Thursday, June 25, 2009

Why New York Is the Perfect Place for Auditors

Submitted to Company Newsletter in July 2009

I love the City. There’s so much to do and you’re never at a loss for bright, ambitious, enthusiastic characters. As the summer starts off, let’s all take time to appreciate the City. Let’s especially take time to appreciate being auditors in New York City. I know it sounds crazy, but there are so many reasons why New York City in the perfect place for auditors.

First, there’s the obvious. With the grid-like street system in Manhattan starting above Houston, the alphabetic avenues in Brooklyn starting past Prospect Park, and the sometimes confusing numeric streets and avenues of Queens, the City pretty much foots and cross foots itself.

The distance you walk from the train to the World Financial Center is long for a reason. It’s so you can crash more tourist pictures. I envision a pasty and slightly overweight Jan and Paul Goodman from Liberty City, Kansas posing for their family photo with Kenny and his braces and Cassie with a broken arm as they wear matching USA flag shirts and fanny packs in front of the Winter Garden. As they showcase the memento of the family trip on the fireplace mantle, they will always have to point out to their neighbors how some annoying New Yorker got in the background and ruined the picture. Yes, yes, that will be myself, immortalized in the Goodman’s family treasures, with sweat dripping down my face, cross strapped with computer bags and gym totes, and arms loaded with blue two-inch binders.

It’s a hot pick up line. In this epicenter for arts, culture, entertainment, fashion, etc, you meet the most fascinating people. It’s good to know I am one of those people. Oh, you interview celebrities for a living? I interviewed Jason Katsen in Cost Allocations for Sarbanes Oxley compliance just the other day. Hmm, you designed a runway show for Fashion Week? That reminds me of the time I designed the Management Rep Letter. Everyone was skeptical about moving the 32nd paragraph to the 33rd, but you know, we’re living in a post-modern age. It’s like I always say, “Join the zeitgeist or risk excluding a SFAS 161disclosure.”

Top Ten Internship Memories

Submitted to Company Newsletter in July 2009

I was a member of the Deloitte Intern Class of 2004. It was glorious. I recall lugging my Toshiba through the maze of subways, busses, and path trains.

  1. A fellow intern and I decided to see how long Manhattan was one day, so we took the subway to 215th street and walked to South Ferry.
  2. I made a lot of binders that summer, and I recall filling out “gray ropes“, which were just huge envelopes to ship binders back to the office to be archived. All interns and employees, be glad you don’t have to do those anymore.
  3. For our intern community service day, we painted park benches in the Harlem area of Central Park. I recall having to paint around people sleeping on the benches.
  4. I was assigned for two days at an international bank near Herald Square to reconcile the financial statements for a company using Polish GAAP to what they would be in US GAAP.
  5. I recall filling out paper timesheets and faxing them in. Maybe that was just for interns.
  6. One afternoon, my senior at the engagement was explaining something to me. I don’t recall what it was because I fell asleep right in front of her. I ran into her at a happy hour a year ago, and she brought it up.
  7. We also went to a Yankees game one day. As I walked in, someone handed me a t-shirt. My fellow interns were curious why only I received one. Turns out, it was Free T-Shirt Day for kids under 13.
  8. I was once assigned to an engagement in Brooklyn. Everyone told me it was a bad part of town. I looked it up when I moved back to the city to start working full-time. Turns out, the engagement was in now-uber-gentrified Williamsburg. I should have been buying up properties in B-burg when I was out there auditing.
  9. One of my clients was in Jersey City. My parents were worried that I was travelling between states for work. It just sounded so far away.
  10. Honestly, I still consider some of my fellow interns among my closest friends, so I encourage all the 2009 interns to take savor the summer and make the most of your internship experience by learning as much as possible on the engagements and keeping in touch with your fellow interns and teammates. For those who were interns at Deloitte, why not send an email or call up someone from your summer past.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Party Predictions

I wrote these party predictions a year or so ago while I was on Jury Duty.

So while waiting for jury duty, take three, to commence, I have started composing the below list of party predictions for Saturday:

1. You will inevitably end up playing that one Justin Timberlake song, whose name escapes me right now, reconnect with your inner Michael Jackson and create a new dance move the likes of which the world has never seen. A couple people will go blind from the sheer brilliance of it. Unfortunately, it will be a one-time freak occurrence, and you'll spend the rest of your life unsuccessfully trying to recreate the magic of that one night. The two bystanders rendered blind will always resent the fact they lost their sense of sight in vain. That's two less facebook friends.

2. Bobby will perfect the BGE, its presence will spread to the nearby UN building. Delegates still at work or settling down for a good night's sleep in the neighborhood, will sense the importance in the night, feel drawn like magnets to the 7th floor of 245 East 40th and catch the tail end of Bobby's sweet moves as the line "Call on Me" reverberates in the air. Enraged at the possibility of losing a national treasure like Bobby, strings will be pulled, red tape will be removed and Bobby will be allowed, nay, required to stay in the U.S. Unfortunately, he will not be able to stay in New York, as he will be touring the U.S. as the opening act for the Jonas Brothers for the next five years, where he will develop a coke addiction and never be the same. Bittersweet.

3. Christy, always prepared for a party, will undoubtedly arrive complete with her own deck of cards, shot glasses, roofies, and bong accoutrements. Someone (probably I) will switch her deck of cards with a deck of three's. Coincidentally, we will be playing the game "draw a three, eat roofie." I, however, switched the bag o'roofies with a medley of human growth hormone, steroids, and synthetic testosterone. We will all worry when Christy disappears for a few months, but all cheer her on when she reemerges as the U.S. contender in shotput in the Beijing '08 Olympics. The back hair and mustache will lead to speculation, drug tests will ensue, but she will keep her gold medal, because I, being a considerate friend, paid a premium for untraceable drugs.

4. Alisa, after snorting a line of cupcake frosting, will, in a moment of scientific breakthrough, combine her love of food with her fancy pants edumacation and create a new diet founded solely on the consumption of cupcakes and watching Gossip Girls. This new diet revolution will sweep the country and replace all other traditional weight loss plans. Years later, the diet will be blamed for the sharp increase in adult diabetes in the U.S. Oh wait, that's already happened, but people always feel more comfortable when they have a scapegoat. So that's nice.

5. Rod, in a moment of weakness, will eat his plant he has been nursing for the past few months. So upset with this, he will embark on a three-month soul-searching. He will hitchhike his way down to South America where he will befriend this new Amazonian tribe everyone is so crazy about. He will learn their ways and they will eventually induct him into their isolated community. A year later, he will realize the tribe never existed. He was just suffering the prolonged side effects of ingesting his mysterious plant.

6. Dave, after carefully assembling his new wardrobe, now feels a deep attachment to this holder of garments and other unknown wonders. The party will grow louder, and Dave will seek solace in this wardrobe only to discover the brightly decorated back board is actually a portal to an unknown magical kingdom called Narnia. He will free the Narnians from the Ice Witch and rule the land as a just, and fair king. However, we won't notice his absence because that's how magic wardrobes work.

7. Lauren will not be there. Lame.

Well, it's 11:28, and I have been sitting all morning. I am supposed to meet back at the courtroom at noon, where we will take attendance and then take a two-hour lunch. Me bored.