May 2019

(Tring! Tring!)

C. N. Vaze
Chartered Accountant

Mr. Phonewala was a very busy Chartered Accountant practising over three decades; always running around income tax offices, sales tax and service tax offices, audit clients, and many other places. He could hardly sit peacefully in his office. Even while in office, there was constant disturbance of phone calls, visitors, compliance deadlines and so on.

 

He had come up in life the hard way. He slogged and struggled a lot to establish his practice. He sacrificed his family life and the many other pleasures of life; and was dedicated to the profession round the clock. One secret of his success was his soft-spokenness, public relations and goodwill. He never learnt to say ‘No’ to anyone. Another quality (?) of his was that he was ‘always available’! Naturally, everyone took him for granted. He did join some courses of time-management, leadership training, delegation, etc.; but he remained the original ‘Phonewala’ only.

 

Once he was sitting in his office. A client came with an appointment at 2:30 pm. Mr. Phonewala entered his office, back from the income tax department at 3 o’clock, sweating and talking on his cell-phone. He just gave a smile to the client who was waiting patiently and entered his cabin. After finishing the phone-call, he called the client inside. Mr. Phonewala had had no time to have his lunch so he ordered sandwiches. By that time some staff and articles entered his cabin with many questions and queries of many clients. The receptionist entered and gave him a list of messages. The client was sitting patiently as he had been associated with him for 25 years! The client shared the sandwich and had a cup of tea, watching Mr. Phonewala’s hectic activity – firefighting on many fronts. At 3:45 pm he could utter his first sentence – “You see, Mr. Phonewala, I have a property at Lonavala………” and there was a ring! Mr. Phonewala took the call. There were so many interruptions –

  •    Calls on landline and mobile were simultaneously received – every five minutes.
  •    There were a couple of intruders dropping in for ‘five minutes’ but consuming 20 minutes.
  •    Phone-calls were from clients, tax departments, staff, friends, bank loan offers, booksellers, credit card offers; and also from his residence for the evening programme. He gave

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