By Lyndsey Hall
There is a rumour floating around the web that accountants are one of the least likely professions to be hiding secret psychopathic tendencies.
According to a recent book by renowned psychologist, Kevin Dutton, there is a sliding scale of madness on which we all sit. In The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success, Dutton informs us which professions posses a higher predisposition for psychopathy, and which are less likely to turn into Norman Bates at the drop of a hat (or Patrick Bateman to our friends across the pond). The highest-ranking job on the scale is CEO (possibly due to the innate egotism required for such a role).
Also prone to psychotic outbursts are lawyers, surgeons, journalists and civil servants. We won’t comment on the validity of Dutton’s claim here. And then on the opposite — i.e. almost-to-completely non-psychotic — side of the scale, we find nurses, therapists, charity workers, teachers and, of course, accountants.
Now, it has been suggested that this harmonious character might stem from a desire to work for the good of others, as is clearly the case with public services and charity workers, but what about accountants? Well, you might be surprised to hear that we also work for the good of others. Just ask our clients, whom we regularly save money by advising them how to manage their business and finances better.
Now, that’s not to say that we don’t get anything out of the bargain, after all, as the Joker, played by the inimitable Heath Ledger, said: “If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” Speaking of the Joker, perhaps we have more in common with psychopaths than we thought…