So yesterday the BBC posted an article about the shitty bathroom etiquette of some employees at the Financial Conduct Authority, the regulator of the financial services industry in the U.K. And I’m not trying to be funny when I use the word “shitty.” People were “defecating on the floor in toilet cubicles,” according to FCA […]
Remember last week when I asked you guys for your horror stories tales from the CPA exam frontlines? So far a few have trickled in (come on, people, you guys complain about this ALL THE TIME, I know there are more) but I just had to share this one. Keep in mind I’ve heard it all over the years, so this has to be pretty awful to stand out to me. As you’re about to see, it is.
Now please, I know you guys favor juvenile humor and bathroom jokes (and by you guys I mean me) but let’s be adults for the three minutes it takes to read this story and feel a little sympathy for this candidate.
I wanted to share a story with you about my most recent exam. I, unfortunately, have to wear an ostomy bag due to health issues. When I took my exam, they did their pat down, and didn’t say a word. I don’t think they noticed that I wear a bag, as most people do not. During the exam, they came in and asked me to leave my terminal because they believe that I was carrying notes underneath my shirt.
I was questioned and searched in the room (in a professional way, I guess), but lost 10 minutes off of my test time as well as losing major concentration so they could “search” me for these mysterious notes of mine. Come to find out, it was just my beige ostomy bag that was showing. Shocker!
The embarrassment of wearing the bag is enough in itself, but being pulled away from a professional exam, losing both time and concentration, was a terrible experience. The people working at the location should have handled this in a more discreet manner. I still passed the exam, but it was a frustrating experience that could have waited until the end of the exam or when I took a break.
Didn’t something similar happen at a TSA checkpoint? As if we didn’t already think of Prometric lackeys as glorified airport security agents.
Now, nowhere in the candidate bulletin does it say candidates must loudly disclaim their medical devices to Prometric staff and declare them upon entry into the building. I imagine if someone had a broken wrist and was wearing a cast, the staff would be able to inspect said cast without issue before the candidate begins their exam but for this candidate, would it have gone any better if he or she had announced their special medical issue? Let’s be honest, this is awkward.
But for future reference… maybe candidates are expected to declare all medical devices? What next? Do you have to inform the Prometric staff if you’re packing a used tampon?!
Sorry. This post was already gross, might as well go all the way. I’m disgusted. In more ways than one.
It isn’t too late to get me your Prometric horror stories, though the bar has officially been set.
Over at our British sister site, AccountingWEB UK, the following problem was put to the group:
We have an employee at the practice where I work who constantly makes a pretty horrible snorting sound with the back of her throat. It happens all year but is worse when she has a cold, which she does at the moment.
Several colleagues have asked me to have a word with the partners to ask them to say something to her about it because they find it so distracting and even nauseating. Incidentally it’s an open plan office so it’s not like people can avoid hearing it.
So my question is, if I did have a word with the partners, is there anything they could actually do about it? And if not, should I tell them anyway just to get it recorded and so that I can tell my colleagues that I have had a word? Nobody feels close enough to her to talk to her quietly themselves, which would have been my instinctive first suggestion.
Okay, so after getting over the weirdness of idea of “recording” of this conversation just to prove it to your co-workers, we admit that this is serious work environment issue. We’ve all been there. That certain someone who, for whatever reason, feels necessary to dig deep in the far ranges of their physiology to get some phlegm out but just can’t seem to EXCUSE THEMSELVES to do so. Or see a doctor, because you know, there might be something seriously wrong that COULD KILL YOU.
And it doesn’t stop with the throat clearing. What about the the co-worker that sounds like Tony Soprano when they eat?
What about the dude that’s obviously enjoying those four to six sodas a day because you can hear him slurping from three cubicles away? And then there’s the subsequent burping. And not like frat boy burping; we’re talking about the gas that he tries to internalize quietly but it’s actually more annoying and disgusting than if he belched the entire alphabet. YOU FEEL ME?
So what to do? Well, first off, despite your desire to FLIP OUT and scream at the offender(s) in question, they probably aren’t even aware that they are causing you to throw up in your mouth a little bit every day. But you certainly don’t want to embarrass the person (maybe some of you do) and buying noise-canceling headphones for the entire office isn’t really economically feasible, so what’s the solution? Here are some initial thoughts:
1. Slipping he or she some Emily Post.
2. Quit your job.
3. Humming at audible levels. (We realize the risks associated with this approach but desperate times, amiright?)
4. Hiring a “personnel monitor” whose sole task is to quietly address these issues with the offender and to issue written warnings, fines and punishments depending on the repulsion level, number of individual co-worker complaints and simultaneous offenses (e.g. slurping and burping).
Seems like a good start. Now it’s your turn.
All firms realize that tax season is a grind and put up with various silly/downright stupid traditions for the sake of employees’ morale. There’s no work/life balance to speak so concessions are made. In anticipation for the annual tradition that is tax professionals raging on April 15th, FINS has compiled a few interesting traditions that are carried on by various firms. The idea, however, that men are walking around the office sporting the Grizzly Adams defies comprehension.
For you purists of the white collar world, facial hair makes you ill. The sight of five o’clock shadow is downright repulsive and anyone that isn’t shaving at least daily (except for the flesh-colored beard types) will not be dealt with a swift manner.
Unless of course you work at Traphagen & Traphagen CPAs LLC where the tradition of tax season beards goes back 40 years. At that length, it may precede any NHL playoff tradition of funky facial hair, “”At the close of business, they’ll troop into a conference room and together shave the beards they’ve been growing since the end of January.”
As you might expect there are client requests to send the remains to the IRS but unfortunately the partners don’t honor these requests.
As you well know, it’s key for all of you to stay as fully utilized as possible this busy season, and sometimes little things make all the difference.
A reader provided us with the following idea:
The strategically placed marker board will come in handy when all those great ideas pop into the grey matter.
Or you can just memorize Giants statistics.
Say what you will about the impracticalities of this set up but at least you won’t have to chase down a key.
We strongly encourage you to submit any chicanery that you might cook up this busy season. We’re here to help you stay sane.