This past weekend I had the opportunity to go to Chicago and finally meet the whole Lance CPA Group team, minus our newest accountant, Katie. I had a pretty rough time trying to leave the airport, so I was already stressed and anxious about meeting everyone for the first time. My ride share options weren’t viable, so now I was dependent on hitching a ride from Saima. My first meeting was coming much sooner than I’d expected. This caused a bit more anxiety since she’d be seeing me exhausted and flustered from my long travel day. I quickly realized that I wasn’t alone in my frustration. We’d all had a rough day, so Saima and I meshed well together in our hatred for bad drivers and traffic.
Upon arrival at the house, I was greeted with smiles and cold beer. It was a little weird. Not because I hadn’t met anyone, but because it felt like I already knew everyone. We have Google hangout meetings weekly, so technically I have met them all, but this was obviously different. We were in comfy clothes with beers in our hands. THIS is a meeting. This is how I enjoy spending time with people. Not talking shop. Talking beer.
Aaaand then there was the matter of getting me to my house for the night. I’ll save you the details and just say that it wasn’t what I wanted to deal with after such a long day. It was a little sketchy. Sam’s maternal nature and overly cautious behavior had me thinking I’d be kidnapped and my organs harvested. I decided to forego the house and sleep on the couch at the other house. So far I had been rescued from the airport and narrowly escaped the dark organ trade of the Chicago suburbs….all after having been in town for only 3 hours.
All weekend long everyone asked what I thought of the team. First Impressions. “What did I expect? Is anyone different than you expected?” I knew they’d be anticipating this post so I did do a bit of thinking on the matter. Everyone was just how I imagined they’d be. The whole team was welcoming, and I also really enjoyed watching this group interact. Most of them have known each other for a couple years now, and I think that heavily influenced how comfortable I was around them.
I left Chicago with a clear picture of how a CPA firm functions, and a better understanding of my team and how they communicate with each other. Needless to say I can’t wait for the next retreat.