No one likes working long days. And no one really likes taxes, either. But for the tireless teams of tax accountants, this is exactly what the months between December and April look like, long hours every day, dealing with deadlines, stressed customers, and lots and lots of numbers.
“We always like to order them a lunch…to give them a little treat for working so hard during their busy time of year.”
In Grafton, one such team has worked with Choice Financial for over 14 years. They are small team of women: Patty, Lynda, and a part-time worker who helps during the busy season. For the past five years, the Grafton location has provided lunch as a way of showing their appreciation.
“They’ll be here until 8 or 9 PM at night sometimes,” said Sara Gullickson, a Personal Banker in Grafton. “We always like to give them a little treat for working so hard during their busy time of year.”
These treats are usually cookies during Christmas time, or a special lunch when tax season is at its peak. Other days, it can be as simple as hot coffee in the mornings.
“Gee thanks!” the ladies say, always appreciative.
“She rallied the rest of the Choice team and everyone agreed it was a perfect idea.”
This year, Sara told Lynda, one of the tax accountants, the date that she had in mind to provide the celebratory lunch.
“That would work great,” Lynda said. “And it’s Patty’s birthday too!”
Right away, the wheels started turning in Sara’s mind. Why not turn it into a surprise birthday lunch! She rallied the rest of the Choice team and everyone agreed it was a perfect idea. Morgan Smestad designed a birthday card, and the whole team signed it.
When the day came, they blew up bunches of red and blue balloons and arranged a platter of cookies made fresh at the Choice office; chocolate chip, peanut butter, and ginger.
For the meal, they had an extra special feast planned.
“There’s a Chinese restaurant in town, and for us it’s kind of a big deal when people get to order from there!” Sara said.
They ordered the works: classic beef and broccoli, pork and snow peas, chicken chow mein, and special fried rice. Balloons, cookies and Chinese feast in tow, they showed up at the tax accountants’ office with all the pageantry of the best surprise party.
“Oh my goodness!” Patty said, laughing. “What’s all this?”
“This is one of Choice’s core values that Morgan sees exemplified in Sara, but for Sara, it’s just a matter of giving someone a little extra love.”
That birthday lunch was a particularly memorable one; but treating the team to lunch is something Sara remembers to do every year without fail.
“She does these lunches every year,” Morgan said. “Sara has a million things going on, but she always seems to remember to do it.”
”This is one of Choice’s core values that Morgan sees exemplified in Sara, but for Sara, it’s just a matter of giving someone a little extra love.
“As you get older, birthdays aren’t really a crazy cool thing anymore,” she said, chuckling. “It’s nice to know someone is thinking about you.”
This year, Grafton and their tax accountant team celebrated Patty’s birthday together over chow mein and ginger cookies. And just for a little while, no one thought about the pressures of tax season.