Deception and Being Used….Not Nice

Alan J. Schwarz
11 min readJun 15, 2021

There was nothing more exciting at Berg Accounting than tax season. It was the time of working late nights and figuring out different ways to get big tax returns without clients having to pay out crazy money to the Government.

Since Herbert Mendix had become a CPA, he lived for the rush of creating and finding loopholes, and his clients, loved him for it. His boss, Alan Berg appreciated his hard work and always rewarded him at bonus time. This year was different, Herbert was going to receive a sizeable bonus (five years at the firm) and be nominated as a partner.

Gary Shissel who was already a partner at Berg. In fact the firm was going to be called Berg, Shissel in the next few months. He was extremely close with Alan Berg and worked beside Herschell in the tax time trenches. Gary was older and had a beautiful wife and two daughters. His clients were more corporate, but he still rolled up his sleeves to figure out different tax plans and often spent late nights.

Helene Berg was Alan Berg’s daughter and Herschell thought she was absolutely beautiful and amazing. She wasn’t an Accountant but worked at the firm as the Director of Communications. She prepared advertising and marketing campaigns and had Berg Accounting involved in all kinds of activities like fundraisers for the United Appeal. Herschell had a major crush on Helene (He loved the alliteration of Herbert and Helene) and she was the only woman he knew that when she got close to him he got tongue-tied and his foot started tapping involuntarily. Helene spent a fair amount of time working with Gary Shissel which meant he saw her fairly often.

Once there was a break in tax preparation Gary Shissel asked Herbert why he didn’t take Helene out. Herbert was kind of stunned. ‘’Gary, I didn’t think it would be a good idea to mix business with pleasure. I mean Helene is here every day and if we went out and things didn’t go well it could be awkward. Plus, Alan is my boss and it’s his daughter, and that could lead to a conflict of interest.’’ Gary Shissel shook his head. ‘’Ask her out, don’t be a wuss.’’

Two days later, Herbert went for a walk to a local Subway to grab a veggie sub with vegan meatballs. He was walking back to his office when he saw Helene walking towards him. ‘’Hi Helene, beautiful day’’ his mouth…

Alan J. Schwarz

Alan Schwarz loves life. He is the founder of JAMS Productions, a television production company based in Toronto . His passion is writing.