Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

The Most Horrifying Prometric Story I Have Ever Heard

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.

Doing It Wrong Twitter Case Study: The Chronic Over-Sharer

Following our previous Doing It Wrong Twitter Case Studies, today we present you with a pretty common tweeter who can be found across any industry, not only our own precious accounting set: the chronic over-sharer.

The chronic over-sharer doesn’t understand that when Twitter asks “what are you doing?” it actually means “what are you doing or interested in that you think might be appropriate to share with the Internet community at large?” This means the over-sharer can mistake Twitter for a translator plugged directly into their own streaming consciousness as well as a diet journal, a livejournal, a teenage journal and a best friend who actually cares to hear what the over-sharer had for breakfast that morning.

The over-sharer doesn’t realize that most people – especially those in our somewhat small accounting niche – don’t care what they ate nor what they think if the thoughts are translated all hours of the day and come out mostly as angry gibberish and inflammatory nonsense. To the over-sharer, losing followers by the handful after each obnoxious tweet doesn’t mean anything, Twitter simply exists as an avenue for their consciousness. Like the audacity of sending out extensive Christmas letters each year to family members you haven’t spoken to in years, it takes a lot of guts to blitz Twitter with personal details while ignoring proper traditions of behavior. Remember, this is the accounting industry we’re talking about. While the over-sharer can be found in any niche, their behavior is especially noticeable in ours as we’re known for being a conservative lot.

No one is suggesting people can’t use Twitter to communicate or flaunt their personalities but there is a line and in our profession it’s important to follow that. You won’t have much luck snagging clients or getting hired if you’re using Twitter to blast coworkers or talk about your personal digestive issues.

Some tweeters get the balance just right, like Francine McKenna and Shane Eloe. See? You can be chatty – even snarky – but please refrain from telling the entire Internet about the consistency of your cat’s puke or about your super obnoxious senior whose head you’d like to chop off. It isn’t cute and you’re forgetting the Internet is forever. That means you might be able to delete the offending tweets once you realize you’ve been acting like an ass on Twitter but the damage to your reputation (or brand) can carry on long after the tweets have been zapped.

Just don’t do it. Keep it professional, people. Lively, conversational and a little personal but professional. Pretend like your boss, colleagues, and all former and future employers have your tweets streaming to their desktops at all hours of the day and remember: no one cares what you ate for lunch unless it’s food porn (SFW) and you happened to eat it with an accounting industry rockstar.

How Not to Get Unfollowed on Twitter

The last time I attempted a “How Not to Be a Total Asshat on the Internet” public service message in this arena, I was torn apart for being too harsh so I’ll leave out the specifics and stick to the suggestions. You know who you are.

Keep in mind that what works for some doesn’t work for others and vice versa; we’re specifically talking about how to fit in with the accounting crew, not alienating clients, not come off as too spammy and/or maintain a reasonable professional profile using your Twitter account as a point of contact to your brand. All of you are more than welcome to do whatever you want with your Twitter accounts, the following is meant for professionals or brands.

Actually interact – No one is suggesting you follow every person who follows you or go on some mass following spree to artificially inflate your Internet popularity for appearance’s sake but a good balance of @s with following shows some level of interaction. A lot of firms miss this one and organizations can make the mistake of focusing strictly on their own message and ignoring what others are saying. Don’t do that, jump in and say something.

If the thought ever crosses my mind that you might be a robot, you’re probably not doing it right – You know the one; they have the same not-quite-normal headshot as their avatar and profile shot for every hot social media service available and not a single candid pic of this person “in action.” We don’t suggest drunken Facebook shots to remedy this but it would be nice to confirm that the person behind the account is, in fact, a person with a tweet that doesn’t seem prefabricated or a picture that deviates from the Headshot Series 1. When it’s a little too perfect, it appears suspect. People are less likely to enjoy your message if they are too busy wondering whether or not you’re a machine when reading it.

There is a such thing as TMII’m guilty of this one and it’s because I’m really not trying to masquerade as a total professional. Nor am I representing my company when I’m out there tweeting about the crackheads hitting on me at the gas station or meter maids terrorizing me with parking tickets. For some, interacting goes too far and gets way too personal. If you are attempting to represent or have at all associated yourself with your company, be aware that there is still a such thing as privacy. Even if you are only followed by a handful of people, your tweets reach the entire Internet.

RTs and FFs – And please for the love of Bob Herz don’t thank everyone for every RT, nor be the “all day #FF” guy. If you’re spending half your Friday #FFing everyone, you’re A) making unnecessary noise and B) diluting the value you add by suggesting helpful people to follow. Stick to a handful if you’re going to do it all instead of spewing out half your following list.

Oh and auto DMs? They were never really cool and to me they say that you’re too busy to actually say anything to me and inconsiderate of how cluttered my inbox can get. Sorry if this offends anyone who is in love with their own “brilliant” auto DM but I see them as obnoxious. Add to the conversation, not the noise.