It's Christmas party season, which means MCs up and down the country will soon be asking each other that most boring of questions: “What do you do?” But what on earth do you do if you get the apologetic, verging on self-loathing, answer: “I’m an accountant, I’m afraid.” Or: “Accountant. Very boring, I know.” It’s an etiquette minefield.
It seems that no matter what you do you’ll end up making things worse. Here are four ways MCs tend to respond when faced with a new acquaintance who works in accounts.
- Have recourse to Dharma by sagely talking about how “everyone has a role to play. Where would we be without accountants? All those creatives wouldn't make a living without an accountant to sort them out.” Pretty patronising, this.
- Make the accountant feel better by playing up the downsides of your own job: “Well, at least you have nice regular hours and know where you are. You wouldn’t believe how draining it can be having to travel all the time.” A bit insulting.
- Protest too much. “No, no, NO! There’s nothing boring about accountancy. I imagine you must work on some tremendously exciting projects and meet lots of different people!’ Implausible and embarrassing.
- Struggle for words and fail to find any. Make a little “ah” of feigned interest and wait for the accountant to change the subject. Awkward.
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