Football FanNot all accountants are the same. We don’t all want to do the same things, we are not all extroverts (surprise surprise), and we don’t all love big accounting conferences and sitting down with people that we don’t know (even if they are in the same industry).

Some of us even have a life outside the accounting space, and love, (dare I say it), AFL.

So, yes, while I am going to an Accounting Conference in Brisbane this week, the thought of sitting at a table with 10 or 12 people that I have never met before, and spending the night having dinner with them, and joining them on the dance floor, and making small talk about accounting and bookkeeping – to be honest, is not my ideal way to be spending Friday night.

I know, yes, I love numbers. I proudly call myself a numbers nerd. I love spreadsheets. I love all types of accounting software. But does that mean I want to be involved in accounting software discussion 24/7?

The honest answer is no.

And I don’t mean any disrespect to any accounting software providers out there, but I have other things in my life that I also love. And one of those things in my life is Aussie Rules Football. And ever since a very early age, from around 10 or 12, I have followed Hawthorn and supported them like the crazy fan that I am.

You know, I grew up in the country, and football was something that kids did every weekend. And we didn’t have very many channels on the television, so every Saturday after we had played tennis in the morning, we would watch Football in the afternoon. And then we would watch it again on Sunday.  It was just something we did.  It was something everyone did.

My entire family is football mad, and we each support a different team (go figure). And it’s just something that we enjoy. And so, I went to Hawthorns last game of the season the other weekend, where we had a nail bitter win, which means we made the top 4 (yay) and we now have a final’s game this Friday.

This happens to be the same night as the Gala Dinner as part of the conference I am attending. My first reaction was to post in the closed Facebook group relating to the conference…

“Ha-ha, isn’t it awful. Any other Hawks fans out there, what a dilemma. There’s a Gala Dinner on the same night that the Hawks are playing. Obviously, I will be in Brisbane, so I can’t physically go to the game in Melbourne, so my next best thing would be to watch it on the telly, but I can’t do that either if I go to the dinner. “

Now, I just said that in jest (that is about as funny as us accountants get you see) and whilst me attending the Gala Dinner on my own really does freak me out, I had planned on going. Until the feedback I received from various members of the group. It really quite shocked me that people would be so quick to make an opinion on me and my dedication to my career. And the dedication that I have to software that I use for my clients, based on whether or not I attend a gala dinner (for the record – the Gala Dinner is not compulsory and I have paid to buy a ticket to attend).

Now to me, the dinner is not a learning experience. We have two full days in the conference to attend, listen, learn about the development of the software and features, network and speak to everybody and anybody we can. And to me the Gala Dinner is a fun and relaxing way to end the conference. Just like how I would relax and have fun at the football (well depending on the score that is).

So to have people throw back in my face that I am not dedicated and I need to reassess my priorities because I am made a comment about how I would love to be going to the football instead…

Well that kind of makes me rethink do I really want to be at the dinner.  Superficial judgement from people who don’t know me, and have never met me, is not welcome in my world – ever.

So I guess the point I want to get across is, on social media, when you say things (or should I say write things) about other people without knowing anything about them, and without knowing about their dedication to their business and their clients, without knowing or understanding their priorities, or having a clue of their personality and their feelings towards being stuck in a room full of accountants they have never met…..well maybe just think would you say it to their face?

What you probably feel as a really flippant and innocent comment, other people can really take offence and you are potentially now have them questioning their confidence and dedication – even though you know nothing about them.

 

So I am sure, and I hope, that the comments that people made are just in jest. But to have people superficially judge me and judge my dedication to my career and clients, when I have spent close to 20 years working in the Bookkeeping and Accounting fields, just because I love to support my football team, you know what, I find that really disrespectful. And those are the kind of people I don’t wish to hang around with.