An conversation with Ashley (published on March 22, 2007)

I went to Ashley, wanting her to approve my taxi and overtime meal allowance claims. I waited behind her, seeing that she’s perusing this page with words and figures arranged neatly. She waited a while, turned her head towards my direction, acknowledged my presence with an “oui”, the syllabus with a descending tone.

After explaining the purpose of my visit, she set about examining my expense sheet, then I asked a question which resulted in an outpouring from her. I asked “Why are you working so hard everyday, even on weekends? You should rest.” She looked at me and said “I have something to talk to you. Sit down.” And sit down, I did.

“What has inventory turnover to do with ARPs for cash?” “I nearly fainted when I saw your ARPs for cash.” Well said, and I agree with her words. Originally, I had wanted to remove the point about inventory turnover in my AWP. But when Richard prompted me, “why do you want to remove it? It’s fine”. I couldn’t muster a convincing valid reason to remove it. If only “My instincts say that it’s wrong” is acceptable as a reason.

I am touched by Ashley. For the next 10-15 minutes, she gave me a quick lesson on ARPs for cash, trade creditors and P&L (I asked her questions regarding the latter 2 accounts). And patiently she explained to me. I am delighted with her explanation and patience.

“Julia told me you are … (here, she shakes her head somewhat like an Indian?).” “Why are you so forgetful?” Well, I am naturally forgetful. I am born this way. She made a valid point, “If you really make this (which refers to being in audit) your career, you will naturally be focused.” Well said, I don’t deny it. But, the thing is, I don’t naturally remember numbers like Auntie Julia.

Anyhow, I am grateful to Ashley for being patient to me. If she had shouted at me, I wouldn’t give her a dime and I would harbour deep hatred towards her. But, she was patient to me. I am willing to work harder for her. Joseph, is audit a job or a career for you? Or none of the above?

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