Wednesday, June 11, 2008

True Coworker Story: Paperwork Trouble

I work with a very interesting group of people and I hear some great stories such as the time one of my coworkers may or may not have killed his landlord with a cup of coffee (he makes a great cup of coffee by the way). While that is a great story it’s a bit of a stretch to make it about travel, if you know me please ask me about it. Every now and then I hear a story about someone's travels that’s easy to relate with, incredibly funny (because it didn’t happen to me) and it's just too good not to share. The tale that follows is one of those stories.

While traveling in China my coworker went out to dinner to entertain his customer and upon sitting down at the table of a fairly nice restaurant the party was presented with a box of napkins for the table to use. He thought this slightly odd but was thankful for such a bounty of napkins and wondered if the food was really messy here, hmmm.

The dinner progresses as business dinners tend to and the one of the normal needs that humans tend to have over the course of such dinners began to kick in. Naturally my coworker sought the shelter of the room that one takes care of these kinds of needs. After taking care of the primary objective he aimed to complete the paperwork that this task generally requires however the forms were not present.

This is the moment at which panic usually sets in. There was however an added curiosity this time. Not only where the forms not present but the folder that usually contains said forms was also missing. Upon contemplating the situation and verifying that there was no one else in the area he moved to a new "workspace". After settling in he found that the forms and the form folder were once again nowhere to be found.

Calmly he started to go over his options. I can only imagine what he was thinking in this scenario but I would like to think that I would be as resourceful were I to have been in his place. My coworker found a solution in his wallet.

He figured that the receipts that he had accumulated on the trip thus far would just about do it, not the most comfortable solution but it would work. This of course would lead to an interesting conversation when it became time to file the expense report for this trip but right now this pressing paperwork took precedent over such mundane matters. With proper planning and a steady hand the standard receipt could be used a total of 3 times and then discarded.

Upon completion of this task he was quite irritated and returned to his party. He objected to the staff about the deficiency that he had just had to deal with. Calmly he was told that the napkins that were so innocently presented were to be used for all of his paperwork needs at the establishment.

How anyone was supposed to know of the need to take the napkins with you is beyond me. Thus are the adventures that happen when you travel abroad. I am truly sorry that I was not present for the conversation that took place while he submitted his expense report.

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Coming Soon: The random famous people I haven't recognized


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. The deleted comment had to do with the identity of the coworker involved in the true story. Due to the nature that permission to publish was attained I can not further comment on this matter.