I said to him:
"Dave, the first year I came in, a while back, you came down pretty hard on me. Gave me a long list of all the things I needed to work on, and you let me know, bluntly, what I would be improving on. I don't usually do very well with negative sorts of feedback, but you know what? Your voice was stern and your mandate was clear and the steps for me to improve were concrete. So that's what I did. I took your recommendations and I improved. And now I understand a great deal more about small business tax planning. Thanks for pushing me."
Dave looked up from balance sheet, his stern goatee softening. "Did I come down hard on you? I'm starting to get a feeling that I do that to people? Do I? I didn't realise I came across like that."
"Dave," I said. "It was a compliment. You weren't mean. You were straightforward. Very...straightforward. It was a good thing. And I appreciate it."
"Well I...I don't think of myself as reaming anyone over what they're not doing. I just tell them what they need to know and what they need to do if they're not doing what they should be doing."
"Yep Dave," I said. "I'd rather have you telling me that than the IRS."
He nodded. "That's the idea. I don't think of myself as mean, or reaming anyone, but maybe I come across that way."
I smiled, and didn't hug him, but I thought about it, and now the thought of hugging my accountant is making me smile, because I don't think he's a big "hugging on the job" kind of businessperson.
But I might be wrong.
"Dave," I said. "Thanks."
I am appreciative for people who are skilled at what they do, and when they are not only skilled at it, but make an effort to clearly explain the process they're going through. Like Dave.
Go hug an accountant today. Or take them some good coffee. Or ask Wolfgang Rickwalt about appropriate ways to thank them.
And if you're looking for a good one, message me.
I AM NOT A DOCTOR.
One of the primary reasons (probably the only reason) I did not become a doctor is that I get lost easily, especially in hospitals. Supposedly if you're a doctor you have to be able to find your way from one room to another without much difficulty, or get from the bathroom to the ER without accidentally ending up in the cafeteria. It would be great if hospitals were just designed as one giant open floor plan. I see no flaws with that scenario.