Monday, June 2, 2008


Verbatim's post inspired me to post about how this Compartive Literature major loves working with numbers. I've always enjoyed math but I quit taking math classes my Junior year in high school. That's a whole other post.

My dad is a CPA, my brother is a CPA. My paternal grandfather was a math professor, my grandmother got a Master's in math as did my paternal aunt. My mom was a bookkeeper. So I was surrounded by numbers all my life. And I love them.

In high school and in college I worked at my dad's accounting firm. I had all kinds of jobs there, including receptionist, file clerk, accounts receivable clerk and eventually programmer. Aside from the programming, my favorite tasks involved the numbers.

I didn't have Excel to help me with my work. I had a 10 key adding machine. I loved adding long lists of numbers. Key them in, get a total and then key that total in and subtract out all the entries. When I would hit the total button and get ZERO, it meant I had added them perfectly.

But my favorite task was balancing accounts. Give me a pad of paper like this:

Add a number two pencil along with a ten key and set me loose. Add down, add across and check the totals. When it would all balance I was perfect! The nice thing was there was always a right answer. Do it correctly and balance. Do it incorrectly and you're stuck hunting down the error. Tip: If you're off by a multiple of 9, you probably transposed a number somewhere along the line.

I'm not against progress and I have nothing against Excel; it saves a lot of time. I still like working with numbers, constructing formulas and getting the answers but I do kind of miss my 10 key.


Jenny said...

I like numbers too but, like you, never really took math after the 11th grade. I think what I really like about them, like you, is the objective satisfaction that comes from working with them.

JohnnyB said...

I like numbers but I don't *like them* like them. We just friends, actually.

JohnnyB said...

I meant "we are just friends"