My life had been pretty routine until I went to college. I lived in a typical home. Mother was an at-home mother, father owned a car dealership and stop there. My first car was a 50-year-old jalopy that I had to rebuild. However, I did use dad’s tools and shop to do it. I had a younger sister, and when I say younger, I mean ten years younger.
When I completed high school, I enrolled in my dad’s University, working toward an MBA. It took me six years to finished. I went to work for the IRS once I completed my CPA exam, mom and dad thought that I was now set for a productive career.
In my first three years with the IRS, I learned that accountants weren’t the ones making money. On too many occasions, I was hauled before the tax courts to defended my conclusions regarding a particular tax filing. Over the next three years, I studied for the bar.
I worked at the IRS from 9 to 5, then went home and studied from 6 to 11 every day. Saturdays and Sundays, except taking breaks for food, I was on my computer studying. It was a grind, but it taught me discipline and purpose. When I passed the bar, I resigned from my position at the IRS.
Now I needed to find a position where I could use my newly found skills and my IRS experience. I sent out my resume to the top companies, which I thought would be interested in my skills and experience. I listed auditing firms that had earnings over 500 million with an overseas operation.
Next, I looked at companies they audited and picked out several, one particularly stood out. It was a multinational company that just closed a large lawsuit with the IRS. Fortunately, it wasn’t one of my clients. On a whim, I looked over their case summary. I soon spotted a flaw; the premise for the suit was in error. A change in the IRS laws, previously passed by Congress, permitted the company to exercise the deduction.
Within two weeks, I began to receive invitations for interviews. I went to all of them. My dad laughed when I would tell him I had one in the morning and one in the afternoon, different companies.
After these interviews, I narrowed my list down to 4 companies, one an auditing company, one an international company, one a local company that offered a vice-president position with bonuses, and one based in Europe. That was an interesting company. They had a small distribution company, mainly an office that sent orders to the central business office to fulfill. No manufacturing took place in the US. They had a small warehouse, mostly for parts. Senior employees were from the home office, and the office staff was from the local population. They had a serious problem understanding current tax laws and applying it to their nationals living and working in the US. I thought the problem could be resolved in a week once they understood the laws, both National and State income laws.
I did a second round of interviews with my top four. I told the European company for a small fee and expenses, I could provide guidelines that any of their people could follow. There were all for this as it did not necessitate hiring someone full time, and to my benefit, as I now had a paid vacation to Europe.
The first offer of employment came from the auditing firm, the salary was appropriate for an accountant with a CPA, but I felt it didn’t do justice to my law degree. Over the next few days, I received an offer from the other two companies I had interviewed. I showed dad the offers, and he started to laugh. “I’ll select the offer. I think you’ll accept. If I’m right, dinner is on you and your mom, and I will pick the restaurant.”
“And if you’re wrong?”
“I’ll see that you have a new car. I’ll retire the jalopy to my showroom.”
I chuckled. I couldn’t lose.
I was packing my suitcase for my trip to Europe. “Where are you going?”
“I have a one-week employment offer in Geneva that I want to finish before beginning my new job. I need the time to think and compare my offers.”
“Where did this one-week assignment come from? You never mentioned it before.”
“One of my final interviews involved a company that was located in Europe. They had a problem understanding our tax laws pertaining to employees who are not US citizens. It’s a simple case of understanding our tax laws and how it applies to them.”
“And you get a little European vacation.” I smiled as I finished my packing.
I flew coach, and I had an aisle bulkhead seat. I also found if you smiled at the cabin crew and wasn’t a pain, you got a little extra. I had a glass of white wine with my meal, and from the looks of it, it came from the first class cabin.
Mom always said that being polite paid off. After the crew found out this was my first trip to Europe, they offered to show me the sights. Of course, I had to turn them down. I gave them my reason; they nodded, they understood. Asked me where I was staying, I told them they wished me a good week, and maybe they’ll see me on my return flight.
My meetings over the next few days were very successful. With the help of their accountant, I devised a program for him to follow to determine any IRS taxes. “In the future, if there are changes, would you be available for consultation?”
Giving him my card, “Yes, if you have questions, just give me a call, or you can reach me at my email address.”
I spent the rest of the week enjoying Western Europe. Trains are a great way to travel. I got to see some of the most famous sites in Europe, but not all. I knew then I would return, when I didn’t know, but I did know before I left this earth, I would be back.