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There’s a Bright Side to Getting Snowed in on an Audit and It’s Good Oral Hygiene

Thank you all for the outpouring of cards and letters regarding my recent brush with scurvy. One educated Internet user has informed me that I can go up to 60 days without vitamin C before contracting scurvy, which means I don’t have to grocery shop until spring. Yay!

I’ve been thinking recently about all our CPA brethren in Boston suffering through miserable buckets of snow. MY POOR BOSTON BRETHREN! Your weather sucks, and your hockey team might not even make the playoffs. We all know it’s only a matter of time before your esteemed goalie kicks another milk crate into the screaming crowd. (Lookin’ at YOU, Tuukka Rask.)

Snowmageddon in Boston reminds me of that time I got snowed in at work, also fondly known as the worst night of my LIFE.

In Detroit, it never stops snowing or freezing or sucking. We got the most snow in the country last year, you guys. Chicago bitches about their snowy burden while Detroit quietly suffers with a kind of post Chapter 9 bankruptcy stoic dignity, burning tires and abandoned buildings just to survive, as across the river in Canada, Windsor quietly laughs. Driving to work in a blizzard is pretty bad. But so is being trapped in a blizzard with your co-workers like that movie where the plane crashed and the survivors eventually turned to cannibalism.

I have enough nutritional problems without having to eat one of my greasy coworkers.

We really did get snowed in. We had a busy season deadline on our biggest client, and of course we were behind because it was the worst audit ever. You all know how that feels – rushing through workpapers and answering the same review note over and over again, just watching the clock turn. As the hours passed on, I started to panic. Midwestern panic, not Boston panic.

5:05 PM – LOL, you’re not leaving.
7:14 PM – I go pick up dinner for the team (and spit in the manager’s zesty bean burrito) and realize that it’s been snowing heavily for the past four hours. I barely made it back to the audit room with my life because the roads were unplowed. (Thanks, Detroit.) Why not delivery? Why Chipotle? Why?
8:36 PM – Team still typing. Check GC for updates. Busy Season Zen post about a fat cat exercising! YAY! Thanks, AG. I wonder if it’s still snowing. No window in audit room so cannot verify.
9:42 PM – Intern says, after coming back in after smoke break, “Hey, manager – there’s like eight inches of snow out there. Can we leave soon?” LOL.
9:58 PM – Partner comes into the audit room. “Guys, I’m about to head out. You guys know we’re working on a tight deadline, but the roads aren’t safe, so –“ and here is when I close my laptop lid. VICTORY. He was about to spring us. “I bought you all these.” He hands us each a toothbrush and not the individually wrapped kind either. He pulls each toothbrush out of a cheap store-brand multi-pack and passes them around.
10:57 PM – Partner leaves. A tumbleweed passes through the audit room. I reopen my laptop lid. Slowly.
11:04 PM – Still auditing.
MIDNIGHT – The lights shut off. “Keep working,” the manager says. “You guys all have plenty of light from your laptops. We have to call security to get the lights switched back on.”
12:07 AM – Lights back on. Team member is missing, possibly eaten by another team member.
1:03 AM – Still auditing.
3:27 AM – Still auditing. I passed the CPA exam for this shit? Okay, I know that I’m not necessarily working in a sweat shop sewing together oven mitts, but I MIGHT AS WELL BE. TRUST ME. I know a shitty work condition when I see it. I worked my way through college managing a corner drug store and kicking out the bums who passed out in our waiting room and mopping up their vomit. This was worse. Tell me my work situation wasn’t that bad on a day when I’m not crammed elbow to elbow with a pack of newly minted auditors in a windowless audit room with a brand new toothbrush sitting next to my stack of external work paper binders.

By 4:47 AM, sixteen inches of snow had fallen across the city, nothing was plowed, and our cars were impossible to move. We ended up trudging through the snow to the hotel across the street with our new toothbrushes (thanks, partner). I guess I should be grateful that we didn’t sleep under our desks.

Our manager told us to meet back at the client site by 8 AM and no excuses because we weren’t driving. This prestigious accounting firm resume experience had better be worth it. At least my teeth were clean, which really helps when you're worried they might rot out due to scurvy.