It was only yesterday that we learned about a PwC partner that was thrown a curve when their regular pianist up and cancelled for a Monday night fiesta. The partner, not wanting to disappoint/disgust his guests, challenged everyone he knew to find the stones to stand up and say, “Yes, I play piano and I am courageous and I will dazzle your guests and be ‘well fed’ in the process!”
Frankly, we had our doubts this would get pulled off. Fortunately for this partner and his guests, a small miracle occurred:
. . . and the answer is, we’re courageous and talented! I received quite a few offers from people willing to play or with ideas on friends or relatives who could possibly help us out. More importantly, we received a number of replies from people simply stating that they wish they could help out and that they wish they had maintained their piano studies. So, what should we make of this little episode in our lives here at PwC? First, it is a reminder that at PwC we act like family and help each other out.
Second, it is a reminder that we have many courageous people who are willing to step up to a challenge. In a later note, I will highlight some of the individuals who responded and volunteered. In today’s note, I simply want to highlight the contributions of Craig Wilderman, the individual chosen to play last night. Craig played beautifully despite the fact that he hasn’t been playing regularly in recent times. Craig displayed an ability to jump from music genre to music genre — he was actually quite impressive. Perhaps the final message I have for you today is that when you can steal a moment or two away, it is probably a good idea to rekindle old passions and hobbies. I believe that Craig found sharing his piano talent with us last night to be very personally rewarding as well.
First, how annoying would it be to read the emails from “people simply stating that they wish they could help out and that they wish they had maintained their piano studies.” Save it people. What you’re really saying is, “I can’t play a lick but I would if I could and I thought you should know that!” You’re wasting the man’s time. He needs talent, not your bullshit excuses about how you quit when you were a junior high.
But luckily there was a real hero in the mix. We did some snooping around and found a Craig Wilderman on LinkedIn who is in the vicinity but his keyboard talents are not anywhere on his profile. We felt confident that we had our man and we tried shooting him an email to get the scoop on 1) songs played – did he take requests? 2) the hottie situation 3) was he, in fact, “well fed” 4) what form the “external gratitude” has taken so far.
But the most important question for Craig is, is he considering leaving the confines of his cube to go on the road to provide his talents for other partners desperate for in-home talent at a modest charge? It sounds as though he could make a run at it but maybe he just needs some encouragement. We say, go for it Craig. We can’t bankroll you but are more than happy to provide moral support.
When you become a partner at a Big 4 firm, there are many unexpected challenges that you will face. You may have a trusted senior manager quit in the middle of busy season. You may discover that someone who you thought was your best friend is actually primo inventory from the jerk store. And if you’re really unlucky, you may get bombed at a happy hour (allegedly!), then slug a couple people (allegedly!), kiss a couple more (allegedly!), not remember a thing, claim that you were roofied and have a stranger call you up out of the blue and ask you about it.
Anyway, we’ve been informed of another bitch of a situation that can arise when you become partner – when the entertainment for your little soiree cancels on you at the last minute:
Date: 10/04/2010 01:24 PM
Subject: Are you courageous or just talented?
I am having an event at my home tonight and my normal pianist has canceled on short notice. This is a test of the courage of you as a group of people.
I know someone is out there in our midst who in their spare time is a really good pianist. I would be eternally thankful if those of you to whom this note applies, would volunteer to help me out tonight. I know we hire people with many talents — the question is — do you have the courage to display them? The event is from 6:00 – 9:00 PM in McLean. You will be well fed. If you are interested, please contact [redacted]. Hopefully we’ll get more than one taker, and we will figure out who we should use.
The fact of the matter is, my event this evening will survive the lack of a pianist. What I am really trying to figure out is what we as a people at pwc [Ed. note: nice usage of the low caps!] are made of.
Jesus. Talk about a conundrum. And since Big 4 partners don’t pull down the kind of dough that could afford them a short-notice call to Elton, Harry Connick, Jr., or even a cheap Liberace impersonator, throwing a line out into the employee talent pool was the only option this partner had.
Unfortunately, since this opportunity was on such short notice, anyone with the necessary skills that is now just learning about it is SOL. With any luck however, you can volunteer your services as a solid pinch-hitter for future reference. God knows how that comes in handy.
Presumably you don’t have to be the next Mozart but if you can pull off some singalongs such as “Piano Man,” “Friends in Low Places,” and “Sweet Caroline” that will go a long way to nailing down that “eternal” gratitude (for a future event of course).