Kevin Page: Change is constant, whatever your colour

By Kevin Page

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Kevin Page
Kevin Page

I understand that the one certainty in life is change. I really do.

I'm not particularly happy about it but I know that as my formidable frame ages some bits will cease to work as they did 20 years ago _ I just hope nothing falls off.

I know Shortland Street cannot go on forever _ fingers crossed. I mean sooner or later they are going to have to repeat what they did 15 years ago in a cliffhanger episode. It may have already happened. It's likely I missed it, lulled into a catatonic state by the theme music.

Equally, I understand petrol prices will change with the wind, someone may finally work out that super trim milk is just coloured water, and my puppy will eventually become a man and cock his leg to pee.

I get all those things will more than likely change at some stage in my lifetime.
But what I can't get my head around is when certain people change. I'm not just talking about anyone here. I'm talking about accountants.

Or more particularly, one accountant. One who it seems has developed a sense of humour.

Now, dear reader, before you go all rebellious on me and throw this column in the compost _ newsprint promotes worms which are good for the garden apparently, I read it in the gardening pages _ consider this.

As a career journalist, I have worked on the assumption for years that there are four different types of people, each with their own characteristics that you have to learn in order to deal with them efficiently.

Each is given a colour.

Most of us I understand are Blue _ unhurried, people and team-orientated, warm and friendly, casual even.

Then there's Red. Think your boss. Powerful, in control, firm handshake, come across as decisive, no time for being distracted.

And what about Yellow _ excitable, extroverted, short attention span, sometimes outlandish dressers. Think arty people, maybe.

Then finally there's Green. This is where the accountant comes in. Principled, love facts and details, can appear serious, very orderly.

And so for decades, when I've had to go and talk to anybody, I've been able to work out their colour and, most importantly in my days as a reporter, how to interact with them for the best results _ what floats their boat, so to speak.

It's been fun too.

Along the way, I've managed to get my own back on the odd Red by introducing them to a flamboyant Yellow at a party, then standing back and watching the fun.

Likewise, I've had a Red (good old five foot nothing Rob Muldoon) turn me into jelly in an elevator for asking a question he deemed too direct. Longest 15 seconds of my life under that stare.

I remember some good times with a lot of Blues, which have become forgettable, in the sense that I can't remember a thing after the pub closed, when Yellows have joined in.

So that just leaves the Green accountants.

Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against accountants. Mine is a great guy. A like-minded follower of the royal and ancient art of whacking a white ball around a field, he puts up with my annual mathematical machinations (try saying that after a couple of gins) with good grace, though he's probably thankful I don't visit him every week. I know exactly where I am with him.

So consider the confusion that has reigned in my scone this week when I learned of the antics of another accountant, that of my mate Jimmy.

It seems this fellow has no idea of the upset he has caused by changing the perception of accountants.

Jimmy, you may recall, was the subject of this column last week and the pilfering of my scorched almonds. Needless to say, he has been teased a bit this week.

But when he arrived home on Wednesday to find a package from the accountant he feared the worst.

Said the Scottish plumber: ``Hoots mon, ye cannae git nae haggis at Park'n Seeve win yew wan tit!''. At least it sounded like that. What he actually said was: ``I was somewhat concerned upon receiving the package from my accountant. Normally such a package would indicate some financial problem or the like.''

Upon opening the package, Jimmy found a packet of scorched almonds and a copy of the article from his accountant.

So, the moral of this story then, is accept that change is constant. Whatever your colour.

And if you see Red over being called Yellow, don't be Blue. Remember this fun-loving accountant before you turn Green with envy.


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