Don’t Be That Guy: The Finance Department

As a writer, I work in the communications division of my organization. We’re very spread out, mostly along the second floor of our building. Although, our poor copy editor is on the fifth floor, which makes for very interesting walkabouts during the editing process.

Anyway, by some weird twist of assigned seating fate, I sit near the Finance Department. Let me tell you, every pre-conceived stereotype of what a Finance Department employee is like (well, not EVERY stereotype) but most of them have been shattered by my observations of this species of particular worker.

For one thing, they are really, really loud. I was shocked at how boisterous they are in greeting each other. They act like it’s been months instead of mere hours since they last rested their wondrous gaze upon one another.

I had always assumed people who dealt in accounting were by nature very serious, but oh no, they are quite, quite jolly. Their peals of laughter reverberate off the cubicle walls.

True story: I told two of my communications coworkers the other day that it’s like a Finance Department Rave every morning. My coworkers, in turn, suggested that I put on some techno music and join in the early morning festivities. Fast forward to this morning — I heard someone playing techno music out of their phone as they were walking towards my office. Thinking it was one of my coworkers, I said (outloud) “Aaaaaawwwww yeah! Let’s do this” and started dancing at my desk with pens held aloft like glow sticks. A few seconds later, a Finance person walks past my door with his music blaring and sees my own little personal rave. I. DIE.

Other observations: They do not discuss the latest accounting scandals or software, but rather, they love to talk about their various health ailments, of which there are quite a few, including, of course, the expected carpal tunnel syndrome. No doubt acquired while raving hard — Finance style.

But it doesn’t stop at just work-related injuries. There are apparently buttloads of weekend shenanigans that put our delicate little Finance crew directly in harm’s way. It’s not at all unusual to see a group of them congregating around one of their own who has come in with a fresh new cane or arm brace. They gather in the kitchen (they love themselves some free Flavia flavored-coffees. The syrupy and sweeter, the better) and cluck over this latest injury, hanging on for all the details while the company’s bills wait patiently.

“So there I was, vaulting over my fat cat to replenish my cheese platter when I rolled my ankle and that’s why I’m using crutches today.”

They also love to talk about food. They are quite the foodie bunch and often weigh the merits of different cheeses in different recipes. I heard quite the discussion yesterday about white cheddar and gouda. It was a regular Top Chef over here.

What they do not like to do, however, is clean out the kitchen refrigerator. Or, my personal pet peeve, place smaller items (like sodas, or containers of cottage cheese – no, I don’t know their thoughts on that particular cheese, but I’m sure I’ll learn about it soon enough) on shorter shelves, thereby leaving the taller shelves for someone with a tall item, say, a lunch bag (ahem, me).

Also, I would have expected the Finance Department, which deals with the very delicate issue of money and bills, to display a bit of circumspection and respect for privacy. But no. I have heard about the most egregious abuses of company-issued cell phones, in part, because the Finance person in charge of resolving phone bill disputes often gets into very loud and heated phone conversations about it. It’s been, to say the least, illuminating.

So, to sum up, if you live for danger, like to party, walk on the wild side, enjoy fine food and Flavia coffee, you might want to consider a future in accounting. They are a really, really fun bunch.