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What happens when you drop a piano on an accountant?

Seems obvious doesn’t it?

The comedic potential is hilarious. I can’t resist referring to Laurel and Hardy’s – The Music Box (still available). As an onlooker; thanks to the director, script writers and excellent actors; we can share in the anticipation of what is going to go wrong, appreciate the ineptitude of the clueless clowns and enjoy the catalogue of catastrophic outcomes.

So what does happen when you drop a piano on an accountant?

Freeze frame the image and now let me put you, an aspiring thespian and accountant, in place of the character. What would you like to see happen?  What outcomes could there be and which would you select?

In the original script, the poor unfortunate is walking along the pavement unaware of their surroundings assuming all is well and by now is doing their best impression of Flat Stanley. Great comic drama!  Congratulations, you’ve made the celebrity listings.

Imagine this time a different script. The accountant is walking down the same street and under the same piano. They see the mishap about to occur and take spectacular avoiding action, survive and heave a sigh of relief. Great dramatic impact, maybe some humour and a heroic outcome. Hearty congratulations for a magnificent performance. You are now an all action hero who has hit the celebrity “A” list.

From the inexhaustible ranks of accountants comes yet another! They saunter down the same street, see and assess the situation from a distance and walk up to the workmen trying to raise the piano to their client’s apartment. Quickly establishing a friendly rapport, the accountant ascertains why they have chosen the particular method of raising the piano. This is followed by a series of practical suggestions that make life easier and safer for all concerned. Not very good screen material this. No drama, no celebrity status and a feeling of having been short changed if this was the script you were given.

 So what does dropping a piano on an accountant have to do with anything?

While onscreen comedic catastrophe is highly amusing, its roots are often found in tragic reality. Again in reality, it is the individual who achieves effective solutions that is the more impressive and who gains the celebrity “A” listing of accountants. Which of those accountants would you climb Everest with? The first is to be commiserated with. The second is to be congratulated for having sufficient anticipation to take avoiding action. The real hero is the one who not only avoided harm but went out of their way to make the situation safer and easier to achieve for everyone else.

In the world of recruitment it is easy to understand which accountant an employer would select.  In the light of this, candidates should consider which of these three accountants they might be perceived as. It follows on from this that:  you as a candidate should give some thought as to what actions you can take in order to add value to your role and organisation, which can also be used to demonstrate your potential to a future employer.

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