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The Slice: Sometimes it pays to read the whole thing

January 10, 2017 GMT

Today’s parable offers a lesson in patience.

So I withdraw an envelope from the post office box my wife and I have downtown.

It’s from our accountant.

Guessing it is a reminder about the upcoming tax return season, I determine the letter is something I can open and glance at that evening. But about a dozen steps toward the door, I find myself wondering. What if it’s some sort of bad news?

Always a possibility.

So I stop and open the envelope.

It is an announcement that the accounting firm is joining another, larger firm.

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That old line often attributed to Dorothy Parker comes to mind.

What fresh hell is this?

You see, I liked our accounting firm just the way it was.

I liked our accountant. I liked the receptionist. I liked their work. I liked their responsiveness. I liked how they treated my mother when she was alive. And I liked that the office was just a few blocks east of the Review Tower. Right there on Riverside. It made for a nice walk from my workplace.

The letter went on to say this is going to be great for the firm’s clients.

But don’t letters of that nature always say that?

Seriously. Have you ever gotten such a notification and read that the immediate implications would include higher rates charged for services and a lurching move toward a sterile, faceless corporate atmosphere?

It seems the business being absorbed by a larger entity always offers assurances that everything is going to be fine. But let’s face it. Sometimes it isn’t.

The thing that really depressed me though, was the thought that the firm would probably move. It seemed like a good bet that any new location would almost have to be less convenient for me.

So I read on, and saw that I was right.

“We will be moving.”

The accounting firm’s new address would be 999 W. Riverside.

I looked at it for a couple of seconds and realized that’s the address of the newspaper building. (Trained, professional observer here.) Instead of going outside and walking a few blocks, I will henceforth need only walk down a couple flights of stairs.

The letter goes on. “If you’re downtown after our move, come visit us in our new location!”

Um, OK. I might be able to swing that.

Today’s Slice question: If you had to guess, what percentage of Spokane area residents live below their means?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. There is no Marmot Lodge meeting this month.

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