In the building where my accountant's office is there is a floor the elevator does not go to.
Canadian taxation is not a field for amateurs, unless you're a very charitable person. To be taxed bare-back by the government is not a viable option. This is why Littlestar and I hand all of that crap over to our over-priced accountants, who work hard to justify their fees by sheltering our income in various brilliantly creative (and certainly wholly legal) ways. They're good people, the accountants. We shoot the shit and they offer us espresso.
The thing is:
I am befuddled fool. The reason Littlestar prepares our papers for the accountants is because I have a solid reputation of borking the job. I have a lot of trouble keeping track of my wallet, let alone tracking our revenue and spending.
It's my little job to remember where the accountant's office is. And, truth be told, I usually bork that, too. I'm pretty good about remembering where the actual building is (it's been two years since I last accidentally directed Littlestar to their old location), but for the life of me I can't ever keep straight which suite they're in.
Which is why we often find ourselves looking at the directory in the lobby, under the especially watchful gaze of an especially vigilant security concierge. I say he's especially this and especially that because if one loiters at the directory too long he comes over to ask pointed questions. This has happened to us on several occasions.
He wants to know what our business in the building is, and he prefers prompt answers.
The directory lists an unremarkable fleet of hosted businesses: chartered accountants, law offices, the administrative wing of a credit union. There is nothing to explain the vigilance of the security beyond the fact that there are always police officers going to and fro through the lobby.
There is no law enforcement related agency listed on the directory.
"It's suite four hundred," reports Littlestar. "Why can I never remember that?"
It's a curious recurring amnesia. We proceed to the elevator and ride up to the fourth floor with two armed men in bullet-proof vests. They make no small-talk.
At the fourth floor they get off with us and, while we turn the corner through the glass doors into the accountant's, they head straight into the stairwell and start climbing the stairs.
"We're here to see Hank," we tell the receptionist. We sit down and flip through old copies of Fortune.
Through the glass doors we watch more police officers exit the elevator and proceed up the stairs. Other come out of the stairwell and call for an elevator to take them to the lobby. No one speaks. This is how it always is -- a constant parade of cops.
I once asked the accountant why there were so many police in the building and he shrugged. "I've never noticed that."
An early lesson at the accountant's office is to know when things aren't supposed to be said -- like things the accountant doesn't want to have the burden of knowing about. That was his tone. Thus I took my cue to ask no follow-up questions.
When Littlestar and I leave we are briefly tempted to visit a higher floor, but are dissuaded when we are joined in the elevator car by a gruff-looking older constable. We ride down in silence.
In the parking lot we note the total absence of marked police cars or unmarked police-style cars. We drive away.
I reckon it's none of our business.
Posted by Cheeseburger Brown at 10:54