Friday, December 07, 2007

Irritating email exchange of the week

Between me and a committee that will remain nameless:

Dear all,

At our last meeting, we decided that we would pay me for my website work in advance to use up the funds in account X that are due to vanish at the end of December if unused. See attached minutes. [Guy in charge of account] informs me this would need to be processed immediately in order to take place in time. Just checking this is still okay.


Dear Styleygeek,

Go ahead and send in an invoice. The amount in the account is $1116.80. Please invoice for the whole sum. We'll sort out your hours later.

Chair of Committee.

Dear all,

Chair says to go ahead, so I've sent in my invoice for $1116.80 to admin (copy attached). Please let me know if the information on the invoice is sufficient.


Two days later, the chair sends the following email to my advisor (not even cc-ing me: I only heard about it later).

Dear Styleygeek's advisor,

Styleygeek appears to have sent us some sort of invoice for her website work. You need to talk to her about this. For one thing, I'm not sure she should be invoicing as a contractor, but rather needs to fill out a timesheet with the work as she does it. For another, she has invoiced for the entire amount of money in the account, and this doesn't leave us enough to also cover tax and benefits. [Note: hence my invoice as a contractor, since then it is MY responsibility to pay tax out of the total sum received, and they don't have to cover benefits. I thought their first mail made it clear that this is what they wanted, since they asked for an invoice, not a timesheet, and told me to charge them the whole remaining sum.]

I wonder if she realises that she would need an ABN in order for us to process such an invoice [uh, yes. That's why I put my ABN on the invoice I sent in] and that she would also have to pay taxes [duh]. Maybe we should talk about this at our next committee meeting [in July].



hypoglycemiagirl said...

Sounds like the chair is a middle aged male who ignores emails from women and prefer to cummunicate with her male advisor. Have I got any of the genders wrong here, then please correct me. Sounds extremely frustrating.

Will you post the rest of the story if there is one?

StyleyGeek said...

Good guess, but no, my advisor is female. And the chair, while male, is usually an awesome guy. I don't get what is going on here at all.

Will definitely post a follow-up if there is one.

Anastasia said...

wow. I'm confused. How about you?

TX Poppet said...

Chair told you what to do. Funding Administrator (who may or may not have been paying attention at the meeting)was a. Not consulted or b. Figured it was OK until reviewing funding guidelines upon receipt of your invoice. FA kicked it back to Chair with notes because FA did not want to deal with you directly. Chair was embaressed to deal with you directly as well, then (perhaps at the suggestion of FA) kicked it to your advisor. Sometimes when money is involved, smart people turn stupid. It isn't just academia.
Thanks for stopping by my blog and showing me your OpenID thingy!

StyleyGeek said...

TX Poppet, you're so smart! I expect that's EXACTLY what happened here. It didn't occur to me. Obviously I am too naive :)

flossie said...

Wait, the same Chair wrote emails #1 and #2? Maybe he has multiple personalities? You could ask him before every interaction, "Who am I talking to today?"

Breena Ronan said...

So what TX is saying is that the chair is being to cowardly to just admit a mistake? Nice. Why do people prefer to look like assholes rather than just admitting they aren't perfect?