In college, I took a class on non-profit management. As people piled in on the first day, not one familiar face entered the room. As the seats in the classroom filled, only a couple remained open (one of them was next to me). Just as I made that observation, my new neighbor walked through the door.
Multi-colored hair, facial piercings, tattoos, denim jacket with assorted patches, crazy jewelry….this guy looked like he just walked off the set from a 80s hair band video. He sat down in the chair next to me, extended his hand and said, “Hey, I’m Uncle Kenny.”
I shook his hand and introduced myself as Grandpa Derek. (Actually, I didn’t say that….but how awesome would that have been!)
When I asked Uncle Kenny what his major was, he said, “I haven’t really declared a major but I’m really into fireworks so I think I’m going to go the Computer Science route.”
Wow! I immediately assumed that Uncle Kenny was looking for cooler ways to blow up stuff through his college education. This was going to be an interesting semester.
As it turns out, Uncle Kenny was referring to the coding language called “Fireworks” and he was an honest-to-goodness computer genius. At first blush, I thought he was just some goofball. As I got to know him better over the course of the semester, I realized that I was experiencing another one of those “Mom was right” moments. You really can’t judge a book by its cover. Uncle Kenny proved to be incredibly smart, friendly, and a very hard worker.
Believe it or not, I’m taking this trip down memory lane in honor of National Sales Tax Refund Claim Month.
When you’re doing a review of your Accounts Payable processes, looks can be deceiving. Just because you see an invoice from a large well-known company doesn’t always mean the sales tax was correctly charged. Large well-known companies make sales tax mistakes too, so remember what your mom told you and “don’t judge a book by its cover.”
P.S. – In case you were wondering, Uncle Kenny liked to be called “Uncle Kenny” because he had a young nephew that really tugged on his heart-strings. He had a few health emergencies after birth and was lucky to be alive. Kenny loved him very much and talked about him all the time. Yet another reason why I felt like a heel in judging this guy so wrong when I first saw him.