I exposed myself today. As a big fraud.
As good as I think I am at what I do, I don't think I'd hire myself to do it. Knowing what I know about myself, I'd be concerned about all the mistakes. I'd keep a really close eye on myself and be ready to boot myself out the door.
It isn't even the tendency to transpose numbers, although that's not a desirable quality in a bookkeeper. I can say "24" and write "42," but most of the time I catch myself right away. Checks almost never go out of here with the wrong amount written on them. I think even a really good accounts payable clerk makes mistakes like that once in a while. I'm well below the firing threshold on that facet of the job.
Besides, the one big mistake I made on a check was in our favor. All I had to do was write another check to make up the difference. The supplier was very understanding. He was much more understanding than I would have been, in fact. With someone else, anyway.
But I spent almost all of this Saturday working on the payroll taxes for the last quarter of 2003. I wasted way too much time correcting errors I made clear back in October. It wasn't because I transposed figures or slipped a digit while typing too fast. Well, it was that in part. I did some of that, but those mistakes were easy to find.
Somehow I missed entire paychecks as I was entering them into the payroll tax accounting records. Just simply left them out. And that means I didn't pay taxes on them at the time they were due. Now that I've spent all afternoon finding those errors and figuring out how much I underpaid the government, I have to take the time to correct them. Plus interest. Plus penalties. The government doesn't suffer sloppy bookkeepers gladly. (They're glad to take my money, though.)
So I'm feeling a little down tonight, about the whole "future" thing. With luck, I won't be out on the streets looking for a job for a long, long time. And maybe if that does happen I can fool somebody into hiring me. After all, I have a good track record. I've been fooling the Boss since 1986.