We have an accountant. She looks like my Aunt Sara and is very friendly and competent and I'm totally confident that if I follow her advice it will be unlikely I'll do any time for tax fraud.
But, boy, can she talk.
The company she works for has a service for small-potatoes businesses like ours, where they will teach you to use accounting software at home. Then, once a month, or quarter, or whatever you decide, they will stand over your shoulder and make sure you're not screwing it up.
It's a great service that's going to save us a bundle this year, when we could really use the money on things like a new computer and X-rays for the dogs*.
But I'm not a math guy. Never have been. I'm one of those math phobics, and I get hives when it's time to divvy up the bill at a restaurant. I haven't taken a math course since trigonometry in 1992, and poor, patient Mrs. Cihocki never understood why I just didn't do my homework (it frightened me).
Of course, her karmic vindication is I have been elected to be our company's bookkeeper.
Yesterday I had an appointment to get everything set up. The accountant told me to "be ready to sit here for a couple hours." I was going to get a total immersion course in Quickbooks Pro, and it was going to take some time.
I blocked out 2 hours in my schedule.
Can you say, 4 hours? After the third hour I was just calculating in my head how much I would owe her for this session. She gets $60 an hour for this training service, which is pretty reasonable.
Then I started thinking, that's a dollar a minute. Oh, God. There goes another dollar. Wow, I wonder if she'll be done 9 dollars from now.
Soon everything she said lost all meaning. All I heard was "Then you want to select the feature in the drop-down menu dollar dollar, dollar-dollars dollar dollar dollar."
As I stumbled into the parking lot, sorely in need of a sandwich and a nap, I felt like I had just been abducted by aliens: a little disoriented and time was elastic.
We have another appointment next week, and before I go I think I'm going to send a note to Amnesty International apprising them of my location in case I turn up missing.
*This time it was Maddy. She ate something in the back yard that gave her gas so loud I at first thought a 1988 Volvo sedan was outside our house with a flooded engine. She was drooling and puking, just enough to where the vet said, "Yeah, bring her in." Nothing on the X-Rays. She's fine now. I guess she thought we just had $162 too much in our checking account this week. Good dog.