually been in the building, right outside the doors for almost an hour. I told them I thought the exam started at 3:00, when it fact it was apparent it had started at 1:00.
They looked at me like I had two heads and one cigarette. There was nothing they could do they said, and I saw them sneak a glance at each other with raised eyes. They certainly weren’t going to wait another two hours while I took the exam, especially when other students had finished and could have shared questions from the test.
The best they could do was had me an empty answer sheet and say good-luck. I had fifteen minutes, which was just enough time to color in every ‘c’ answer throughout the entire exam.
Do not believe this! (I know from experience)
The rumor that “c” answers are correct more often than not, is simply not true. I failed the test and squeeked by my marketing class with a C-. I did not graduate with high honors as I expected I would but, I did still manage to graduate and that’s a good thing.
Now, of course, it doesn’t really matter. I didn’t miss out on any jobs because of that marketing grade that I know of. And actually, the first job I was hired for as an accountant, was by an ex-football player who liked the fact that I had worked food service at a previous Super Bowl.
I was totally devastated when I missed that final. I had restarted my college career as a mother and a “non-traditional student”, paying for the whole thing myself and working two jobs. At the time, it seemed like an unjust ending to a Cinderella story and it put a damper on the graduation party, though the midget stripper did cheer me up. (Yes, you read that right)
I feel differently now – actually, just the opposite. Matter of fact, it makes for a great story.