Exit Stage Left

Grant Smith - Clearline CPAThis will be my final article for Clearline.


I am leaving the company to provide my services to not-for-profit and charitable organizations. If this interests you, please make the time, today, to jot me a note at grant@clarity-npo.ca for there you will find me. My final day at Clearline will be 31 January 2019 – I am sorry not to be here for tax season, as it really is my favourite time of the year.


As I have matured in life, my history in the arts and social endeavours has continued to influence my thoughts and my choices. I am delighted to shift my career to one of service over one of profit.


People often tell me that I am not a typical accountant. I do not know if that is true but, if that is so, look to the influences of my youth. Recently, I have spent a great deal of time with Samuel Beckett, one of the great twentieth century playwrights, for he is always both inspirational and comical, as he dwells in despair. If you are not familiar with his works, the best-known plays are probably Waiting for Godot, Endgame and Krapp’s Last Tape – be warned, for many, the reading is difficult. (Hell, many find the watching unbearable).


As a production manager, director, or actor I have done each of these plays. I spend time with Beckett, in my mind, whenever I am seeking the ability to go forward and I wish to share two marvellous quotes. They both come from Godot and they both cause me to chuckle and to consider my worth. The first is Pozzo, as he comments on the existence of time:

Have you not done tormenting me with your accursed time! It’s abominable! When! When! One day, is that not enough for you, one day he went dumb, one day I went blind, one day we’ll go deaf, one day we were born, one day we shall die, the same day, the same second, is that not enough for you? (Calmer.) They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it’s night once more.


The second is Vladimir’s call to – well you shall see:

Let us not waste our time in idle discourse! Let us do something, while we have the chance! It is not every day that we are needed. Not indeed that we personally are needed. Others would meet the case equally well, if not better. To all mankind they were addressed, those cries for help still ringing in our ears! But at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Let us make the most of it, before it is too late!


In a nutshell and from one of the best communicators, that is why I must, like they say in the cartoons, “Exit stage left!”


I would like to do a brief shout out to Dan Demerse, David Block and Rachel Wicks, for they are the best of people and I will love them always.


If I get started on thank you statements I could go on for pages, so just three more.

  • Joanne E. Betzler, I love you for ever and I am always in your debt for inspiring and guiding me.
  • Jeff Block, my work spouse, what a ride. Thanks.
  • Corinne Impey, since this is my final article here, thanks as my editor and dear friend.
  • Since she is always first and last, thank you again, Joanne.


By my count, I have written close to 150 articles since I started this newsletter back in 2014. We began with a readership in the dozens – you have grown as an audience and now the annual readership is over 15,000. Thank you to everyone who has tolerated my bad humour and my sloppy wording, you have been patient readers. I will continue to write and you can continue to share with me by connecting via email, Facebook or on LinkedIn.