Going Concern – 3 weeks on

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.

Going Concern

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.


6 thoughts on “Going Concern – 3 weeks on

  1. I really wonder about this. We assume desk job=easy. Mind you, I only worked painting/doing auto repair in a shop for like a week, but I felt WAY less burnt out doing that stuff in a shop environment compared to when I worked a rather “cushy” job doing spreadsheets all day for a labor union. And on my own, I’d spend hours and hours working on cars and stuff, til 2-3AM sometimes out in the cold, etc, didn’t bother me really at all.

    Have you considered that? I mean I know it sounds counterintuitive to your shit being all snapped up, but I wonder if doing a physical job like painting or working on cars or landscaping or whatever would be better and less stressful for you. It seems that way for me, anyway, to some extent I can say it’s the same for random people I know, too.

  2. man, you’re all fucked up. celica is easy to advise: do more squats! talk to girls! eat more protein! i mean he doesn’t listen, but it’s fine. you, i dunno. i got nothing once again but sympathy.

    1. I ate 126g protein today. Did some overhead squats with the bar and got a set of 3 with the 15lb trainer plates on the side. I did like 35 reps of squats Monday, right?

      1. you don’t weigh 126 lbs.
        but re the squats/protein/whatever, i’m kind of just messing with your persona. i.e. the guy who just subsists on chinese herbs, benches 65 lbs, but does 65″ box jumps.

    1. If I were to quit, and not have a significant reduction in pain after a year in less stressful desk job, I’d think about retraining as a welder or electrician. That does have its own risks, like some heavy lifting, potentially awkward positions or rotations, and the occupational hazards of each job. Plus I’d be starting from scratch in terms of experience. But I’d think about it.

      Interesting essay. Thank you for sharing it. We touched on Weber in a business ethics course, but I would like to read more. There is a big push at entry level and college to recast work as more than a career, but something “vocational”. Before I started coming back to the the Church, this made me uncomfortable, because I thought “vocation” should be reserved for a calling to serve God as a priest/monk/nun or in marriage. But before long, I felt guilty for not living my life rationally, making money, saving prudently, and offering myself impersonally for whatever service I could. What a lonely fucking life, that even helping other people was “duty” and not love.

      When everything in my life has to be measured and judged in terms of efficiency, and your self-confidence is based around that assessment, all it takes is an injury or two, and it’s no wonder I’m thinking about offing myself. It’s encapsulated in that phrase that replaced “fired”: instead you’re “made redundant”. You are surplus and unwanted. When you evaluate yourself on your professional worth, and you lose that, is history the reason you feel washed up?
      Quoting Weber: “Am I chosen, or am I condemned”?” If you get damaged goods, you should send them back.

      But we all have our flaws and spiritual damage. I think the experience of Grace and the absolute love of god can help to mitigate that focus on the rational. We’re more than our labour or professional success, or romantic success, or bench PR (though that is breddy important).

      But I’d say I’m the exception amongst my friends and peers in thinking like this. The folks drove me hard to succeed, but I’m still learning to kick back and relax. Sure. we’ll see how it goes. It’ll be grand.

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