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Office life is not for me

It's took a while but I'm finally certain

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Hi all

So, I can't hack an office environment.  I've tried big places, small places, formal places and relaxed places.  Long and short of it is I can't handle being around people all day every day. 

It's the little things, like I don't mind my office mates talking, that's fine, but chewing, coughing, fidgiting - all too much.  I'm the same at home with my neighbours, I don't so much mind hearing them, but their bass from their radio/TV drives me up the wall.  At least at home I can change rooms or put on headphones (and let's face it, I don't need to concentrate as much at home).

I'm also struggling with the fact I might be half a page into legislation, or otherwise deep in thought, just starting to get my head around it, and suddenly someone is shouting to me across the room, or has appeared by my desk, so then it's a break in concentration, then I try and pick up where I was and find I'm having to start again, by which time usually someone else wants my attention.  My concentration is too easy to break and too hard to regain to be at the beck and call of dozens of people, or even one.

I don't have any way to quickly get a client base and to be honest I'm not interested in having my own practice (work is stressful enough without adding 'potential financial ruin' to the mix), so my options are limited without leaving the field.  I am not aware that I am good at anything else - I was a reasonable sales assistant back in the day, mainly because I like to be helpful to people and find being the person people vent at easy, so long as it isn't me that did anything wrong (so the "I'll never shop here again, I demand to see your manager" lot never phased me).

Does anyone have any suggestions as to something I could do to make ends meet for a few months from home?  My needs are 'small' (or at least I believe they are!), so we are not talking huge amounts needed (if I could bring in £1k a month after tax I would easily tick over happily with no risk of losing my home until I found a solution to my problem).

Currently writing a fiction book, more for fun (and to pretend that will be my solution) than anything else, that about exhausts my artistic talents.

Help?

Replies (40)

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neand
By neanderthal
18th Feb 2021 11:52

Follow your heart and dont waste your life sitting at a computer desk if it makes you that unhappy. Im pretty much like you - not born to be an accountant- but i qualified as one after years and had to stick with it because of life pressures and personal circumstances. Ok, in the end you have some sucess because you have no real choice but to persist and if you are good at it but it doesnt stop you from disliking (or hating) what you are doing. you are permanently burnt out, underpaid a lot, nobody likes accountants because they think we bring it on them (tax - bad news) like doctors, even though we do save them a lot of taxes, the govnt sees accountants as a problem becasue without us they would get more money - never mind that without use the tax system would collapse in a day. yes, i believe if i did something that i truly loved, i would be much more successful but at this point its meaningless having regrets. the earlier you find your true path and stop wasting your time and potential the better. Eventually this profession will take its toll on you and you will most certainly pay the bill for so many years of pressure, deadlines, disappointments, especially if you dont have a stomach for it. Satisfaction? when you help people, nonetheless the overwhelming majority will never say thank you or show any appreciation or recognise your efforts. Soemone may say, all jobs have problems and to an extent its true. Working in today's world is not easy and means a lot of suffering whatever you do, so please make sure that at least do something that makes you feel good. life is too short.

Thanks (3)
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By Wanderer
18th Feb 2021 11:53
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Replying to Wanderer:
Quack
By Constantly Confused
19th Feb 2021 10:41

Wanderer wrote:

Sounds like you are suffering from stress:-
https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-probl...

I mean I 100% am, I also strongly suspect I have misophonia which isn't helping.

It's a hard knock life.

Thanks (1)
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
18th Feb 2021 12:53

The obvious thing to do is subcontracting.

This would tend to be on your terms and on your premises so you would control the environment.

£1k a month would be what, 10 hours a week? Not a big ask even with one contract.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By mumpin
18th Feb 2021 13:18

£22/hour for a subcontractor working from home seems quite generous...

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Replying to mumpin:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
18th Feb 2021 13:39

Really? I generally pay between £20-30 per hour.

I don't want monkeys.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By Southwestbeancounter
18th Feb 2021 14:48

I'd agree with this - subcontracting for a couple of local firms - you could do the work you're good at but wouldn't have the hassle of staff around you nor the buck stopping at your door!

I did it for a few years at the end of the 1980's until I built up my client base and I actually enjoyed it and learned a lot from working with other firms etc.

I know what you mean about people though - I get any really complicated stuff done after hours when I can really lose myself in what I am doing on my own sat in the office in the evening - the rest of the time it is fine as I won't let the radio be on loud anyway so I can block that out and there is only one other person in my office!

Thanks (0)
Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
Quack
By Constantly Confused
19th Feb 2021 10:43

ireallyshouldknowthisbut wrote:

The obvious thing to do is subcontracting.

This would tend to be on your terms and on your premises so you would control the environment.

£1k a month would be what, 10 hours a week? Not a big ask even with one contract.

I would love to contact a few local accountants and they give me, say 2 clients a month each to work on, maybe stuff that is the simpler end in a 'we'll focus on the important rich clients but someone has to do these more humdrum ones'.

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Red Leader
By Red Leader
18th Feb 2021 13:04

Given your novel writing aspirations, you could write fictional accounting stories for AWEB. I do mean that seriously. I think people find it entertaining. Might be a penny or two in it.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Red Leader:
A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
18th Feb 2021 13:14

I like that idea. "The Tax Return Murders".

Thanks (2)
Replying to Arthur Putey:
Red Leader
By Red Leader
18th Feb 2021 13:57

I was thinking more along the lines of office romance, a la Sylvie Krin. "She swooned uncontrollably every time he huskily murmured 'my marginal tax rate is 42% - that's including NI'".

Thanks (4)
Replying to Red Leader:
Quack
By Constantly Confused
19th Feb 2021 10:59

Red Leader wrote:

I was thinking more along the lines of office romance, a la Sylvie Krin. "She swooned uncontrollably every time he huskily murmured 'my marginal tax rate is 42% - that's including NI'".

Mills and Boon but for the accountants.

He shyly stared at his shoes and gave a nervous "Hi"
Enraptured by this display of unbridled [***] she pounced upon him, rending his three piece suit from his body with a passion he had only previously experienced during HMRC VAT inspections.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Constantly Confused:
Quack
By Constantly Confused
19th Feb 2021 11:43

Constantly Confused wrote:

Enraptured by this display of unbridled [***][***] she pounced upon him, rending his three piece suit from his body with a passion he had only previously experienced during HMRC VAT inspections.

I don't remember what I put after [***], in fact I didn't think I put anything, but I'm now intrigued!

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Replying to Red Leader:
A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
19th Feb 2021 11:51

This is crying out for one of those threads where each contributor adds one sentence. The only rule is that no-one is to mention double entry.

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Replying to Arthur Putey:
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By alialdabawi
18th Feb 2021 14:24

The Taxes Chainsaw Massacre - the latest (tax) slasher hit. A group of friends fall victim to a family of tax schemers on their way to an old ATED building...

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Replying to alialdabawi:
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By alialdabawi
18th Feb 2021 14:27

But to address the OP, kudos for owning the situation. Wishing you all the best - change is ever-scary but if done right, can be very rewarding

Thanks (2)
Replying to Arthur Putey:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
19th Feb 2021 11:26

It has been done for solicitors, Michael Gilbert wrote a few, I particularly remember "Smallbone Deceased" as it involved a corpse in a solicitor's deed box (though given I have a deed box here in my study I still cannot work out how it ever fitted)

Here is a free title to wrap a story around, "The Curious Case of the Client who told the Truth"

Thanks (3)
Replying to Arthur Putey:
Morph
By kevinringer
19th Feb 2021 13:00

Can I nominate a few clients as victims?

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Replying to kevinringer:
Red Leader
By Red Leader
19th Feb 2021 15:45

I'll get my chainsaw. Vroooom!!

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A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
18th Feb 2021 13:12

From what you say, working from home might just shift the problem with external distactions/annoyances. Yet you say you enjoyed a sales role where people yelled at you. Maybe you don't mind that because they are not distracting you from doing something else.

Do you have any skills that you could use outside. Round here everyone is crying out for gardeners and handypersons, or delivery drivers.

Meanwhile a good set of noise cancelling headphones might be a worthwhile investment!

Thanks (1)
My photo
By Matrix
18th Feb 2021 13:35

I am glad you have finally made the decision. Good luck with what you decide to do next.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Matrix:
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By zebaa
18th Feb 2021 14:27

I second that; wish CC well.

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rebecca cave
By Rebecca Cave
19th Feb 2021 09:50

You can obviously write, and there is money to be make in technical tax and accountancy writing. DM me for advice and I may be able to make some introductions for you.

Thanks (6)
By Duggimon
19th Feb 2021 09:56

Well with strong technical knowledge, good literacy and people skills, teaching in further education or professional bodies must surely be another potential path. You'd still be around people but I think a lot of your bugbears from office life would vanish.

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Replying to Duggimon:
Quack
By Constantly Confused
19th Feb 2021 10:40

Duggimon wrote:

Well with strong technical knowledge, good literacy and people skills, teaching in further education or professional bodies must surely be another potential path. You'd still be around people but I think a lot of your bugbears from office life would vanish.

Teaching has occurred to me, you just have to know a bit more than the students neh? ;)

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Replying to Constantly Confused:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
19th Feb 2021 11:28

You also have to control them (and their parents), there are some really f**ked up kids within the system.

Thanks (1)
Replying to DJKL:
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By ImNotSureBut
19th Feb 2021 11:38

DJKL wrote:

You also have to control them (and their parents), there are some really f**ked up kids within the system.

A good reason for the OP to stick to professional body level - my cousin is a primary school teacher and it sounds a nightmare.

Thanks (1)
Replying to ImNotSureBut:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
19th Feb 2021 13:43

My wife works in a local state secondary school, whilst 90% of the intake are fine the other 10% are the ones that create all the work, the sad thing is she knows the 10% far better than the rest.

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By Nebs
19th Feb 2021 10:13

If you can't juggle 4 tasks in the air at once while being asked questions by a couple of juniors, and still make time to smile and see the client who has turned up on the wrong day for his appointment, then maybe you need a change of career.

Thanks (2)
Replying to Nebs:
Quack
By Constantly Confused
19th Feb 2021 10:36

Nebs wrote:

If you can't juggle 4 tasks in the air at once while being asked questions by a couple of juniors, and still make time to smile and see the client who has turned up on the wrong day for his appointment, then maybe you need a change of career.

Is that not what I'm saying?

Also I am all smiles with clients and (usually) colleagues, but it is taking its toll internally.

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Replying to Constantly Confused:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
19th Feb 2021 11:40

Well if losing your inner smile, here is a small replacement from Sharleen.

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video;_ylt=AwrJ6OI4oS9gbpcA3AH7w8Q...

Here is the entire Paris concert

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&ei=UTF-8&p=texas+l...

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Replying to DJKL:
A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
19th Feb 2021 12:23

Segway to "Texas" by Chris Rea, then "Any Road" by George Harrison

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Pile of Stones
By Beach Accountancy
19th Feb 2021 10:24

Now that I have my own practice (just me), if ever I am feeling down, I just have to remember that I will never have to go to another team meeting or participate in a company away day.

Tends to put things back in perspective

Thanks (6)
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By LW64
19th Feb 2021 10:43

Is this Boris Johnson?
Asking for a friend.

Thanks (1)
Replying to LW64:
Quack
By Constantly Confused
19th Feb 2021 11:03

LW64 wrote:

Is this Boris Johnson?
Asking for a friend.

Well I just want to say to that, that umm I jolly well wish I was Boris, as he seems like a jolly good chap, and I wish him the best and hope he can keep his chin up through these hard times and know that the whole bloody country is behind him 110%, especially that chap I sorry he met last week with the St George's cross tattoo on his, on his face. Bloody nice chap, bit over enthusiastic, but that's what makes Britain great isn't it?

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Replying to Constantly Confused:
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By LW64
19th Feb 2021 11:15

Haha!
Start blogging.
Confessions of an accidental accountant.
To be fair the number of accountants I know who actually meant to be one are few and far between.

Thanks (1)
Replying to LW64:
Pile of Stones
By Beach Accountancy
19th Feb 2021 11:39

Depressingly I did as I was good at maths...

However when I got to the Big 8 in London (as it was then) I was surrounded by Arts graduates...

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Replying to Beach Accountancy:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
19th Feb 2021 13:48

That is because we make great accountants, frankly if you have spent a few years on Chaucer, Metaphysical Poetry etc or trying to discern what Plato, Hume and Locke were really getting at (if you work it out please tell me as I am still in the dark) even understanding Covid relief schemes is a breeze.

Thanks (1)
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By yorkshirepudding
19th Feb 2021 11:19

When needing to concentrate, I recommend a good pair of comfortable over ear headphones, noise-cancelling if required, and play a form of white noise, which ensures you aren't distracted by outside noises. I have one that is a thunderstorm that I like, but also have ocean sounds and babbling brook that bought for family members to help with sleep.

Thanks (0)
Replying to yorkshirepudding:
Quack
By Constantly Confused
19th Feb 2021 11:45

yorkshirepudding wrote:

When needing to concentrate, I recommend a good pair of comfortable over ear headphones, noise-cancelling if required, and play a form of white noise, which ensures you aren't distracted by outside noises. I have one that is a thunderstorm that I like, but also have ocean sounds and babbling brook that bought for family members to help with sleep.

I have a pair which I tend to wear when the neighbours are playing music too loud, they have been a huge help. I'm experimenting with pink noise atm (and the FFVII - FFXII soundtracks :) ).

Sadly I'm not allowed them in the office.

Thanks (1)
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