The Boss Doesn’t Give You Enough Credit

| Working | January 8, 2016

(I have just started my professional career a few months ago and end up taking my first international work trip with my boss. He has been somewhat harsh with me about dotting all my i’s and crossing all my t’s leading up to this trip, but I have performed well throughout our work on this trip, and just the night before, over dinner, he said he was impressed with my performance. Over the course of the trip, I have been using my company card to pay for meals, transportation expenses, and other necessary things. The next morning we go to check out of our hotel.)

Clerk: “I’m sorry, ma’am, your card was declined.”

Me: “Can you please try it again?”

Clerk: “Of course… I’m sorry, it’s still coming back as declined.”

(I go grab my boss who is sitting in the lobby waiting for me to finish checking out.)

Me: “[Boss], my company card is coming up declined. I followed your instructions to make sure that my credit line was sufficient to pay for everything I needed on this trip. What should I do?”

Boss: “Well, why didn’t you have the finance department make sure your credit line was sufficient to cover this trip?”

Me: “I did do that. I emailed them exactly what you told me to with the details and cost of our trip, and called them to confirm that they received that and had extended my credit line properly. My card is still coming up declined. How do I handle this?”

Boss: “Well, just put it on a personal credit card and request reimbursement. They usually send checks for things you’ve paid for personally within 30 days, so you won’t have to pay any interest.”

Me: “I’m… I’m… sorry, sir, but we’ve been staying in this expensive hotel for 15 nights, and I simply don’t have that kind of credit available to me, even if I maxed out every one of my personal cards. I know that it’s the middle of the night in the U.S., but is there some emergency number I can call to get my company card fixed to work?”

Boss: “What do you mean you don’t have ‘that kind of credit’ available to you? It should only be around $6000. What, were you hitting the minibar too hard? Just put it on a personal card!”

Me: “Please don’t yell at me. I’m young and pretty much so broke, so I only have about $4000 total credit available on all of my personal cards. However, all of those charge international exchange fees, so it’s more like $3800-3900 before the cards will be declined. I’m sorry. I did what I was supposed to, but there is simply no way I can cover this without using my company card. Maybe we could try your company card?”

Boss: “Ugh, fine, I will pay your hotel bill, but don’t think this doesn’t reflect on your professionalism. What kind of professional doesn’t have personal cards that can cover a simple $6000 bill?”

(When we got back, it turned out our finance person *had* sent in the paperwork to increase my company card’s credit line, but instead of increasing my credit line by $4000, she increased it by $400. She was not penalized, and my boss held that over MY head for several years to come.)

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