As the year nears an end, I couldn’t help but quickly recap key events. I was blessed enough to graduate from Morehouse College (despite the drama and disputesregarding my graduation), obtain employment at the best Big 4 accounting firm in the world; Deloitte & Touche Tomatsu Limited, and break my ex girlfriend’s emotional hold that has been haunting me for about a year.
I’m relieved and thankful for these blessings; however, when one problem leaves another arrives. I’ve been working at Deloitte Bahamas since mid August, 2010 and, unfortunately, I have yet to form a friendship with anyone at the firm. Rumor has it, I think too highly of myself. Staff are of the impression that I have a pompous “better than common-folk” attitude.
During an EPR (Peer Evaluation Review) meeting with my audit senior, I found that both my work and attitude at work were poor and unacceptable. Client managers and executives believe that I lack enthuisasm, energy and vigor – they don’t think I want to audit. To them it seems as though I’m not fully involved in the audit, and I may not be completely certain of how to perform. In my defense in my rebuttal I mentioned that my nonchalant attitude was not directly related to the audit and that it may appear that I am unfamiliar with the audit due to poor training and my sudden introduction to unfamiliar environments. Moving from one audit to another so quickly can be a bit daunting. So far, I have yet to work in one location for over a month. I have been moved from one audit to the next, and forced to work under people that I don’t know. Not only do I not know these people, these people tend to give unclear instructions – instructions based on the assumption that I am fully familiar with all Deloitte formalities. There have been a lot of high expectations.
If you were to ever meet me, you would understand that I possess a relatively laid-back demeanor; I am not easily excitable. It takes quite a bit to enthuse me; therefore, it may appear that I am both lost and disinterested. This is not the case. I want to work at the firm, it’s just taking me some to become accustomed to my new environment. It doesn’t help that I have yet to make a friend at the office.
After the EPR, I took some time to really think about my work as an auditor, and to ask myself some serious questions. Do I really like auditing? Is auditing and assurance truly my passion? Do the other employees show more passion about their work than I do? While contemplating these thoughts, I found that auditing was not the most exciting profession in the world, and it may not be my personal legend or life purpose, but it is what I have been called to do right now. Auditing and assurance may not be my true passion, but the other employees don’t show more enthuisasm than me. They only seem happy because they socialize during and after work more than I do. I don’t have anyone to socialize with at the office. Anyone I speak to appears intimidated and uneasy, I am not gunning to get your job. Initially my goal was to assure employment at one of the Big 4 accounting firms. Once that goal was realized, I was to feel a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment, but I do not.
As a new employee in a multi-million dollar firm, I end up doing the ‘grunt’ work – the work no one else wants to do but has to be done for firm betterment. After spending four years at Morehouse and toiling through coursework, assignments and lengthy papers, it seems unfair to have to fold and mail confirmation envelopes. I want more challenging tasks, tasks that I can feel proud about accomplishing. Furthermore, there is a cry for me to be more personable. How can I be a social butterfly (more personable) if I’m of the impression that I’m doing the company’s dirty work? Countless times I’ve been called upon to complete proofing checklists, fold envelopes, mail confirmations, perform tedious control tests, administer inventory counts and purchase lunch for senior professionals and managers. Is this what I’ve studied so hard for? Am I obliged to perform these remedial tasks? I’m not impressed with the treatment I’ve received at Deloitte these past few months.
To add insult to injury, the ‘word’ in the office is that I am a “Morehouse Man,” which apparently means that I’m an egotistical male that struggles with the idea of female authority figures and relish wearing flashy, flamboyant attire for the sake of vanity. How did I get myself in this predicament? It seems as though everything is going wrong. My manager, who happens to be THE MOST domineering female in the office, has reasoned that I dislike her because of her position as an authority. I offered to buy her lunch in a feeble last stitch effort to show her that I was a kind-hearted guy, but the lady declined. Subtle indications of the notion that I may spit in her food if I were to purchase her lunch have passed me. What type of madness have I entered at this firm?
Working at Deloitte has allowed me to discover that the employees at the firm see work as a social venue. I’ve been strongly encouraged to attend firm socials and parties. On the occasions that I obliged, I was taken aback at the nature of Deloitte employees; they are party animals. The firm has its own world outside of the workplace. Professionals in the workplace, party animals behind………wait there were no closed doors. They aren’t sexually promiscuous, but they do “let all hang loose.” This concerns me.
While at an audit, my senior was decorating the Balmoral for a Christmas party with other members of the Social Committee while I needed assistance with performing a revenue control test. How can you reason decorating for a Christmas party as an issue of higher priority over assisting a junior professional. I have heard that there’s is a sink or swim environment, but I would think the seniors would be doing some other work.
Recently, I met a former Deloitte employee at St. Gregory’s Church a few Sundays ago. She seemed level-headed, attractive, highly concerned with hygiene, and in search of a boyfriend. She advanced to Senior Professional at Deloitte, passed her CPA exam and began her own stay-at-home accounting firm in September, 2009, one year prior to my Morehouse graduation ceremony. I hadn’t had the time to question her about the nature of the firm, and how she was able to cope with the firm’s party culture. I plan on doing so at our next rendezvous.
As the sole owner of home-based accounting practice, she developed a website, placed ads in the newspapers and formed a small but impressive clientele. I admire her entrepreneurial spirit. I was thrilled to unearth that we both live in the same constituency, share the same religious and moral beliefs, and both are passionate about the well-being of Bahamian youth.
Asking her out for something to eat, has crossed my mind for the past few days, but we only met once for a few minutes after church. There’s a lot that I still need to know about this girl, and I’m hesitant about jumping into another relationship/friendship. My last relationship ended with me losing, what I thought was, a friend.
So basically, all is well in my world apart from the negative EPRs and me needing to fix the damaged front headlight on the Chevy Epica (2005), which I intentionally failed to mention previously. I try to keep the thought of repairing the car out of my mind. It’s about 5 years old and already has its fair share of dings, dents and broken parts, but its worth repairing. My dad constantly reminds me that I should fix it before water finds it way into the headlights and increases repair costs, but I ignore him. I want to spend my money on other things.
So far, I’ve saved a little less than $3000 towards graduate school and my GRE test scores should be in the mail by the end of this month (3 days). Hopefully, I’m able to garner enough support from my college professors for two more letters of recommendation, and then apply for a Lyford Cay Foundation fellowship in March (2011).
Before I leave I want to quickly address something that has been agitating me for a few years now.
Ever since my Junior year in college, my peers and those in authority have been following my lead. Why follow me? Why mimic what I do? Why watch me so hard? (Excuse the Bahamian expression.) Any regular person takes this as a compliment, but it worries me. People begin to confuse the original with the mirror image – the phony individual incapable of setting his or her own standard. I want to be my own person. I want my own identity. I prefer to associate with those who confidently follow their own path; discover themselves without external or peer driven influences. I respect independent thinkers, people who form their own template for success. Weak-minded individuals follow other people, not leaders. Shouldn’t we all strive to be leaders? The world would be more interesting if everyone would try to stand out, differentiate themselves, or at least have the courage to be themselves. No one ever found fame, fortune or even happiness through ‘mirror imaging.’
And this song is not me following Wiz Khalifa’s lead, it’s simply me enjoying the music of someone that has decided to blaze their own path to success. Enjoy!