I am a numbers person … sort of. To be more precise, I chose a numbers oriented career without realizing that I wasn’t particularly skilled at “crunching” them.
At some point in my youth, I decided it was a good idea to pursue the highest level of Canadian certification in accounting – a Chartered Accountant**.
I know! … exciting, right?!
I can’t say it was a bad decision. In hindsight, I had a very good career – although at the time I was focused primarily on just surviving – but over the years, my various bosses would despair over my ambivalence towards numbers.
I could find numbers, I could organize numbers, but I couldn’t “read” the stories they had to tell. They just didn’t talk to me in any meaningful way. At best we were nodding acquaintenances – never truly friends.
I had one boss simply sigh one day and say he hoped I didn’t actually tell people I was a Chartered Accountant. I think it is ironic that I eventually became his successor.
While I might have been terrible at “crunching numbers”, I had other talents that luckily for me were recognized and valued. I had a knack for getting things done and I was particularly talented at wrestling order out of chaos.
At a time when computer use was growing exponentially in business and computer programs were becoming increasingly complex, I was adept at conceptualizing requirements and completing systems conversions. I was considered an expert in data management, information privacy and security.
It didn’t matter that I couldn’t add 2 numbers together, or that I had a tendency to misplace the decimal point. If there was something that needed fixing, there was a high probability my phone would ring to investigate the problem. Much like other aspects of my life, I had the chance to play in many different sandboxes with people from the manufacturing floor to the CEO.
Yes – I consider myself a numbers person. They have a simplicity and elegance to them … I just recommend you double-check my calculations.
** the designation for Chartered Accountant (CA) has since been changed to Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)
Thank you for visiting today. I hope you enjoy today’s Nanaimo Bars.