Having written some time ago about almost being run down by a cyclist, I have now managed to go one better.
Last week, coming home at the end of the day, I was on a zebra crossing with no traffic in sight when a silver Mercedes drove straight through and knocked me down. For the avoidance of doubt, my ears were unencumbered by any kind of music-making devices, my phone was safely tucked away in a bag and, as I explained to the police, it was several days since I had last touched alcohol or any other kind of intoxicant.
Some readers may be disappointed to learn that I suffered little more than a couple of bruised knees and, having landed pretty much face-first, a very sore chin that is now multi-coloured.
The driver was most apologetic, explaining that he had not been looking where he was going since his small son was messing around next to him.
I can only compliment the efforts of the London Ambulance Service, which judging by the state of the vehicle in which I was attended, is desperately in need of extra funding.
The police were very friendly, and with all due respect to the driver who was shaken and seemed to feel as badly about events as I did, it may do him no harm to face a short period using public transport or taxis while he gets a better grip on public safety issues.
This kind of experience is quite terrifying and inevitably makes one take a fresh look at long-held views and values.
You don’t necessarily need to be knocked down by a car to step back and consider matters like work/life balance and many of the problems that the accountancy profession can throw into your day-to-day existence.
Realising that we only have so much time to devote to professional matters in a week, year or career is probably a good thing, since it means that there is an opportunity to concentrate on what matters most. I leave readers to decide their own personal preference as to whether this is making money, having fun or progressing your career to a peak that might otherwise have seemed out of reach.
There are probably a number of other morals that can be drawn from this story which, depending upon your perspective, either involved incredibly good fortune or ridiculously bad luck.
I am hardly an adventurer at the best of times but will be approaching zebra crossings with binoculars or a metaphorical equivalent for the next few months, certain that no driver has any intention of stopping despite the legal obligation to do so. I may also take this even more cautious approach into professional life, which may be no bad thing.
Looked at from the other end of the binoculars, the driver clearly believed that he could get away with driving dangerously and, 99 times out of 100, he would have been correct. This was the hundredth and may well cost him some penalty points or even his driving licence.
How often do you take a flyer when signing off on audit or recommending a tax strategy to clients? Once again, perhaps a little more caution could save embarrassment and career threatening problems in the long run.