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Sooooo, way back in January of 1995, I was in the middle of my 3rd year of college. I’d opted not to play softball for a 3rd season . . . I REALLY wanted to graduate and be finished in 4 years. I was majoring in Accounting. I have no clue what ever possessed me to do that! The first test of the semester was on Cost of Goods Sold. I spent many nights in my fleece pajama pants and slippers studying for this friggin’ test. I just didn’t get it. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I HATED that test. Great teacher, but hated the class and that test in particular. I hated it so much, in fact, that figuring out the COGS changed my life. I went home that day after the test, decided I did NOT want to be an accountant, and set out to find my new major.

It’s weird how when you decide to do something, everything seems to fall in place. In one week, I ran into so many random people that I just happened to need to talk to about what I needed to do next. I ran into an English professor (literally, ran into him while riding my bike on campus). We chatted – about writing and editing, which I was good at. He took me to his office and gave me the name and number of a girl in one of his classes – same age as me, but an English major. Turns out, it was a classmate of mine from high school! Later that day, I ran into another high school classmate I hadn’t seen in years. We started chatting, and he mentioned the same girl, totally out of the blue! Total sign! So I  called her. We chatted about her major – English with emphasis in Technical Writing. Sounded right up my alley!

I was so excited that the next day I made an appointment with my counselor and told him I was changing my major from Accounting to English/Technical Writing. He highly suggested I not do that because it would put back my graduation at least a year since I was already half way through my junior year. I didn’t care. That was how much I hated accounting at the moment. We looked at my transcript and it turned out I liked English so much that I had taken enough electives and was very close to being able to have that as a second major anyway! So he said OK. Then he asked what my minor would be. I said “Um, accounting since I’ve already completed all the requirements for that.” He said that wasn’t possible because accounting was not an approved minor for english majors. Um, WHAT?!

I said I thought that was stupid and convinced him that it was a great minor for an English major . . . who wanted to finish in 4 years and not stick around any longer than she had to. Turned out I had to convince the English professor that it was acceptable. After a few days of chatting and convincing and presenting arguments to the English dude, he agreed and sent his blessing to the head of the English department – who said no. So I went to Mr. Head of the English department and had to convince all over again. It worked.

Three weeks after COGS made me hate accounting, I was an English major with an Accounting minor. My accounting professor, my counselor, and my English professor thought I was crazy and wouldn’t get a job with that accounting minor. My English professor even said so . . . “You will have a hard time getting a writing job with an accounting minor. It has nothing to do with writing.”

Turns out, he was wrong. My first job out of college after Hubby and I moved to Colorado? Writing user guides for accounting software :-) A big fat I Told You So came out of my mouth!

After many years enjoying my job writing user guides and online help for accounting software, I am now self-employed, working with Hubby for our two businesses. And precisely 17 years after COGS made me hate accounting and change my life, guess what I got to do last week . . .

Taxes. For our company. Which sells books and posters. Which are inventory. Which means I had to reconcile the COGS. I may or may not have been wearing fleece pajama pants and slippers at the time.

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  1. Sue says:

    I think you also have a quality that will be an asset all of your life. And that is convincing stuborn people to accept a new concept. I am proud of you for not letting the system rule your life. Many times we have to be still and listen to the clues around us, which proved to be very helpful to you in making a major decision.
    (Oh, is the word major, in that last sentence a pun?)

    Love you,

  2. Shirley says:

    Love your story! Goes to show that sometimes things are just meant to be and that with determination and hard work you can reach your goals even tho they may look unattainable to others. It is your unrelenting determination (some would call it sheer stubborness)…which by the way you got from your mother…which by the way is both our best and worst quality depending on the circumstance…that has made you successful in your life. Sooooooooo proud of you!!! Love…Mom

  3. Gail says:

    Great story! You were very qualified for the job!

  4. Deb says:

    What I find funny about this story is the fact that writing was never emphasized with Business majors “back then”. Just a couple of years later and it became a MUCH bigger deal because, as it turns out, business people need to know how to write! Even accountants! Wow! Who would have thought!

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