Professional

I’m an accountant, a CPA.  I work as the office administrator for a church where most people are young, tattooed artists who wear lots of denim and trendy hats.  I have complete freedom in dressing for work and I’ve learned that jeans and hiking boots are much more comfortable than suits and heels.

But there was a time when I had to embrace the professional look.  Long ago.  Back when I worked for the IRS.

That’s right.  The Internal Revenue Service, my employer of choice after graduating college.  I had a passion for tax law, so it was the perfect job for me.

I had difficulty being taken seriously, though.  I look a bit young for my age and, with my long hair, well, let’s just say that most people thought I was sixteen rather than twenty-two.

On one of my first audits, when I went to the office of the taxpayer’s attorney and introduced myself, the attorney laughed.  He truly thought I was joking.

Not exactly the way to get on the good side of the IRS agent.

Perhaps I needed to change something, to make myself look older, more professional.

I decided to put my hair up.

Now, this was not an easy thing to do since I have no hairdressing skills, but I practiced and practiced and finally decided to give it a go.

I had an important meeting with a taxpayer, his attorney, and his CPA.  I wore my black power suit and had my hair twisted into a knot, fastened with some type of Goody’s appliance.  I felt confident about the tax issues and about my appearance.

The knot began to loosen, however, and in the middle of the meeting, my hair fell down around my shoulders.

No.  No.  No.

Rather than letting the men see my distress, though, I decided to treat this like a perfectly normal occurrence.

I simply shook my hair back from my face and said, “So, are you boys ready to see things my way?”  Surprisingly, they were.

Chalk it up to feminine wiles or to my vast knowledge of tax law.  Either way, I got the job done.

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