It’s 11:00 pm as I head down the elevator to lower Broadway in the Wall Street District in Manhattan. “How long will it take me to flag a cab?” I ponder in the elevator. This is the 10th day in a row we have worked 7:30 am -11:00 pm trying to finish the Continental Grain audit before the owner sails for France in his for real yacht. It won’t be the last for sure.
As I hit the revolving doors, two cabs are parked outside. Lucky day, I think. Then I notice one is holding a sign out the window that says Arthur Young. Where did that come from? I hop in and sink down for my 20 minute ride to the upper West Side. When asked, the cabbie doesn’t know who ordered him there.
Six hours later I stand on the subway still wondering about last night. When I head into the auditors room, I discover the partner on the job, the guy we see maybe once an audit, made sure that happened.
Let me elaborate.
When I joined Arthur Young’s New York office as one of 100 new accounting grads, I was told in training that only 7 of 10 would make it through the first year. Thirty pink slips are coming. Further, roughly 12 would make it to Manager, and only 5 -7 would make Partner. Needless to say, the firm had us motivated and willing to work overtime on a salary to make sure we made the cut.
Four months earlier, I was sitting in the employee lounge, unassigned and wondering if I would get another assignment to insure I made the cut. Getting assigned to Continental Grain was a mixed blessing. Auditing international commodity contracts between multiple sister companies is tricky at best, and the trader bonus system required extremely careful auditing. Not everyone got invited back, and I was still a Southerner in King Wall Street’s Court.
So, in the midst of some very stressful days, this one act of kindness and appreciation really hit home. We finished the audit, and I knew I had found a team for whom I wanted to stay and play.
I don’t remember much about commodity accounting or my two years at Arthur Young. But I remember this story, and I understand why Gallup’s Q5 can create a lifetime memory: My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
Go ahead and be that person today! The results could last a lifetime!