March 24, 2010

Looking at (the) Work Through Rose-Colored Glasses

My second computer monitor has been randomly turning pink for the last few days making me look at depreciation schedules, tax returns and other pertinent client information through this tinted hue. A few days ago I prepared a Rental Real Estate partnership return. Those are my favorite. I have prepared them and reviewed them almost exclusively during my tenure at KPMG. There was an income item which I knew goes on a separate line and without question, I put it there. The incompetent manager that seldom reviews my work asked me to unlink my workpapers (which took half a day to link) and when she finally took a look at the return she couldn't understand why I put the income item on this line. If there's anything I learned at KPMG and from the book, "How To Work for an Idiot" that a partner there (at KPMG) let me borrow (and I'm yet to return, or finish reading), it's pointless to argue with someone that doesn't understand or (even worse) doesn't care.

I brought this up to the partner and while he asked me the reason for my question, he got tied up and we moved on. I reclassed the income item, but it wouldn't let me rest so I emailed my former colleagues, who all responded quickly and confirmed that I was correct in my logic. One of the people was the former partner, who through the grapevine heard of my question. He didn't fail to point out that it was a good question and provided some industry perspective. I thanked him in an email and he followed up. While the current partner that I work with still disagrees with me and left the item as he deemed fit, I know I did the right thing.

Regardless of what anyone tells you, the people that you work with are the most important aspect of your job. When I started at KPMG, we worked insane hours, but we had a great group. We helped each other and one of the partners that we worked for actually cared about his people. He trained his staff, he supported his staff and he worked as late as his staff (if not later). Yes, that included Saturdays AND often Sundays. Yes, that included 28 hour days. Yes, that included sending you home when he knew it was your anniversary. Yes, that included sending you home at 2 am (an hour earlier than everyone else because you live in NJ). In return the respect was reciprocated. Unfortunately, he is one of the few, but by the same token, the only one I keep in touch with.

He sent an outline of the new Health Care Reform Act and it's tax ramification to his entire "old" team, who had left the firm due to many different factors. If I could work for a boss like him my entire life, I'd be thrilled especially with the team that we had. The hours seemed more bearable and the happy hours more fun. The hours I work now pale in comparison, but so does the team, the work and the experience. When the partner leaves at 5-30-6 (and the rest of us stick it out till 7:30) it'd be nice to hear him say, "Good Night." Again, I'm being overly sentimental and looking at everything through the pinkish tint of my monitor, but I don't want to "make it work," I want to understand what I'm doing and the reasons for me allocating income between Lines 1 and 2. I want to be a skilled professional not a trained monkey.

1 comment:

  1. Got stuck with more annoying comments from the same ignorant manager this afternoon. Erf, but the KPMG partner followed up to ask what the current partner had to say and that left another bittersweet feeling of missing the team, the work, but definitely not the hours.