Friday, May 05, 2006

How to make your staff feel trusted, valued and generally not likely to spend the rest of the day fuming, sulking, drinking coffee and surfing the web

Do the opposite of the following:

1. Return expenses claim for £40 for train/tube tickets to London (accompanied by credit card receipt) without authorisation but with note saying 'how much is a day return to London? Seems a bit steep'. As if I either a) set train fares myself or b) might be submitting a receipt for something else and hoping no one would notice.

2. Return expenses claim mark 2 (which has been augmented by evidence of cost of peak hours Travelcard printed off from internet) with the comment "I'll authorise it this time, but next time you have to get the coach".

The coach costs £13, plus two tube journeys at £3 each, so we are talking about a difference of £20. To save my esteemed organisation this sum when travelling into London for something that starts in Farringdon at 9.30, I would need to get on a bus about an hour and a half earlier than I need to get on a train. Which is a quarter past six.

And yeah, it costs more, but the train is faster, more convenient, more reliable and (as long as you get a seat) you can work on it. Which I did. Perhaps less importantly it also features coffee (which I bought with my own money, naturally) and the advantage of not going past the 'why do I still do this every day' fence.

You are joking, I said.
No, she said.
Does our Director get the coach to London? I said.
I don't know, she said.
I bet she fucking doesn't, I said. And nor do any of the colleagues I have seen at the train station whenever I've had to go to London. And nor have I in the last six years, except once and I was late. And I'm not going to start now.



Anonymous jonathan said...

Too bleedin' right you should stick to your guns and keep on using the train... only relenting when the fatcat directors start hitch-hiking into town. What a skinflint that boss of yours sounds though... or possibly one of those managers who doesn't really know how to manage so resorts to asserting their authority through trivial nit-picking. God knows we've all had them. My current boss is quite reasonable (like you I work 'for the man' but he is a nice man most of the time...), but in a previous job (in a call-centre) I remember forgetting my tie and being sent out to town to buy a new one... and then being made to make the time up at the end of the day. I know, it beggars belief..

9:24 am  
Blogger Ben said...

I once had the opposite - being told I should have taken the train instead of driving in to London, because my submitted mileage costs were much higher than a train fare. The fact that this was the day after the 1999 Paddington train crash was apparently incidental.

8:55 am  

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