Businesses report to the world using financial statements. One assumption that underlies these statements is that the business has enough money to keep going without severely curtailing its operations for the foreseeable future. We call this a going concern. If management thinks the business will not last, the assumption is invalid, and the business should then be liquidated.
Businesses run out of money for a lot of reasons. They can make trade losses and not profits for several years. They can be denied loans, which means their monthly cash flows dry up – debtors call in debts, and even though they are profitable yearly, they have to liquidate.
Most relevant to us today, and to us as lifters, is overtrading. A company tries to accommodate high demand, and produces so much that it needs more and more loans to meet this demand. But the interest on all these loans reduces net profit, which reduces the pool of money the company has to play with, which then requires further loans. So it’s a negative cycle. Eventually, they run out of cash and have to close shop. It’s a bit like overtraining -you exceed your ability to recover, and pick up injuries, until you total yourself/take a rest.
Where I’m at with the neck and back after 3 weeks off work: my ROM is better, but my pain is still hard to manage while studying and at a desk. I took a few days off the valium, using only as needed when exercise, heat and ibuprofen were ineffective, as I found my tolerance increasing quickly, and noticed myself going up to 10mg x3 daily. Also, the family doc, sister and med buddy said valium was very addictive, and had a lot of side effects. I substituted it for beers/vodka/whiskey, which has the same muscle relaxant effect. But 4-6 shots of vodka daily fine, right?
I also tried coming off the strong NSAIDs today, but the pain was not manageable with heat, exercise and ibuprofen. So back on the valium and strong NSAIDs, and I cut back on study. This makes me worry about going back into work next week. I’m not getting any income from work at the moment, and the physio/doc/MRI/Consultant fees are eating up my savings. I was thankful I got insurance instead of a PC/PS4/XBONE last year, so that has taken some of the financial pressure off. But long term, I need to get back to work at a sustainable level.
Having a career and getting qualified is important to me. But I definitely have to take it easy in work. I’m overtrading on my health, and having liquidity issues regarding my will to live. I’ve noticed that depression symptoms and suicidal thoughts have gone up in the three weeks I’ve been off. I’d say they are strongly related to the injury and pain, and reduced when medication was used to control pain. There’s been a lot of uncertainty about the speed of the injury healing, and managing work and my career, if I want to stick the remaining 3 years in big 4 audit.
The HR staff, partners, managers and seniors have been helpful and understanding (so far). But there are many poisonous things about the culture of long hours in audit. The partners themselves know, and while they are trying acknowledge that they are trying to change them, it takes time.
But I think the reason why long hours have become ingrained in big 4 audit ultimately makes sense: no one in management cares that much about retention or burnout at the staff level. They know there are marginal returns on the overtime you work, and they want you to work long overtime for months in your because the jobs are understaffed intentionally. That way they can save money to drive efficiency in the business, as staff are not paid overtime. When people get sick, quit, or leave for elsewhere, there are more to replace them. The company I am in has total staff of 1300 in the country, but needs to recruit 200+ on training contracts a year to balance losses and keep growing.
That doesn’t include the experienced hires from outside the business. The Pakistanis, Philipinos and Indians in the higher staff levels love it – they are used to working to 3 AM for much less money. Here their experience is recognised and rewarded. They beat thousands of others to get where they are now. They make up about 10-15% of our business unit in funds at this point, and they are not hired in greater numbers due to the difficulty in getting them into the country if they are from outside the EU.
I guess I’ll see how I manage in work as a valium zombie, and look for other work once my first set of exams are done in May. Until then, let’s hope this gets better, as I don’t want to wind up life operations due to a lack of will to live liquidity.