The Practitioner: Summertime blues

WHEN one of the partners is away on holiday it is always interesting to see how the mood within the office changes.

It is pretty safe to say that the change in mood is a change for the better, nine times out of ten. Spirits rise and, as a result, productivity seems to increase.

The staff themselves are in an even better mood when it comes to their annual leave approaching. I’ve always been a believer that when a staff member books a two week holiday you actually lose four weeks of productivity; one week before the holiday, the two weeks of the holiday, and then the week after the holiday when they get back and spend most of their time showing the photographs, telling the funny stories, and moaning about how they want to go and live there full time. With some members of staff I would gladly pay the airfare myself for them to go…

Summertime also brings with it the obligatory work experience students. We say “yes” every year to the high school placement pupil, the graduate looking for some work experience to put on their CV, and the son or daughter of one of our clients who wants to show their teenager what life is like working in the real world.

We get a mixed bag of results every year. Most of them are work-shy, spoilt, and have no interest in any sort of career that doesn’t involve sitting around all day doing nothing while their parents put money in their bank account for them. Good luck with that one.

I enjoy giving feedback to the client whose daughter has worked with us for the past two weeks and done nothing but complained about having to make brews, wash up, do the filing, and lots of other office junior type tasks.

I always lie to the client and tell them how wonderful their child has been, how it has been a pleasure to have her, and how she is destined for a fantastic career in accountancy.

I really hope the parents take my advice and force their kids into accountancy. I’m sure they will thank me one day; if I’m not on holiday that is…

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The Practitioner