“Anthony could you come over to me when you have a second please?” Roseanne says.
I don’t waste any time and report straight over to her.
“Okay we have PWC in while you’re away and I need you to have the audit complete by C.O.B Friday. They’ve requested our daily packs for a list of dates which I’ll mail shortly. Any of the aforementioned requested dates will all require checklists.”
“Sorry Roseanne which checklists are these?”
“We don’t actually use them but again I’ll include it in the email. Every checklist will have to be signed and dated by both of us. In fact just sign and date every page to keep it simple. You will need to thoroughly search through every pack to make sure we have all the necessary requirements. If we don’t, either print off the information fresh from Bloomberg, or else edit information we already have. Some of the information will need to be tip-exed out and photocopied. If there’s anything at all that you’re not sure about just give me a shout.”
“Okay Roseanne.”
I’m only well too familiar with this drill. Every single company is always the same. My only surprise is that more Enron’s or WorldCom’s don’t happen. Year after year these auditors come in and yet never find foul play or even anything slightly suspicious. But then how could they when they warn us in advance? It’s almost like a parent playing hide and seek with a young child, and as they approach the child’s hiding spot shouting “Hmm I wonder if someone could be hiding behind the couch. Maybe I better check the fireplace first”.
None of them ever ask for a clean week sample; they’ll just ask for around five random days giving us plenty of advanced notice. The packs that are handed up to auditors never resemble anything close to what goes on in reality.
I check my email and set off to obtain the required dates. As expected five dates are required ranging from November to March. I locate three of the packs without much difficulty but the other two are non-existent. I search my desk and all the surrounding boxes but to no avail. Great, I’m going to have to make those two up myself.
I devote every spare second I have to updating the packs-printing off new excel spreadsheets, edited Bloomberg print screens, made-up pricing sources and other bogus data. As a result, my own work takes a hit and I occasionally miss deadlines but surprisingly Roseanne lets it slide. Every day it’s getting more difficult to complete the wires because no Director wants to touch them, or if they do they dick about. Yesterday the Grill had my wires for over two hours and still didn’t sign off on them. The worst bit is the pricks have the balls to get antsy when I try to take them back and redistribute them before a deadline’s missed. That cunt Donal’s just as bad. Every morning when he comes in those wires are sitting on his desk yet I’m lucky to see any of them back before half eleven. Last week alone we had interest claims of close to 500 quid due to late receipt of payment, which of course always comes back on me. Every day I come in before eight (sometimes earlier) to give myself a head start but it’s never enough. Nothing’s ever enough.
Every day pushes me to the brink and today is certainly no exception. My eyes are really struggling to keep pace. I’ve seen so much paper that anytime I look at a page now it’s a blank blur. The air conditioner keeps churning out the same warm contaminated air leaving me feel even more fatigued than usual. All this extra audit work has really taken its toll but for once I feel like I’m actually winning. The only stout consolation is that I’ve been so obsessed with completing the audit that I haven’t needed to avoid Christina-it’s happened by default. No awkward silences, prolonged stares, or having to embarrassingly ruffle a few pages about to feign work anytime she’s around. I’ve been too busy with the real thing to get caught up in the usual office mind games. I handed over all my audit work and once Roseanne gives me the okay I’m out of this kip for three whole weeks.
“Anthony have you got a minute?” Roseanne says.
And then it dawned on me-this is what she’s had planned all along. The vindictive cunt is probably going to turn around, say it’s all wrong, and have me in all weekend, or even worse-try make me cancel my holiday. Fuck! Why didn’t I see this coming? I’ve been playing Russian roulette with a fully loaded gun.
“Anthony?” she says. I quickly snap out of my train of thought.
“Sorry Roseanne I’ll be over now.”
The only person I hate more than Roseanne right now is myself-how did I not see this one coming?
“Anthony, well what can I say? You did some excellent work here. Everything looks in good order.”
I’m too puzzled to reply.
“But there’s one small problem.”
I fuckin’ knew it. You sneaky bitch.
“There is?” I spit out through grinded teeth.
“Yes I forgot to hand you over a cross currency FX deal.”
“Sorry Roseanne an FX deal?”
“It’s the transferring of money from one currency to another. Basically I did one the other week because Donal was away from his desk, but for audit purposes the person who entered it cannot approve it. All I need you to do is sign off on the trade. I worked myself up into such a frenzy that my hand is still shaking when she hands me the slip and pen. I’m so relieved that the trade amount doesn’t even register with me and I sign where directed by Roseanne.
“Thank you Anthony, and enjoy your holidays.”
I begin to feel bad for being such a paranoid mess.
“No problem Roseanne,” and for once my smile is genuine. I return to my desk and tidy up what needs to be finished off. It’s only when I’m finished putting on my out of office do I begin to feel alive. It’s actually going to happen-Portugal baby! I power down my PC briefly pausing to examine the office floor. The place is still quite busy. I can see John pumping his stress ball hard with his free hand, and the Fuse finishing off another can of Red Bull. So long suckers.

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