A newly qualified accountant in one of the larger firms was having a celebratory drink with some of the partners in his firm.
They were encouraging him to take an interest in professional affairs - as they all did.
''What do you do,'' he asked. One said he was on the local branch committee, another chaired a tax discussion group, a third was a practice support member.
The oldest partner was unusually coy and then announced that his involvement in professional affairs was limited to making regular appearances in disciplinary hearings after clients complained about his work. One of his fellow partners was quite new to the firm and was astonished to hear this. Later the new parter asked if what he'd heard was really true, that the older partner made regular appearances in disciplinary hearings after clients complained about his work. ''Oh no'', came the reply, ''The senior partner's a member of the Urgent Issues Task Force; he's just too embarrassed to admit it!"