I had no idea what I was in for on Wednesday morning as I came into my office and began to check emails. I saw an ominous title of “Audit” and the sender as none other than the head of compliance at the investment firm I represent. Every other year he comes to Oregon on a Friday, tears files apart, and examines all that the law requires of him. He’s actually a great guy who does not use his power to rub salt (and he could), but instead uses the power of fines to keep the reps obeying all the arcane rules that now make up the securities business. It is not a surprise that we have an audit coming up … but it requires a ton of preparation to make sure that all is in order.
I then opened the email to see that he briefly wrote, “We are implementing a surprise audit and are flying from Houston to Eugene shortly. Have your files ready for when we meet at your office on Saturday the 6th at 4:00 PM. See you then.”
Oh, crap! I have so much to do and my wife Lois (who also has been my office manager for the last 30 years) was not pleased to hear what we would be doing for the next two days. (If your records are behind at all, two days prep will not put a dent into them and then you’re in trouble! Lois does a great job, so there is not much to catch up on … but there is still enough to create a lot of work and stress over the next 48 hours.) We were both bouncing off walls and spewing banal utterances into the air.
“Is he really doing this on a Saturday in September? Omigosh! That is during the Michigan State game! Is he crazy?!! He knows I have a website and am a huge Oregon fan, and he knows this is a big game and that I cannot miss it, and how can he do this, as he too is a big college football fan?” (He is a proud Texas Tech Red Raider.)
Then it hit me; he is a big college football fan and knows exactly what he’s doing … and I’ve just been pranked!
I caught my breath and explained to Lois what was really happening here. “Are you sure?” (She wanted to be certain.) Well, I thought, “Let me call the son-of-a-gun (appropriate usage for a Red Raider) and find out!”
When he answered, I gently said, “Mike … it is not nice to use your position to make my heart flutter!” He burst out laughing, and I have to admit … it was pretty funny. It was the perfect prank for anyone who knows me and my passion for our beloved Ducks. “I actually contemplated my professional ethics for about an hour,” he chuckled, “but I had to send that email and see the reaction.” Very cleverly played; it had to be played at the right time, for the right game, and this was it. He admitted that he’ll have his feet up watching our game on TV and be giggling, thinking about how he pulled the best prank ever on Mr. FishDuck.
OK … it made my heart flutter a bit, but it is still better than an audit!