As I walked up the vibrant, forested hill all I could hear around me was the whistle of the winds and the squeaks of a few birds about me. I progressed forward lost in my own thoughts and stopped only occasionally to absorb the views around me. So it came as quite the shock to me when I nearly ran in to someone right in front of me.
Apprehensively, because I wasn’t used to seeing anyone else on this path I said “Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry. Are you all right?” “It’s perfectly alright,” he said “though you look so immersed in your walk that I hate to interrupt it.”
Taken aback by his friendliness, I sized him up. He was a tall, slender guy dressed in blue and black athletic gear. I guessed he’s been on the trail for a while by the sweat that glistened on his forehead and the mud that was caked to his boots. We walked together, exchanged pleasantries, and learned a little about one another. His name was Mark and he came across as athletic, passionate, and involved.
So, naturally I was shocked to learn he owned a taxed relief company. “IMPOSSIBLE” was the word I believed I used. He just seemed like too interesting and nice a guy to do something so seemingly dull and heartless.
Yet he defended his profession with a wry smile and some heartfelt rhetoric: “I know many people hold a grudge or two against tax relief companies. They’ve just met too many swindlers in the trade. Yet I believe my job can help people, ease their troubles and give them peace of mind.”
“How so?” I asked. I was slightly intrigued but also doubtful about what he had to say. “Well,” he responded “at my company, I help people by doing things like ensure IRS audits are completed fairly, set up affordable payment plans for their budgets, prevent property seizures, prepare back tax returns, and remove tax liens.”
A lot of what Mark said went over my English major head, but I recognized the genuineness in his words. “It’s great that you’ve found a career you’re so passionate about,” I remarked. “Yes, well,” he noted “I care very deeply about what I do and it makes me angry that crooked businessmen take advantage of people who haven’t done their research on what company they work with.”
His words resonated with me and I thought about how hard it must be for him having to defend his profession all of the time. We continued walking and chatting together for the rest of our hike.
I was surprised at how much we shared in common; like our passion for the outdoors and our interest in environmental sustainability and conservation projects. Before I knew it I was telling him about my volunteer work in Peru and describing my experience working with schools to plant trees to improve microclimatic conditions and provide for biodiversity. “Transformative and immersive” were the two words I used to describe my adventure.
Mark remained interested as I gushed about my experiences and even indicated his own desire to do something similar. I honestly couldn’t believe what a caring and compassionate guy he was.
We eventually came to the end of our hike and said our goodbyes. He gave me is business card for his company, Instant Tax Attorney (instanttaxattorney.com), in case I ever needed some financial help. As I walked away I read the card which advertised free tax consultations and promised to recommend representation only by the most qualified of professionals. I put the card in my pocket, knowing that it might one day come in handy knowing such a trustworthy guy.