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The Power of Expense Reports Compels You

So this week at work, I have been put in charge of expense reports. The person who usually does this is on her honeymoon, where I hope she is having a lovely time and there are no bears. I mean, there probably aren’t bears. Why would there be bears? I don’t even know where she went. Odds are good that, wherever it is, it’s bear-free. But just in case there happen to be bears, M, I hope you and your new husband don’t encounter them, because that would kind of be a honeymoon downer. I mean, you’re trying to get your romance on, and then BAM! Bear! Hide your food in a tree! Am I right? So non-romantic. 

My job is already kind of jam-packed with craziness, because this is one of the busier times of year for me, and now I’m the expense-report lady. I don’t know if this was the smartest move. I think they’re realizing I’m not taking this as seriously as I should be. This morning, when someone dropped off their expense report, I said, “This month, all of the expense checks will be made out TO ME.” Of course I was totally joking. I mean, it’s not like I can just DO that. I checked into it. That’s not even POSSIBLE. Two people have to check the expense reports before you even RUN the checks, then two others have to sign them. They’d notice if every check was made out to me, I think. Also, I think people might notice if they didn’t receive their monthly expense check in their mailbox, don’t you? Wait, are you wondering why I checked into it? Good eyes. Because I was CURIOUS, that’s why. Sheesh. 

Anyway, the expense-report lady’s answer was “But it’s my expense check,” which just goes to show you that my humor is completely wasted here. Just to be sure, I tried the SAME SUPER-GOOD JOKE on the next person who dropped off his expense report and his answer was “No.” Sigh. Sigh times infinity, co-workers. 

Things that make my co-workers laugh are things I’m not good at. Like golf jokes. I don’t get golf jokes because I don’t know how golf even works, so I couldn’t make a golf joke if I tried. My golf knowledge is limited to Happy Gilmore and the Tiger Woods scandal. I suppose I could make a lame joke about “slicing” or “being in the rough” but when you can’t follow through with anything further in your joke it’s usually not a good idea to begin. And “Look out or the alligator who ate Chubb’s hand will eat you!” or “Go to your happy place! I hope Shooter McGavin’s not there making out with your grandma!” probably won’t go over very well. Blank stares. I get a lot of those here. 

Tax humor is also a killer, since we’re an accounting firm. Unfortunately, I don’t find very much humorous about taxes. And I don’t know enough about them to make funny jokes about K-1s or 5500s. Even if I did know more about them, I can’t imagine they’re very funny. The funniest tax-related things that happen here are sometimes I make naughty accidental typos in the street addresses on labels of things going back to clients (Flagshit Avenue will always be a personal favorite, although the person who caught it didn’t laugh as much as say “FIX THIS NOW”) and recently the people renovating the upstairs offices smashed one of our windows, and that was exciting for about five minutes, with the shattering of glass and all. Oh, one time the toilet in the ladies’ room overflowed and the repairman said it was because we weren’t supposed to flush it so much, and that made me laugh, but no one else found that humorous or ironic, so maybe it wasn’t funny as much as distressing? 

My coworkers don’t really know how to relate to me, because they are not artsy. I’m not really the most artsy, either, but comparatively, I’m Twyla friggin’ Tharpe. One day I was reading in the break room and one of the accountants, who pretty much has never spoken to me, started the following conversation: 

Him: Are you going to this? 

Me: What? 

Him: This. Are you going to this? (pointing vehemently at something in the paper)

Me: (looking at what he was pointing at and realizing it was an ad for an upcoming Miley Cyrus concert) Um. No, no, I think I’ll be skipping that. 

Him: Why? I thought you LIKED theater. 

Me: I don’t have children? And she’s more a singer than an actress, I think. If you can really call her either. Ha. Ha. 

Him: Hmmm. (suspicious look at me over the top of the paper as he went back to reading) 

Don’t get me wrong, so nice? So nice that you took an interest in my weekend extracurriculars. Totally the nicest. But probably not going to see Hanna Miley Montana Cyrus anytime soon. The best was the suspicious look, though. I feel like I made it onto some sort of “suspect behavior” list he’s keeping. “1:15 p.m., Thursday, August 8. Suspect, although claiming to be a theater buff, admitted to not attending an upcoming performing arts event. Made light of the situation. Warrants further investigation.” 

I’m also in charge of a committee over here, which is something I got roped into a while ago and did SUCH A GOOD JOB I was elected team leader FOREVER. I know I sound like I’m being sarcastic but I’m completely serious. One year I attempted to pass off the duties to another team member and he didn’t do a good enough job, I guess, so the following year the person in charge of all of the teams said that from now on, I was the official team leader, going forward, and there would be no switching around of team members. So my team is the Community Service and Fundraising Team. Fun, right? No. Not really. I mean, it’s nice that we raise money for worthy causes and promote awareness of things and donate to not-for-profit organizations and such, yes, but organizing these things? NIGHTMARE OF EPIC PROPORTIONS. No one wants to participate. You send out a million emails and no one responds. I’m pretty sure they just delete the emails. They see my name and they go “Nope! THIS IS ANNOYING DELEEEEEETE” and there you go. Then I get bad feedback at my employee review every year that I didn’t get enough people involved in the activities. IT IS A TOTAL AND UTTER NIGHTMARE OF ANNOYANCE. 

Here is an example. Over the past year, we’ve been collecting Box Tops for Education so we could donate them to a local school. We had a pretty box in the break room and everything. I sent out reminders. The box was getting heavy. Easy, right? Totally non-invasive. You look at your food or dry goods items, you see if they have one of those Box Tops thingies on them, you cut it out, you bring it in, you put it in the box. I DO THE REST OF THE WORK FOR YOU. Well! Friday I had to sort through them to mail them to the school and here are some of the things I found in the box that were NOT Box Tops: 

Pieces of boxes that said “this item has a Box Top for Education on the bottom panel;”

Labels for Education (close, but no cigar, the school we were collecting for didn’t accept those);

Expired Box Tops for Education;

Those pull-tab things from the top of soda cans;

and

Garbage.

There were also some Box Tops but also just as much of this crap and I had to sort through it all to get the good stuff out. Now, you had to make A CONSCIOUS EFFORT to put the crap in there. Really? Why did you even bother? That seems like a colossal waste of time to me. 

This is not a good committee for me because I don’t like to bother people. I’m under the impression that most people come to work for one reason and one reason only; because, at the end of the day, you get paid for it. (Actually, getting paid at the end of the day would be awesome, like you were a day laborerer. I’m speaking metaphorically, of course. You have to wait UP TO TWO WEEKS to get paid. SUCH A LONG DAMN TIME.) You’re not there to have fun, or to socialize, or whatever. Would you come to work for fun? Well, maybe SOME people would. I sure wouldn’t. I have a lot of things I could be doing at home, like watching television, talking to myself, baking, and sleeping. But I need the paycheck, so I come in. The committee keeps trying to encourage people to do things on their free time, unpaid, like build homes for the poor or clean up trash. I don’t want to hang out with my co-workers if I’m not getting paid for it! That’s like a punishment of some sort and I don’t know what I did wrong to deserve it! Yes, yes, I KNOW, it’s a nice thing to do for the COMMUNITY. Well, listen, my work for the theater is ALL community service, and I’m there more than I’m home, so I put in my time. I’m very involved in my community. I don’t have TIME to do more things, not unless they add an additional day to the week, or something. 

Well, back to the expense reports. I think all of this power over people’s money is going DIRECTLY to my head. I’ll probably need to take a long lunch somewhere swanky and light cigars from $100 bills just to COPE with the INTENSE EXPENSE REPORT RELATED PRESSURE. Oh, and by extension, JUST BY READING THIS, you, too, are totally swanky and filled with power. But heed Baron Acton; all power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It’s a lot of weight on your shoulders, all of this second-hand expense-report-related power. USE IT WISELY MY LITTLE CHERUBS.

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About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

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