The Better Half

Posted on August 31, 2011 2:12 pm under General

By nature, I am a DIY person. When my husband started his business, I assured him that I could take care of the books. I was working on a degree and had taken an introductory accounting course. Unlike many of my peers, I had enjoyed the class. The chance to put my education to practical use seemed like a lot of fun. It was. I even did the taxes, supplementing my knowledge with a two-day class in tax preparation for small businesses.

I had so much fun that I began to flirt with the idea of becoming an accountant. I pictured myself specializing in taxes. I’d work long hours from the beginning of January until April 15. I’d earn lots of money and have the rest of the year to relax and enjoy it. It sounded like a great plan and I started taking more accounting courses.

The bubble burst one balmy May evening. I was sitting in a classroom, more aware of the spring sounds and scents outside the open window, than the discussion on depreciation that was raging within. When my mind returned to the class, I looked around me. About half of the class was passionately debating the discussion topic. The other half was doodling in their notebooks, stifling yawns, or staring wistfully out the window. It was obvious which half belonged in accounting. I wasn’t part of that group.

Although I moved on, I have to wonder how many of my doodling, bored peers did. If I needed a tax accountant, I’d want one of those passionate students. One who takes tax CPE courses just for fun. The same holds true for other professionals. Do you want a doctor whose knowledge has remained static since receiving her license or one whose medical growth parallels the tax CPE enthusiast’s? Do you want a hair stylist who uses products and styles from the 1970’s?

We all want service from that better half, but how do you identify them? Degrees and continuing education credits are just part of the picture. Government and professional organizations can require medical, teaching or tax CPE, but they can’t require passion.

When I look for the better half, I look for enthusiasm. When our home experienced air conditioning problems, I didn’t choose the service with the lowest bid. I chose the guy, who thoroughly explained why an oversized air conditioner was causing the problem and passionately eschewed the builders, who had installed them in many of our subdivision’s homes. He installed a conditioner that worked perfectly and cost less to run. Our neighbor chose someone who charged less, but returned repeatedly without ever solving the problem. I’m guessing that repairman majored in doodling!

3 Responses to “The Better Half”

  1. Kay Davies Says:

    Oboy, I can relate to this!
    How DO we find the one who is passionate about his/her work? You’re right, enthusiasm for the subject should be the #1 criterion.
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

  2. Susan Says:

    I always say that when my job feels like a job it’s time to go…

  3. Russ Says:

    My biggest problem is always in car repair shops. Who is there just for the bucks and who is really interested in fixing your car.