Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Things of Value

Only imagine what mankind could accomplish if the energy spent on bureaucracy could be harnessed for good.

A friend and former coworker has now spent almost two full weeks trying to get approval on a single line item from his travel expense report. He's seeking reimbursement for his mileage on the return trip from the airport to his home. They only want to reimburse him for mileage from the airport to the office, which is several miles closer; but his flight arrived late in the evening after work hours.

The disputed amount is $12.32. The number of man-hours my friend has put into researching, documenting, defending, justifying, explaining, and negotiating this claim would get a small start-up company off the ground.

You might wonder why he's putting forth so much effort for such a small sum. But look at it from the other side: by continuing to dig in its heels and fight the claim, isn't his employer explicitly stating that the two weeks of work he would otherwise have gotten done by now is worth less than $12.32? Of course, you can't put a dollar figure on employee morale.

For what it's worth, his trip was to Lubbock.

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