Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the Right
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.
Gerry Rafferty passed away this week. He wrote that Steeler's Wheel song to mock Bob Dylan. He was surprised when it turned out to be a hit. But he was a natural hit maker and had a very unique but pleasant voice. Remember the Baker's Street album? My Dad played that over and over - on cassette - in his Ford Bronco. Ah, the 70s.
I also remember singing that song to my audit brethren during a difficult audit of a university. The University staff was incompetent and they hated us. They gave us every reason to turn tail and leave. But because of our mission, "To make a difference in state government,' we stuck it out. And we were miserable. Miserable.
But the bonds I made with my fellow auditors on that audit are still in place. We didn't turn on each other. We can still reminisce about our experience and with time see it with humor. We even have a bit of nostalgia about it now - like I do for that moment driving to New Orleans with Baker Street playing in my Dad's Bronco.
I tell my students in Basic Audit Skills courses to be very nice to each other. I tell them to look around and make friends, because these are their peeps. Other auditors are the only friends and auditor has. Auditors are shunned or politely tolerated at Christmas parties. Operations staff will rarely be your friend - they can't afford to take the risk and neither can you. I tell new auditors to embrace their situation and try to laugh about it. My granny always said, "Better to laugh about it than to cry."
I assume Gerry Rafferty laughed about his parody of a dominant Bob Dylan all the way to the bank.
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you.
Governmental auditors unite! Leita Hart-Fanta, CPA, CGFM, and CGAP is the author of “The Yellow Book Interpreted” and owner of Yellowbook-CPE.com a website devoted to training for governmental auditors. Whether you are an internal auditor or monitor for a government entity or a CPA doing grant audits, you will enjoy Leita’s humorous take on the complexity of auditing in the government environment.