Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ode to Busy Season 2011

So this busy season has been absolute hell.  Oh but I can hear you saying, “Athena, aren’t you an auditor? Yes?  Well of COURSE your busy season was hell.  You should know to expect as much after a few years in the profession!”  Well, yeah, but this year was more hellish than usual.  Without boring you with too much detail, our management decided that all of our jobs were copy+paste templates of each other and that they could rip established teams apart with reckless abandon to deal with staffing shortages.  Sorry, but a large, complex, multi-layered job is not the same as a little bitty job with 2 weeks of fieldwork and one week of wrap-up.  It can’t handle the same stress, and it is that much easier for everything to crash and burn.
Then I noticed that virtually every Evanescence song are so very applicable to the situation.  You don’t even have to change 85% of the lyrics, which I discovered when I decided that this busy season needed its own anthem. 
So, without further ado, I give you:
Ode to Busy Season 2011
(sung to the tune of Evanescence My Immortal, minimum recommended blood alchohol level of .12%, goth-style music video optional)
I’m so tired of being here
And still the end is nowhere near
And even when I leave
I can’t really just leave
You’re like a storm over my head
And you won’t leave me alone
These wounds won’t seem to heal
This pain is just too real
There’s just too much that time cannot erase
When I cried, ‘twas you who caused my tears
When I screamed, ‘twas you who caused my fears
I’ve been imprisoned all of these years
And you still have all of me.
You used to captivate me
By your resonating light
But by your light I’m
Burned and blinded
Workpapers haunt
My once-pleasant dreams
Review notes chased away
All the sanity in me
These wounds won’t seem to heal
This pain is just too real
There’s just too much that time cannot erase
When I cried, ‘twas you who caused my tears
When I screamed, ‘twas you who caused my fears
I’ve been imprisoned all of these years
And you still have all of me.
I’ve tried so hard to keep my head above the surface
My arms are so heavy; always been destined to drown ….

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Burning the Koran

Sometime last month, on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” Time Magazine World Editor Bobby Ghosh said the following:
“The Bible is a book written by men.  It is acknowledged by Christians that it is written by men.  But the Koran … is directly the word of God.  That makes it sacred in a way that is hard to understand if you are not Muslim.  So the act of burning a Koran is much more inflammatory than if you were to burn a Bible.”
He is correct that there is a difference in how the Muslims and the Christians see their respective Scriptures (would someone please remind the overzealous Evangelicals?).  But it’s not fair to the Christian belief that Scripture was “divinely inspired” to say that the Bible was “written by men.”  If you are curious about exactly what “divinely inspired” means and what it implies, catholicanswers.org is a great resource.  But this topic is tangential to what I really want to talk about, so I won’t go into it here.
From what I read, Mr. Ghosh was discussing the relative sacredness of Muslim and Christian Scriptures to explain why we see such strong, violent reactions from the Muslim world whenever someone burns (or threatens to burn) a Koran.  Also, by extension, why Christians are comparatively calm when the converse happens. 
But the relative sacredness of Koran vs. Bible doesn’t explain the disparity in reaction.  For example, let’s take the Eucharist (body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ), which is infinitely more sacred than the direct word of God.  There are plenty of examples of actual or threatened Eucharist desecration – google or youtube “Eucharist desecration” and you’ll see what I mean.  But do you see Catholics getting violent?  Noooo.  Why not?  Well, most of us live in societies where most people have an inherent respect for the rule of law and individual rights (i.e. in this case, the offending individual’s right not to be murdered / violently assaulted).  But also, you don’t solve anything when you retaliate by depriving someone else of their sacred, God-giving right to life. 
So let’s go back to the Koran-burning, shall we?  Shall we get all violent / murderous in response?  In comparison with the desecration committed by burning the holy book, murdering someone created in the image of God in response is an infinitely greater desecration.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dear friends at the FASB ...

Hehehe !!!

The FASB out of touch with reality?  You don't say ....

Check out this post at Going Concern

(Psst - see the "AthenaC" character in the comments?  That's me!)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Death of bin Laden

I am not all that timely in bringing my thoughts together – it can take a while for how I want to say things to coalesce.
I have been struggling with how to organize my thoughts on this – more like a series of gut reactions.  I didn’t really have an initial emotional reaction to his death – I just don’t do initial emotional reactions.  To big things, anyway.  But then I started seeing “Rot in hell!” and the like on Facebook, and my reaction was “How ugly!”  I get that he’s an awful person, and we have a vested interest in seeing him dead, but it just seems so awful and hateful to take pleasure in someone’s violent death.  Regardless of how much that person would have celebrated OUR violent death.
Then I start to see things like “hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that” or some such.  Invariably the people that are posting these things are coming across as self-righteous and holier-than-thou.  My reaction: “how snotty!”
Long after we got the news and my husband and I drank our celebratory beers, I think I have finally figured out what my reaction is.  I’m glad.  Very glad.  If I had the time, I would be dancing in the street, waving a flag, and chanting “USA!  USA!” along with the rest of ‘em.  It’s not that I relish the thought of Osama’s violent death – as much as 9/11 felt like a punch in the stomach, I don’t feel any anger or hatred for him.  After a couple of awful exes, I have had much practice in moving forward emotionally, and there isn’t anything that I can’t forgive and move past.  Not forget, mind you, just move past it emotionally.  So since I feel so neutral, why am I happy at the news?  Well, I’ll tell you:
1)      We have neutralized a security threat
2)      We have sent a strong message to anyone thinking about attacking us: If you do, we will hunt you down and kill you.  See exhibit A: Osama bin Laden.
3)      We have the military and intelligence capability to successfully execute #1 and #2
All of that is reason enough to celebrate, so why get all caught up in revenge?  He can’t hurt anyone ever again, and that’s all I need to know.  There is plenty to be happy about without crossing the line and getting excited over someone’s death, and frankly it’s really snooty to assume that everyone who is celebrating is caught up in bloodlust and revenge.  That’s why the holier-than-thou posts rub me the wrong way so hard – they are assuming that because someone is celebrating, they are hating.  Nowhere close to true.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Prostitution vs. Auditing

You know, I'm really not sure I got the better end of the deal -

10) You get to choose your clients.
9) Hotel, etc. expenses are directly billed.
8) You actually receive that high hourly rate clients are paying for you.
7) No dress code.
6) Close client interaction at all times.
5) You are working nights anyway.
4) Finally a way to fit exercise into a tight schedule.
3) Continual feedback - every two hours or so.
2) Not tied down working with a team (unless you want to be).
1) Either way you are still getting screwed.

And some more -

Are you a prostitute or an auditor?

You work very odd hours.

You are paid a lot of money to keep your client happy.

You are paid well but your pimp gets most of the money.

You spend a majority of your time in a hotel room.

You charge by the hour but your time can be extended for the right price.

You are not proud of what you do.

Creating fantasies for your clients is rewarded.

It's difficult to have a family.

You have no job satisfaction.

If a client beats you up, the pimp just sends you to another client.

You are embarrassed to tell people what you do for a living.

People ask you, "What do you do?" and you can't explain it.

Your family hardly recognizes you at reunions (at least the reunions you attend.)

Your friends have distanced themselves from you and you're left hanging with only other

Your client pays for your hotel room plus your hourly rate.

Your client always wants to know how much you charge and what they get for the money.

Your pimp drives nice cars like Mercedes or BMWs.

Your pimp encourages drinking and you become addicted to drugs to ease the pain.

You know the pimp is charging more than you are worth but if the client is foolish enough to pay it's not your problem.

When you leave to go see a client, you look great, but return looking like hell (compare your appearance on Monday AM to Friday PM).

You are rated on your "performance" in an excruciating ordeal.

Even though you get paid the big bucks, it's the client who walks away smiling.

The client always thinks your "cut" of your billing rate is higher than it actually is, and in turn, expects miracles from you.

When you deduct your "take" from your billing rate, you constantly wonder if you could get a better deal with another pimp.

Everyday you wake up and tell yourself, "I'm not going to be doing this stuff the rest of my life."