Interview with a Calculator

Jason is a desktop calculator. He has been a desktop calculator for an accountant for coming up to 10 years. Before being purchased by his owner, he lived in a box in an Amazon warehouse for several years. Here he tells us about his typical day in an accountancy practice and working from home.

What is your favourite number?

My favourite number is 8. It uses all the lines for that slot and it just feels good to use them all. Although the kids in the house like typing 55 37 80 08 and turning me upside down and giggling. Kids hey!

What is your typical day?

My typical day can start anywhere from 6am to 9.30am. It depends on how busy my owner is. I need enough light to keep going because I’m solar powered and occasionally fade away if the light is not great. It’s a good prompt for the owner to reconsider the lighting but she rarely moves out of her room. Or at least not with me. 

Anyway, once I start, I get used for a bit and then that could be it. Other times I could keep going until around 2.30pm and then there is always a lull before the whole house gets noisy again at around 3pm. It’s a good life generally speaking. A fairly easy life. I just have to be careful about how hard my buttons get pressed. If the person using it is angry and jabs hard, then it can be quite painful. This usually happens when they’re not getting the answer they want because their fingers keep slipping. Other times I get replaced by the computer with either something called the spreadsheet or the calculator on the computer. Occasionally, the calculator on the phone gets used but the phone’s a busy thing and so the calculator is not often used. My buttons are quite large for big fingers which I think is one of my good points.

I’m not that worried about becoming obsolete or retiring. The lighting can be annoying but for quick sums and when the paper is being used to work out stuff, the owner seems to prefer me over everything else.

Sometimes I like to play pranks on my owner. I hide under papers or book covers and wait until she finds me. It’s quite funny seeing everything being lifted and moved around. Some of the pens join in while the reshuffle happens. We have a good laugh. Other times I flash odd numbers on my screen especially when I’m not being used. Numbers are lovely so I just think it’s good to remind my owner of some random ones now and then. Not sure if she notices much.

Where is the strangest place you’ve been?

Not sure about strange but the handbag was one place that I went which was quite fun. There were books and purses banging into me but there was one special thing that kept trying to slide up to me and press my buttons. 

It was a lipstick with her lid off! She was quite sweet and pink and I was quite happy to let her cover me in pink. The lipstick and I had a really good chat too about our lives and what we hope our future might be like together. It never happened obviously, I don’t think we could ever have got together but it was nice to imagine it. Our own house in the countryside somewhere with mini pink calculators running around in the garden enjoying the sun and eating good food. Wishful thinking really, that’s not really our purpose in life. It was an amazing trip though. I’m glad I got to experience it. 

I don’t think my owner was too impressed though and she scrubbed me really hard afterwards. I didn’t want it all off but the pink lipstick was completely removed. Not sure if I’ll ever meet that lipstick again.

Any last words of wisdom?

Life is like a calculator. The results depend on what you type in. Not my quote but I heard it somewhere and totally agree with it.

Originally posted on Accountingweb.

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