On my way home from work tonight I took one last look at my blackberry to see if I missed any important messages and found one that hacked me off.
I've mentioned before that I'm the budget princess for our little department at MegaBank. With an ever-increasing effort to keep costs down and to increase our efficiency ratio so our stock prices will rise the pressure is on to spend less, do more with less and maintain a balanced budget. We (our little group) already took a 28% cut in our already tiny budget and we ARE looking for opportunities everywhere.
One thing we haven't thought to do is to stop paying invoices for stuff we've already consumed - i.e. bills for '05 or pagers for our Security Response program. The services were used, the bills were sent to me, I did my little bean counting part and sent them off to the division finance group. Before our big re-or I use to be able to just sent the approved invoices to Accounting and they would *GASP* pay the bills. The new process doesn't quite work that way. I send the bills in to a new group, they either throw them away, file them, send them to Canada or where ever and wait for me to call and ask for status.
When I finally do call - because the ANGRY MEAN COLLECTION Lady from SkyMart "We connect the world" Pager Co. wants her money - I am told the invoices were never received and that I actually have to send telecom invoices to Suzi, Consulting Invoices to Marcy and Meeting Expense invoices to RhondaJo. Seriously... I'm in MANAGEMENT do you think I'm smart enough to keep that straight? Hell No I can't. So, I fax over the copies of the invoices I've kept (because I trust no one) and give it a week. At this point I did fire off an e-mail to the team leader asking for procedures in writing so that in the future I could send my invoices in the right way to avoid future delays. Tell me how to deal with your team so I do it right. And, in this message I expressly pointed out that Marcy, Suzi & RhondaJo had been helpful and that I appreciated their efforts. I swear to the Lord above... it was a professional message.)
The next week because tracking these three invoices is all I have to do with my day, I call again and am told - "gee, I sent those over to Accounting, they must have gotten lost. I'll walk them over in the morning and send you an e-mail that it's done. Send me an e-mail reminder will you?" I send an e-mail detailing the invoice numbers, the impact of non-payment and that they needed to be paid. I thanked her for her help.
The next morning, cobwebs are growing on my phone.
Three days later I get an unrelated call from Dick H. Ead our actual financial analyst and at the end of the call I ask if he can help get the invoices paid. Dick warns me to be nice to Suzi because she's got a lot on her plate and that in the grand scheme of things, my little invoices aren't all that important. Then Dick H Ead tells me a little story "as a friend" Once, I worked at this company and the CFO was a nice guy, jovial, funny, but he pissed off the mailguy and you know what? He never got his mail again. I mailed additional copies of the invoices to the Mo-Fo. (that was Monday - and mail takes 3 hours to deliver.)
Nice story mr. dickhead - are you saying that bill payment at MegaBank is a relationship driven activity and only if I beg and bribe the little accounting clerk will our department get our bills paid? I relayed this anecdote to my boss who went through the roof and called HR to tell them that if Mr. dickhead threatened one of his employees ever again that he would personally contact the CFO for MegaBank and get the guy fired. (wow... I was merely upset that I had been accused of attacking the little clerk girl. He was super dooper pissed.)
Seriously, now the first of the invoices we are talking about here is from JANUARY and SkyMart has a contract out on my life - so after three business days of waiting for Dick to let me know he sent the invoices to Corporate Accounting I "accidentally" sent copies the corporate team myself.
So - back to the blackberry I check my messages and there is a message from Suzi who tells me that Dick has handed the invoices to her and she sent them to Sr. Manager Bob and Jr. Manager Henry to approve. Oh my freaking *&$%* (*%^#$ )^@$&5)&!!!! A) Dick promised to walk the items to a/p - not give them to Suzi -- AGAIN. and B) Bob and Henry have absolutely NOTHING to do with our budget nor has anyone ever said in the last 3 months that they would have to approve our items. For the record... My boss and Sr. Manager Bob are peers.
I am hoping that my super secret backdooring of the invoices to accounting will get the damn things paid but I know I will have to atone for end-running this useless department.
Somehow, by Monday I will need to document these events for my manager in a format that can be mailed to the Division Executive - but for now may I just say what a waste of time!