Lenore is given the task of managing expense reports, which, in my opinion, seem to be beyond her capabilities. Here's why:
(Lenore comes into my office asking about an invoice I submitted for a recent event I worked. The invoice in question is a standard invoice sheet that breaks down price and number of tickets per guest. We talk about the invoice for awhile and then the conversation makes a turn.)
Lenore: ...You're confusing me. I just need to know who paid and what amount they paid.
Me: (pointing to invoice) Well, right here, next to their name is the amount they paid. This person paid $35, this person paid $35 and this person paid $40.
L: Wait, what about this person? They paid 70$. See, right here, is the number of tickets they bought. Two.
Me: That means they bought two, 35$ tickets.
L: Oh, two tickets cost 70$?
Me: Yes, 35 and 35 is 70.
L: (thinking about it) Oh, yeah, I guess it is.
Me: Now, there are some people who paid at the door and those names don't have prices with them. You can just put them down for $40. That's what we charged at the door.
L: Where? How do I know which ones didn't pay, again?
Me: (pointing) Here. These ones without any numbers next to their name. They didn't pay before arriving so we charged them $40 at the door.
L: Okay, but how much did these people pay? (pointing and circling the word "comp" with her dull pencil)
Me: Those people didn't pay.
L: Oh, so put them down for $40, then?
Me: No, they didn't have to pay at all. They were comped.
L: They didn't have to pay anything at the door? I don't understand.
Me: They're staff.
L: Oh, staff doesn't pay?
Me: No. Not if they're there to work.
L: Okay, then I won't put them down for any money. Now, that's for everyone with 'comp' next to their name or just staff?
Me: (breathing deeply) Only staff is comped. Everyone else has a number next to their name in the amount they paid except for people who paid at the door.
L: Yes, and they paid $40.
L: Okay, I think I got it. Thank you!
(Lenore exits. Moments later, I'm back in my office and Lenore walks back in.)
L: Did Mario go to the event?
L: So should I put him down as a comp then?
Me: Sure. That's fine.
L: (scribbling a note on the paper) Okay, thank you. That's all I need to know.
(Later in the afternoon I walk up to Lenore's desk.)
Me: Lenore, did you send out an email to the office letting them know that the color printer is down?
L: (engrossed in the same expense report) What? Well, it's going to be fixed tomorrow. They have to send us a part and Howie said he'll put it in when it comes. It's suppose to be real easy to just pop in.
Me: Okay, that's fine, but it broke on Friday and I asked you to send an email to everyone so they'd know it wasn't working. Everyone keeps trying to print on it and it just keeps beeping in my ear.
L: (whining) Well, I'm trying to work on this right now and I want to go home soon.
Me: I've had seven people come into my office in the last 30 minutes, pushing buttons on the machine and asking me a million questions. Can't you just send out a quick all-staff email?
L: It's getting fixed tomorrow. Can't it wait?
Originally posted October 28, 2008