• This Busy Intern Will Not Let Silly Work Get In The Way of Important Things Like Getting His Tires Rotated

    By | February 14, 2013

    Names changed to protect the "innocent" though really there is nothing innocent about this email sent from one busy intern to staff making the rounds today:

    Hey Bob,

    Hope things are going well. As interns we do not have access to ARMs so until Jack informed me I was unaware I was working 10 hours at [the client] next week. I'm not sure when I'm needed or when you would like me to come in but this Saturday (2/16) I have a highly condensed schedule of errands that I would like to run in the morning and early afternoon. This lists includes getting a new license because my license is expired. I have an appointment for my car to get a front end alingmnet and to get my tires rotated. I also need to run to the bank, and go to the bookstore and take back some items from Christmas! As an intern (and more so as an employee of a Public Accounting Firm) it is extremely difficult to find the time to get errands like these done because we often work til 7:00 or 8:00 pm or even later. At 7 or 8 pm nothing is open and I cannot run to the bank, the license bureau, the bookstore, or my mechanic.

    We do have days off on Sundays but on Sundays these places are simply not open. During busy season with our lives so focused on work it is a struggle to get things done outside of work. This is why I am asking not to work this Saturday (2/16). I have made these plans and appointments to do these things this Saturday before I new I had to work with [the client] this week. I apologize for the length of the email but in its entirety I believe you can sympathize with me and understand my pressing need to get these things done. Hopefully you'll understand. I can speak with Bill, manager at [unnamed law firm], and ask him if I could go to [the client] one day during the week next week. I'm sure it wouldnt be a problem.

    In closing, if you desperately need me to work on Saturday no need to fret I will come in and work but if at all possible I am asking to not come in that day because of the short notice of me working at [the client] and me alreadly scheduling things to do on that day. Let me know what you guys decide. Oh, and tell the team I said Happy Valentines Day!

    Steve the Intern

    Now, I think everyone can relate to dishes piling up and important tasks such as waxing lady parts or spending quality time with loved ones taking a backseat to work during busy season. But returning Christmas presents?! REALLY yo?

    On the upside, this intern may be able to scratch "running to the bank" off his list of important errands. No need to fret, Steve!

     

    • Josiah Wedgewood

      Poor guy just wants to get a new license

    • $43517978

      Reading this brought back a lot of memories of public accounting, and then I thanked God I’m no longer there.

      My favorite part was at the end when he said that’s he’ll come into work on Saturday if he’s desperately needed. Translation: “I’ll come in to work if you need me, but I’ll be pissed off an not at all pleasant. You’ll wish you had given me the day off.”

    • Fred Herbert

      that’s somebody pranking me

    • EYemployee

      I couldn’t believe how quickly this thing circled the office…

    • EwwYuck

      Apparently HR has been involved, though to what degree, the chain email does not say. Definitely not getting an offer extended… though what kind of intern would turn down a 10 hour Saturday? That’s like $300 with their overtime pay!

    • cool story brah

      You ask for flexibility as an hourly-paid intern? Blasphemy!!

    • $43517978

      It is very important to get your tires rotated on a regular basis. I get mine rotated whenever I get an oil change. If you don’t rotate your tires, the treads may wear unevenly which can reduce the life of your tires and moderately decrease driving safety.

      With respect to Christmas item returns, many retailers have an express policy requiring returns to be made within 30 or 60 or 90 days. It is entirely plausible that this intern is up against the return deadline. The intern probably could have made these returns earlier though. This could be a coachable moment.

      As for needing to go to the bank, that’s a bit fishy. Almost everything with banks these days can be done online or at a 24-hour ATM.

      I believe this intern when he says he has errands to do, but I suspect he is embellishing the number of errands. I would be very skeptical if I were this intern’s senior. I smell bullshit (maybe). The senior should probably have a two or three hour discussion with the manager and partner to determine the best course of action. May also want to include HR and the scheduling lady.

      • $34592802

        well played

      • guest

        if he works for KPMG he would have to float this up the chain to 15 people or so including the vice chair’s office, fill out 23 forms in triplicate, write a 15 page business case (12 of which are already done based on the email) and THEN have that 3 hour meeting over webex with 234 slides explaining every aspect of why he needs the time which will result in a response from a partner of “Request denied you boob”

    • EYMidwest

      This email is spreading like wildfire through EY. Poor buddy.

      I hear KPMG always needs the leftovers!

      • $34592802

        big 4 is seriously awesome

      • guestie

        PwC Boston has about 50+ in the email chain, + PwC LA, + DeloitteLA, + EY LA and OH. Absolutely great.

        • guester

          Email spread up to KPMG Toronto. Chain includes EY Portland, Deloitte Houston, EY Dallas…Awesome.

    • EYEC

      Any word on which office?

      • Guest

        Cleveland

        • guesty

          Damn. Was excited there was a place that only worked till 7 or 8 pm, but still not worth living in Cleveland.

          • lebron james

            Cleveland isnt that bad. Atleast we’re not DETROIT!!!!! We’re not DETROIT!!!!!!!

            • lebron james
            • Greg Monroe

              You’re still Cleveland so it’s still not saying much. And LeBron left, he’s not coming back so Cleveland is back to being the no name town it always was.

    • Mike Herbert

      We are hiring. Pleashe call me http://www.herbertbailbonds.com

    • FormerEYintern

      I was an EY intern this past summer and we all had access to ARMS, so did the prior winter interns… poor kid probably doesn’t know how to use ARMS or write a proper email.

      • EYMidwest

        Winter interns have access to ARMS at least in the Midwest, since I’ve worked with two interns and showed them how to use it. Sucks to suck, intern whose name everyone within EY now knows

        • somuchhappierinindustry

          Not just people at EY know his name… Those emails went to other firms and companies. But we know a lot now, including the names of everyone who ridiculed him, as well as the clients he was scheduled to work on. Very classy… we also know the name of the senior manager who first decided to send a mass email making fun of the kid. I bet she’s a real sweetheart.

    • TaxGuy

      I have no sympathy for this guy at all. I am currently interning at a large investment banking firm that rhymes with hold and sack in their tax dept during busy season with a full load of classes. It’s expected that I come in on
      holidays+weekends in addition to school/homework/my normal shift.

      It’s so busy that I cannot renew the registration on my car, schedule a much needed doctor appointment, or even go to the store to restock on food (okay it’s not that bad, but it’s bad). In the office I work at, there are beds, and if anyone
      thinks they are there for people to take a quick nap during their normal shift,
      they will be in for a rude awakening.

      • That’s what TaskRabbit is for.

        Hang in there!

        • D

          TaskRabbit will go to the doctor for you? Sweet!

          • I don’t like this

            Taskrabbit bends you over?!?

      • Dirty Sanchez

        The beds are there for YOU to bend over while you’re taking it up the ass.

      • Bro Flacco

        Thats a cool story you got there TaxGuy

    • CPALady

      Wait… are other firms/offices really big Saturday hours Nazis?

      I mean clearly this kid has issues if he didn’t think he’d be working weekends during a busy season internship, so maybe he’s just totally out to lunch.

      But around here, no one shits their pants if you occasionally have to take off to run an errand when you’re working a weekend. My whole team has gotten haircuts at some point this year during Saturday work. I drove my husband to the airport two weeks ago. Go to the fucking bank, it’ll take five minutes, no one will care. Hell, one of my staff went to Macy’s today to get a present for their girlfriend. It’s not like anyone’s relying on an intern to do actual work anyway. (Okay, maybe a little more so for a winter intern, but still)

    • Alum

      They get off Sundays?!?!

    • $34592802

      looks like another one slipped by HR…

    • B4 Grunt

      The kid needs to take care of one of those things each day…take a slightly longer break for lunch and knock out a task one at a time. Who gives a shit when you are present on a weekend as long as the work is done. The fact that everyone is ridiculing this kid is only a poor reflection on how indoctrinated you all are on B4 practices. His email is actually quite reasonable although he could be more discrete.

      • 10 euro/hr

        what lunch?

    • LegalEase

      Gives a whole new meaning to work/tire balance. (You see what I did there?)

    • AppalledAccountant

      I am so appalled that this is how the situation was handled. This kid was just nervous, so went into more detail than needed to make sure the senior/staff knew he had things to do when asking off on Saturday (instead of just saying – “I have plans and wasn’t aware I’d be scheduled”). Nothing is so terrible that his email should have blown up like this. It shows how terrible and cruel your sense of humor is and how little you must have going on in your life to the point that making fun of someone in a more vulnerable state than you is how you choose to focus your time and energy. Grow up.

      • $43517978

        I think what’s more appalling than GC posting it is the assholes at this kid’s firm that forwarded around his email. It goes to show just how miserable a lot of people are in public accounting. The only way to make themselves feel better is to shit on an intern or a staff.

        I know I did all sorts of stupid shit when I was a new staff, and I also know that the seniors and managers were just as bitter and depressed back then as they are today. But fortunately GC wasn’t around back then, so I made it through relatively unscathed.

        One more thought: I wonder how much time the assholes at this kid’s firm spent joking among themselves about this email. I bet they spent hours on this, before it even got forwarded to GC. Maybe if there wasn’t so much dicking around in public accounting they’d be able to take a Saturday off now and then?

        • Captain Obvious

          Of course we’re all miserable…it’s busy season

      • jim

        shut up Intern’s Mom

      • IForwardWhatIWant

        Too many panties in a bunch. This was a win win for everyone. Intern figures out he’s not cut out for public accounting. Everyone else in America gets a good laugh. Maybe he can go process invoices at Joe Schmoe Industries like the rest of you jackwagons commenting on this board.

        • big4girl

          Not so much of a “win win” for everyone. I bet someone is getting fired after this!

          • Guest

            If this was my team, I would be firing the recipient of the original email who forwarded rather than having a quiet word with their team member.

        • MongolCPA

          That was possibly the funniest thing I’ve ever read that related to accounting.

      • 10 euro/hr
      • 10 euro/hr
    • anon

      Yeah, it’s just cruel to spread that around. He was obviously agonizing over the need to even make a small request and and went overboard in the hopes to do it well. His manager or whatever is a dick. he should get a pass and a “do it x way” next time. I can’t believe there are so many fucking assholes ridiculing a young person trying to navigate the professional waters for the first time. There are plenty of firms who would hire him and give him a chance to succeed. Not proud of EY on this one.

    • haterade

      To all those on here with rustled jimmies – welcome to the internet. Also, what do you expect when the average age of most of these people sending it around is probably ~24-26 years old?

      • ok

        Just because we expect 24-26 year old’s to ruthlessly ridicule someone, does not make it right. I’m speaking up for him, in hopes that people reflect on themselves and think twice before situations like this happen again.

    • Big 3

      His life isn’t ruined, I hear KPMG extended him a full-time offer.

      He was supposed to start June 1st but he has to clean his gutters, shave, walk his dog and organize his closet that day so he’ll be starting June 2nd.

      • sure

        Whether or not he got an offer, doesn’t justify what was done to him. The lack of care and professionalism conducted by these people makes me sick, just to garner a few laughs. If this happened to you, you wouldn’t be singing the same tune.

      • FIGHT ME

        Big 3 – you are an idiot. Your self proclaimed ‘Big 3’ is obnoxious and your. I assume you work for one of those firms, PwC or Deloitte, where the PCAOB discovered all of those botched audits… figures you can’t count to 4.

    • thatchick

      This is email is spreading like wildfire through PwC Atlanta. I feel bad for the kid.

    • Guestied

      Does EY not have a spell check on emails before they are sent? Must be something to do with the usage of Lotus Notes, which I can never fathom.

      • EYSLC

        Outlook coming in June

        • Quixote

          Lotus has spell check.

    • guest

      Relax bro, no need to get all pissy about it. No one is really cares that much about it. Who else is going to find out about it but some Big 4 auditors that will laugh for 5 mins, forward the email, then go about their day?

      Hell I have pictures in my inbox from years ago of an intern’s fine hole punching work…it involved holes on all four sides of the page and only 2 that actually allowed for the paper to be put in the binder.

    • guestie

      While this is comical, and the kid should’ve displayed some common sense when it comes to getting his shit done, he seems like a really good guy based on his FB profile (needs to make that stuff private). Looks like he volunteers quite a bit with kids. Hope the staff 2 gets fired and he gets kept on.

    • standingup

      To GoingConcern,

      I highly suggest that you take this post down. Although you do have the right to post whatever material you want related to public accounting — I think leaving something like this up, to humiliate someone, is a poor reflection of this site and this industry.

      Please consider this.

      Thanks.

      • 10 euro/hour

        No, keep it up. It is a fair warning to all about how shitty the Big 4, National and Regional Firms can be. We at small firms actually pay just as good. We also never tell people that they will have a good work life balance. We just let the actions speak for ourselves.

        And we sometimes only hire 1 kid every 3 years. So are we going to be picky? Yes. And the kid with a 4.0 would be wise to come work for us, and not some JIT.

    • this intern shows GREAT PROMISE of writing lengthy, inspirational control documentation.

    • Bad news for that guy.

      Bad news for that guy.

    • Sunny Seattle

      This email string has made it from EY to PWC to Deloitte to GT to BDO and now through Moss Adams

    • indentured servant

      This doesn’t even touch the dumbest shit I did as an intern and I still got an offer. On the other hand, the asshole who forwarded this on is probably going to get a stern talking to or get sacked.

    • GtGrl

      Just got it at GT from a friend at Deloitte…poor kid, lol

    • WowGC

      It’s sad that anyone thinks this is funny. Take a look at what your lives have come to.

    • OutofPub

      This just made it to my inbox from a friend at a small firm I used to work for. I’m not in public anymore but it just goes to show this had made its rounds through the entire accounting industry from big to small. This poor bastard now has legendary status.

    • big 4 sux

      ” I have made these plans and appointments to do these things this
      Saturday before I new I had to work with [the client] this week.”

      Poor guy

    • somuchhappierinindustry

      This whole situation disgusts me. I received said email at work today. I saw 32 individuals who forwarded this email within the firm, to multiple offices around the country. Then, this email was sent to three other people at various companies before arriving in my inbox. The email I received had the names, emails, and locations of every individual who forwarded this message. I also could see what client “Steve” was scheduled on, as well as the client “Steve” was going to take a day off from the following week. (I am pretty sure I should not be privy to this information as I do not work at the firm.) I read various comments from individuals at staff, senior, manager, senior manager and even an Associate Director poking fun at the intern who hasn’t yet learned etiquette at a big 4 firm. What I think should be published is the list of people who forwarded “Steve’s” email. Instead of coaching an intern, and explaining that an audit staff should never expect to have a Saturday off in February, they chose to berate him and slam his name all over the country. Every person who forwarded this email today is completely wrong, especially those who provided nasty commentary. This is exactly what is wrong with public accounting… and it’s not the hours. No, it’s the attitude that “I’m miserable so I’m going to make someone else’s life even more miserable.”

      • $43517978

        Very well said. In essence, the people who are making fun of this intern are suggesting he is unprofessional, or at least naive and unaccustomed to “the way things work” in public accounting (i.e. unprofessional). But this is just a college kid we’re talking about. What is the senior manager’s excuse for conducting himself unprofessionally by forwarding this email around and publicly berating an employee?

      • BKGreed

        This is spot on. Very little class left in the “profession” any more, just a bunch of mindless robots worried about charge hours and how much money can be made.

    • KPMG West

      This shit really is everywhere. Got it at KPMG on the west coast, with about 50 people forwarding it from the original.

    • PMoney

      As someone who was on the Advisory side, why would anyone ever want to put up with busy season in tax or audit where they are working ridiculous hours (and weekends for that matter ugh)? Why doesn’t everyone stand up and fight against being overworked? In Advisory you typically get paid more and never have to deal with a busy season or insane hours for an extended period of time. Or maybe I just put my foot down and refused to be treated like a slave from the get go and that’s what made my big four consulting career manageable?

      • tax2themax

        That is super nice and all, but how exactly do you propose that tax returns be filed/audited financials be issued when the calendar year ends on 12/31 and the appropriate filing/reporting requirements are to be met within the following 4 months or so? Inevitably, there is going to be a ridiculous time crunch unless you extend practically all your returns or the government were to allow for a rolling filing period for the following year or something. I actually love tax so I couldn’t see myself switching to “Advisory” (whatever that even entails) so it’s not like your solution would work for all of us mindless tax preparers and audit drones.

        • PMoney

          Why not throw more warm bodies to tackle the work then? Or is that not possible (forgive me, I don’t really know audit/tax stuff too well).

    • Kpmg tax person

      Seriously this is not a funny email at all. If he’s in audit he obviously will need his license and car fixed to drive to any other clients. Idiot staff being a jerk. Now I understand why Cleveland is such a terrible place. Looking forward to when kyrie Irving leaves the cavs and Lebron resigns with the heat or goes to the lakers.

    • weinerdog

      if you’re offended by how this was handled i say go fly a kite. this shit’s funny and the kid made a dumb move. I laughed and forwarded it too

    • B4SrManager

      Packed schedule of errans that includs tire rotation returning Christmas gifts! haha, this is funny as hell. The humor kept coming with these comments of so many treating this as a crime against humanity and super serious business with the shame on GC and anyone who forwarded this and they might get fired, etc. lol, great all around.

      It’s a rough commentary on our professions, but bailing on work for these things mid-Feb is pretty funny. He’s an intern and obviously doesn’t know any better and think it’s likely almost everyone reading his note knows that. Before starting your Kony2012 type campaign to save this guy,consider the possibility that interns say and do funny things frequently and this will be forgotten soon enough.

    • Lectured

      He should have just run his errands, come into work at noon, and sit through the “this is a career” speech his dick senior or manager would have given him, get pissed off, resent the speech, and accept an offer from a rival, and leave public accounting after 2 more years of hell.

    • This guy has a funny take on this email too. http://www.thecpaguide.com/accounting_blog/Sh-t_Interns_Say_Brad.html

      • Haha I like the meme

      • Have Fine Wine

        I hate that this kid has to be a lesson for the rest of the interns out there, but this self-importance attitude is a trend in today’s kids that needs to stop.

      • tax2themax

        That guy sounds like a dick, and his website looks like it was built on GeoCities. Typical, condescending “I’m SUCH a busy season veteran, let me unload my twice regurgitated veteran accountant advice vomit for you to eat, shit out and eat again.” NO1CURR.

        • Glad you took time out of your busy internship to post that useful gem

    • Bill

      This intern should compel his wife and/or girlfriend to do this errands for him.

    • Oops

      The funny part is that the intern who wrote the email has been on sametime all day today. Probably didn’t get those errands done.

    • Too busy

      What’s funny is that the intern who wrote the email has been on sametime all day today. I don’t think he got those errands done.

    • Boom

      Note to all future or recent big 4 hires. You’re not in prison… You can tell your senior that you need to leave for a few hours no questions asked. Just don’t wait until the week you file to decide that its time to get your license renewed on a Monday afternoon. Chances are your weekend work is not time sensitive beyond being done Monday so you can do it Sunday instead of Saturday if you just let your senior in the .0001% chance they ever actually need to done on Saturday/Sunday.

    • New guy

      This is a bit off topic but I’m a new hire at a big 4 firm and I haven’t done an internship. I’m curious about what I need for the first day… should I buy a bag or briefcase of some sort?

      • guestied

        They give you one. Don’t bring anything.

    • CpaCat

      I don’t get it. I work in tax. Had a leaky tire – turns out I needed new ones. Went and got it done this (Sat) afternoon. I commute – it’s gotta be done.

      Wasn’t a big deal. I didn’t even have to ask permission.

      There are firms out there that treat their employees like adults.

      I work in public accounting and I don’t crawl on my belly like a snake or grovel before my masters.

      P.S. They also provide milk and cookies.

    • Steve

      Grow up. I have the chain. The person only sent it to other people on the team. They would need to know the intern’s schedule.

      • 10 euro/hour

        Who was the person who started forwarding it to everyone and their dog?

    • lnVl

      This intern’s email and many of the comments itself depict how pitiful and toxic the public accounting culture has become (or was it always as such).

      My simple advice to anyone at the lower rungs of the ladder feeling the peer pressure to bend over and be a bitch is: your senior, manager, senior manager, or partner, are in the end, just another human being. In no shape or form are they better or superior than you as a person, so don’t let them intimidate you into doing things that you find miserable.

      But that’s given that you are not a lazy SOB and actually do perform pretty well in what’s assigned to you.

    • iamout

      So glad i am not in big4 anymore. I remember I couldnt even get a chance to go to the doc to take care of an infected foot until it got too gross to continue. Good times.

    • AreYouTotallyNuts?

      I am appalled at all the people forwarding this email and mocking the intern. All of you grow up and get a life. Speaking of which, I know a person who works at one of the Big4 firms whom told me about the life in audit…. Do any of you auditors know what having a life is? Why do you let your employers treat you like slaves? Making you work crazy number of hours without even paying you one cent of overtime is insane. There is a reason why the standard working week is 40 hours, and demanding people work 70, 80 or more hours should not be allowed on such a consistent and recurring basis! Employees need to revolt and demand their employers put more people on the task, pay them overtime, and that they be shown more respect for their personal lives and well-being. The excuse there are tight timelines doesn’t hold because there are two other variables you can adjust – manpower & proper tools! From what I hear it appears that the Big4 are too busy raking in super high profits by under staffing their teams and not paying them overtime! Auditors – take your salary and divide it by the number of hours you actually work… is that rate what you studied for? Probably not. So why do you do it? For the glory? To make your employer more money at the expense of your own personal time & health? You should demand better treatment from these slave drivers! Teams need to be sized appropriately, members should be paid fairly (includes overtime) and the employer needs to respect free and family time!

    • TheClient

      I’ve seen this kid in action at our company (the client he referred to), and I’m not surprised that he wrote this. I think that kids these days don’t understand how to act in the workplace. Maybe some of the behavioral questions should be changed to questions that reflect professionalism. I hope John Carroll University works this into its accounting students.

    • exauditintern

      Oh, what memories of busy season as an intern this brings back. I think most of us just accepted we would never have time for personal doings and tried to squeeze in a few groceries during lunch. I can’t imagine asking off to go to the bookstore or to return Christmas gifts. Although I think if I had sent this email to anyone on my engagement, they would have gotten a really great laugh out of it and let me have the day off.