Thursday, May 25, 2006


I’m good at it, darned good, but John takes the cake.

Last week we finished John’s expense reports for 2005. His reimbursement won’t be enough to pay for the wedding, but it will be enough to build us a fine new bathroom.

My first Expense Report Experience with John came just a year or so into our relationship. The company where we were working instituted a new policy – that expenses had be submitted within 90 days of incurring. This threw John into a tizzy, a whirl of tender stresses. He flew to his home in the Bay Area and collected a box full of receipts.

Keeping the receipts is not John’s difficulty, because John keeps just about everything. In his three bedroom house in San Jose one entire room and half of the garage was devoted to boxes of uncertain treasures. When we moved in together I made a brave effort to sort through those treasures – the shock and appall from my discoveries is too monumental to describe here. Let’s just say that some of the highlights include

1) A letter to the newspaper editor of his hometown that he wrote in 12th grade in which he threatened to sue the school district if they changed the method for calculating GPA’s prior to his graduation. He was slated to be valedictorian, after all.

2) The profile of his ideal mate, which he completed for a dating service while he lived in Chicago – being a non-smoker was his main requirement. Such high standards! I feel so special.

3) A hideous ceramic bowl/vase object painted in pink and greens and yellows with hula dancers in grass skirts. I think he pilfered it from a bar in a fancy hotel during one of his sales conferences. I vaguely remember a story about one his sales reps sneaking it out in a baby stroller. I am such a proud girlfriend.

The point is, in that box he brought home, John had every single receipt he had collected in his five years on the job with this company. All we had to do was sort through them, order them by date, match them with the correct business trip, tape them to blank pieces of paper and document each one in an excel spreadsheet. It took us four weeks of evenings and weekends, plus the help of two secretaries who were assigned to the project.

When the head of business services realized the magnitude of the expense reports soon to cross her desk, she had the company begin allocating money with which to reimburse John.

In the end, they paid him over a $100,000. “Hey, it’s better than I would have done if I’d invested that money in the market!” was John’s sole rationalization. And he may be right.

I have a feeling this post will earn me some hate mail, especially from that character who calls himself Johntex.

1 comment:

Johntex said...


The bowl is not ugly!!!