The Boss called last night after he got a chance to look at his mail and realized I'd sent him all the financial spreadsheets he's been looking for. "Very good work," he told me. "Now let's see what we can do to make it look better."
I knew this was coming, of course. I never expect to do a job once. Every letter I type for him has to go through endless revisions before it's ready to be sent. And he's very good at picking apart my cost reports and finding mistakes. Usually they're his mistakes, but sometimes they're mine, and that makes him feel good.
He doesn't want to fudge any facts to make the financial picture rosier. There are only a few elements that aren't written in stone and unalterable. But some of the projections can be fine tuned to the point where last year wasn't so bad after all, because this year is going to be so much better. Something like that. I just go along with it, as long as I don't have to sign my name to an outright lie.
That's a copout, I guess, but I'm dealing with a man whose mind doesn't work the same as other people's. He sees things through his own prism, and he can describe it to you until you see all the pretty colors too. I've seen him work this magic on accountants and (I swear this is true) an IRS auditor, so who's to say he's not right and the rest of the world wrong?
Yes, the Company has been audited, and despite my shabby record keeping and the Boss's pie-in-the-sky attitude toward financial projections, despite a little possible fudging of expense accounts here and there (none to my direct and certain knowledge), we were given a clean bill of health. No fines, no penalties, no jail time.
Of course, there's an ex-employee lurking out there somewhere who claims to have boxes and boxes of documents that will put the Boss away forever, but all he wants in exchange for keeping them buried is never to have to see his face or hear his name again. I think that's reasonable. We go out of our way to comply.