That Fourth French House Isn’t Going To Pay For Itself

, , , , , , | Working | December 27, 2019

I’m a lab technician and at lunch, we tend to cluster together in the 500+ people cafeteria. Sometimes we are joined by other people, though. This guy was a sales manager for a foreign division, a semi-bigshot if you like.

He was telling a story about how he had to travel to a convention for work. For this kind of thing, people can reclaim travel expenses, about two euros per ten kilometers traveled. He had submitted an expense form for 150km, but the company had only refunded 120km worth of expenses, since that was the distance from the company to the convention. He argued that since he didn’t start traveling from the company but from his home he should get the full distance refunded. This went back and forth between higher management, HR, finance, etc. In the end, he got the full refund.

He concluded his story by saying that they should have given in from the start instead of wasting everyone’s time and by extension so much more money than if they had given him those few euros extra from the start.

Personally, I was baffled that if he cared so much for the company that he would fight everyone tooth and nail for those few euros, surely he was as much the cause of that waste of money as everyone else involved. But mostly, I could only feel loathing instead of sympathy, since the day before he had bragged how creative bookkeeping had enabled him to get enough money out of his divorce to buy a third house in France; that is, he didn’t own three houses in total now, but three houses in France alone! Clearly he was in dire need to get those travel expenses refunded.

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