A Trustworthy Personality
From the salary Cal paid her, Kitty saved every penny she could. She opened a bank account. Every week she deposited her paycheck and counted the interest she had received. She established a daily routine. Up at seven, walking by eight, at Cal Howard’s office by ten of nine. By nine o’clock every morning she was at her desk filling in long columns of numbers for Cal’s clients. She started keeping the books manually but Cal said she had to learn how to do everything on a computer by the new year, so she stayed an hour late every day to take the tutorials on the software programs, mastering them easily, which surprised her.
She transferred Alva’s records to the computer first.
“What’s going to happen to Alva?” she asked Cal.
“Not sure,” he told her. “I’ve written to the IRS and included late tax returns for her. I did find that she had been paying every year through an attorney’s office. He had an accountant working on the returns and they filed for her every year. Until three years ago. Do you know why they stopped?”
Kitty shook her head. Alva was such a mystery. “Is she going to go to jail or anything?”
“No. They’ll come back with late fees, penalties, interest. She’ll have to pay a lot more than she would have if she had filed on time or even applied for extensions,” Cal said. “But I’ll try to negotiate with them for her. Did she have some kind of crisis, maybe an ongoing health issue? That’s always good to start a negotiation.”
“I don’t know. I only just met her in October,” Kitty said.
“Really? And she let you do her bookkeeping just like that?” Cal asked.
Kitty laughed. “So did you,” she said.
“You’re right,” Cal answered. “I never thought of it that way. I guess you have one of those trustworthy personalities. By the way,” he went on, “you’re doing a great job. Better than the girl who left.”
Kitty realized this was the first time she had really felt comfortable in years. This desk, her room at Alva’s, her walks, these were all hers. Things she had established on her own.
“Thank you for giving me this chance, Mr. Howard,” she said.
“Call me Cal, please. It’s such a small office, just the two of us. We might as well be informal,” he said before walking back down the hall. As he walked he called back to her, “and let your friend know I’ll be filing at the end of the week. So she better have some funds available for when the IRS calls us back.”