That's one way to get the contract...

IT consultant pilot fish gets an urgent phone call from the consulting firm he works for: Some higher-ups want to meet with him immediately.

"I knew I hadn't screwed anything up at my client, so I was a bit taken aback," says fish.

"They showed up later that morning. It turned out that the regional manager had been let go, and so had the office manager and two of the marketers, the people who get assignments for us consultants. They wanted to make sure I had no concerns and that my in-progress transfer was not related to the regional manager.

"It seems that manager had been overcharging the company on expenses -- mileage in particular -- and required the other staff to report the same inflated mileage for common trips, like from the office to the big clients. He also required them to turn over the extra expense money to him.

"What did he do with it? He bought vacations for senior management at certain clients. That's how we got some significant business from them.

"Oh, I was glad to be leaving that group!"

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