There is a reason why I never became a secretary, or a receptionist, or an accountant, or any kind of clerical worker. Any company that hired me for such a position would go down the tubes faster than a flush on an airplane toilet.
Back when I was in college, I had a summer job working for a lumber/home improvement store. I was nearly fired because my cash register drawer never cashed out evenly. I protested. I had been clear in the interview that I’d never operated a cash register. I only got about five minutes of “training” on the cashing out process. I argued that hey, at least my drawer was OVER every time, and not under – so I obviously wasn’t pocketing any cash. No one in the ofice looked favorably on these arguments.
Then there was the time, when we had two tiny children and my husband was incapacitated due to illness, when I was forced to take on all the household finances. In my own defense, it did strike me as odd that we never received any bills for auto insurance. I concluded that The Husband must have chosen to pay in six-month installments before I took things over. Yeah, right. Guess what I learned? When your auto insurance lapses, it costs a boatload of money to get a new policy.
There was the time more recently when the entire family banded together and banned me from using the ATM for our bank. Back then you had to add up the amounts on checks you were depositing and enter that amount on the screen. I added wrong every time, and follow-up statements from the bank clogged our mailbox.
When our two younger kids were still in high school, The Husband and I became heavily involved in the choir and theater booster clubs. There was a critical need for someone to take over ticket sales for the many events throughout the year. I ended up handling all ticket sales for three years, but not before “losing” $500 or so along the way. It wasn’t really lost. It was just a screw-up in my accounting. Hey, it was a volunteer job, and I did my best. If I hadn’t done it the ticket sales wouldn’t have happened. Sadly, the school bookkeeper was not sympathetic. Happily, no one pressed charges.(It didn’t really get that far.)
And then, last month I bought a car. With a loan. I did all the paperwork myself, including setting up automatic withdrawals for our monthly loan payment. So there! I learned from that car insurance debacle!
And then yesterday I got a letter saying that the payment hadn’t gone through because our bank declared that we have no account. Picture me slamming my head against the table repeatedly as I read this interesting news. Twenty minutes and three phone calls later, I finally learned that the account number listed on our checks (which I bought over 12 years ago for an account we opened 29 years ago – we don’t write that many checks) has an extra two digits. And that in 2007, a federal regulation required the last two of those digits to be dropped. So for all these years we’ve been using checks that have the wrong account number on them. Turns out The Husband knew not to use those two digits; he just never thought to mention it to me. Now I’m wondering why the institution issuing the loan didn’t know that checking accounts are only supposed to have 8 digits… See? It’s not really my fault!
Today I’m trying to remind myself that I do actually have some strengths. I can write a coherent sentence. I know what the word “coherent” means. Apparently I have found a job I can do well, because I’ve managed to keep it for 11 years.
That’s probably because it requires very little clerical work.