Word count, start of day -- 49,900
It was great. Everyone was nervous but me. Everyone was gossiping by me. Of course, Carrie was neither nervous nor gossiping, but she was part of the announcement and not the audience. I figured that meant she didn't count. The rest of us accountants, along with the entire staff of the Center, was in one end of the cafeteria. Six seats were seat out at two tables. A podium was between the two tables. The three people I recognized were Carrie and Brian, of course, and I think the guy in the perfect suit was the administrator of the Center. The only time we ever saw him was to deliver bad news. No wonder all the employees were nervous.
Carrie and Brian did not speak at this meeting, but they were introduced all the same. I applauded loudly for both and even winked at him. He did not wink back, of course, but I do think he smiled at me. The administrator did all the talking. I knew what he was going to say, but I still had trouble understanding what he was saying. He was not a good public speaker. Some managers were, but this one most definitely was not.
They then broke us up into functional units to discuss the implications of the purchase. Carrie began by restating the administrator's message in common English. "We have agreed in principle to purchase a pair of similar facilities downstate from a large chain that owns more than two dozen such facilities. Our administrative functions, of which we are a part, will maintain operations at Canterbury Corporation. The corporate entity will then own the operations side of this facility, which will still be known as the Canterbury Retirement Center. The other two facilities will change their names to include the Canterbury identity and their location. So they will be known as Canterbury Springfield and Canterbury Greenville." She asked for questions. There were none. We probably just did not know enough what to ask.
She then turned the meeting over to Brian, to "explain some of the changes that are coming and what we will need to do to prepare."
He stood and thanked us all for being here. You're welcome, baby. I had such anticipation before this meeting. We were going to lunch after this, and I was so excited I was almost shaking. I was like a schoolgirl getting ready for the prom. In some way, I think the absence really did make our hearts grow finder. Maybe it's that whole tested by fire thing. We had been tested and we had passed.
He explained that a separate firm would be coming in in the next month to study and then implement the new accounting system. Our office would handle the corporate accounting and the accounts for this location. But we would also have access to the records of the two other locations. "You have heard of having two sets of books?" he asked with a grin. "Well, congratulations, you will be keeping four sets of books." I did not think this was strictly true, but it was a clever way to explain the differences that were coming.
"Why do we need another company to set up the new system?" the payroll clerk asked. "Can't your firm just do it?"
Brian looked at her and held up two fingers, the old peace sign. "There are two reason we can't do it. One, Arthur. Two, Andersen." A chuckle ran throughout the room. "Actually, that is true. There are new limits on additional services that auditors can legally provide their clients."
I coughed back a laugh. What would the SEC think of the additional services he had provided me?