October 31, 2020

#BusySeasonProblems: Avoiding Scurvy

Yesterday I realized –- to my feigned horror — that I haven’t eaten a piece of fruit in over five months. Five months? Yeah, something like that. I’ve been eating firm-provided meals at my desk and pilfering Rice Krispy Treats and pretzel sticks from the audit room snack drawer for as far back as I can remember. I haven’t ventured to the grocery store since Labor Day. I know this because I found a half-eaten package of "all-beef" hotdogs in the bottom of my veggie drawer yesterday dated “Best by 9.30.14.”

Accounting has turned me into a fast-food-eat-while-I’m-working junkie. But are there more people like me? You know the type: Eating chicken fried rice out of Styrofoam take-out trays at our desks, too stressed to eat a fibrous salad and without the time to cook an honest meal?

Maybe accounting is slowly killing all of us. Imagine if we're all so busy with our filing deadlines that we had no time to eat fruit, and imagine if we all developed land scurvy. The Great CPA Scurvy Scare of 2015. The AICPA would be ALL OVER THAT. I’m sure it’s not the grossest thing a CPA’s been infected with given the intra-office hookups we’ve all witnessed, but think of all the accounting-related PIRATE JOKES a CPA Scurvy Scare would spawn.

Why did the pirate accountant fail AUD?

He got a seventy-FARRRRRGH.

Which part of the CPA exam did the pirate accountant fail twice?

FARRRRR

My time spent in the audit room reminds me (bitterly) of the things I haven’t had time to do recently:

Eat fruit Most definitely not eating fruit. Unless fruit-flavored snacks count. I know we need the vitamins in fruit to live. But that takes grocery shopping, and grocery shopping takes time, and during busy season, ain’t nobody got time for that. CPAs who have their lives together and can manage to maintain a healthy lifestyle –- how do you do it?

Work out Only the lucky folks at PwC who have those walking treadmill desks can stay fit during this time of year. “Let me go ahead and answer these review notes while I’m walking on a treadmill in these high heels and nylons I wore to the office this morning…”

Laundry My co-worker hasn’t washed a load of laundry in four weeks. “Too busy,” she said. She claims to spray down her sweaters with Febreze every couple of days, as if Febreze is intended as a substitute for good old soap and water. “When am I supposed to find time to wash my clothes when we’re working until 11pm?” Jeez, woman, a machine does all the washing anyway, it's not like you have to beat your sweater against a rock yourself. I’m behind on laundry, too, but I’ll start dropping my clothes off at that “pay by the pound” laundromat on my way to the client site at 7am before I start turning sweaters inside out.

Riddle me this: If we’re all working at our desks, heads down in the Excel workbooks, until all odd hours of the night, eating slimy chicken tenders and salty fries from a Styrofoam Big Boy tray, how do we find time to grocery shop or work out or launder our clothes?

I can’t make it until April without at least a piece of fruit because I’ve now convinced myself that I’m going to die a scurvy-related death. I stopped by the gas station this morning on my way to work and bought a bottle of orange juice and a banana. Here goes nothing, down the hatch.

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