My professional competency is something I take pride in, and take great care to preserve. In particular, my jobs over the years have involved working with lots of numbers, often money-related, and it is very important that those numbers be correct.

In my current job, I am responsible for reconciling the daily receipts and handling bank deposits. The computer produces reports and my manual checks must match. This morning I got email from our operations manager, forwarded from the parent company’s accountants:

7/3/07 daily is off on the deposit part. The deposit slip says $3481.00. It should be $3951.

Of course I was curious, since I rarely make an error like this. So I pulled our copy of the daily deposit for that date and examined it. Then I sent this reply:

The deposit was correct. There were 2 deposit slips for that day, as there were so many payments. Both pink copies are attached to the daily I sent. 1st slip totals $3481.00 and the 2nd is $470.00, for a total of $3951.00 received for 7/3/07.

The short version for people who don’t want to try to parse that is:



It reminds me of when my father went back to school during the unemployment peak in the 1980’s. He very rarely got a wrong answer on an exam, and as a result, the professor later told him that when he had seen a wrong answer come out of the Scantron machine on my dad’s test, he had checked the answer key and discovered that the key was wrong.

In either case, I think the following picture is appropriate:

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