One of my worst summers ever was when I worked in my cousin's accountancy office. I was about 16,
and my dad had the idea that if I worked with my cousin Jerry during my six-week summer holiday
from school, I might fall in love with bookkeeping and begin a successful career in accountancy.
All I wanted to do at 16 was play football and meet girls. The last thing on my mind was filing financial
papers and learning tax calculations.
Jerry was a nice guy. I don't see him these days, but when I was younger he paid attention to me and,
in his quiet, modest way, he tried to take me under his wing. But I hated being in his office. I had never
liked maths much at school, I was terrible at it, and the thought of spending my life with figures and
percentages and tax returns really freaked me out.
Nevertheless, I tried to make the best of it. What else was I going to do? So, I tidied his office, made the
tea, filed papers and sat next to Jerry while he explained to me the ins and outs of chartered accountancy.
"So, do you think you'd like to do that as a career when you leave school?" My dad asked at the end of the
six weeks from hell. "Well dad, it was definitely an unforgettable experience." I replied. "But to be honest,
I'd rather drink a bucket of sulphuric acid!"

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