Throwback Thursday: Straight to the point

When a bean counter has ‘a better idea.’

This pilot fish gets new responsibilities, and they include editing Visio files that come from clients and colleagues.

“I had an older version of Visio and put in a requisition to buy an upgrade to a more recent version, as I could not read customer files,” says fish. “I often needed to have a colleague save it in a version I could read. This was very clumsy and difficult.”

Fortunately, fish’s boss approves the requisition right away. Unfortunately, the company is in “avoid all discretionary expenses” mode, so the request is routed to someone in the financial controller’s office for special approval.

Which is not forthcoming.

First, the bean counter sends fish an email demanding justification for the purchase, with the response to be approved by fish’s manager. No problem — fish provides the details and explanation, which fish’s boss has already approved as part of the requisition process.

Then, the bean counter comes back with a counterproposal. “Bean counter said he just checked it out, and there’s a free Visio viewer on the Microsoft site,” fish reports.

“He wanted to know if I could use the free viewer along with my old program to do what I need and thus avoid buying a newer version.

“I replied, ‘Can you please help me understand how I can implement your idea of editing files using a viewer?’

“I got permission to go ahead and buy a license.”

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