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How many CFOs does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Anonymous | Sept. 20, 2012
Bean counters somehow complicate even the simplest tasks, as one techie learns when moving a fax machine

After some Web searching, I located such a vendor with the tool in stock, and at a decent price. I immediately filled out and passed the check request on to the accounting department, but as Murphy's Law would have it, my request didn't make it in time for that day's batch of payments. Because our company prints checks every other week, it was another two weeks before the check was issued and sent to the vendor.

But more than three weeks after placing the order, we still hadn't received the tool. When I asked the vendor about the status of our order, I was informed that the company hadn't received our check. I was told to call back in a few more days, in case the check was still in transit.

A few days later, I called again, only to be told that our check had been returned to us. In the time since I'd verified the vendor had the item in stock and when the check actually arrived, the company had sold out of the punchdown tools and were no longer selling them. The CFO's inefficiences had come back to bite me, and I was back at Square One.

I found another vendor that would accept a company check, but unfortunately, the day for printing checks had just passed. Given that this issue had been taking a lot longer than it should have, our accounting manager made an exception and produced a handwritten check for me to place the order.

About one and a half weeks later, I finally received the tool. That same day I moved the fax machine and phone line and did a quick test. Voila, the fax machine was up and running. It took me 15 minutes. For those keeping track at home, more than a month had passed since this seemingly simple task had begun.

The silver lining was that we didn't have to deal with the bureaucracy and annoyances that resulted from the CFO's policies much longer. He left soon after -- on his own accord, we were told. The CEO immediately relaxed some of the policies, and we could breathe again. It's a feeling not to be taken for granted. Not surprisingly, employees also got a lot more done.


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