A Tale of University Bureaucracy, in 89 (or so) emails.

January 10, 2018: M applies for a seminar that I am running.

January 15, 2018: I write M to congratulate her on being accepted to the seminar.

January 17, 2018: M confirms that she will attend the seminar.

January 18, 2018: I inform all of the seminar attendees about the reimbursement procedure.

March 9, 2018: The seminar takes place.

March 26, 2018:  I email M asking for her flight receipt because I haven’t received any receipts from her yet.

March 27, 2018: M responds, thinking that she had already sent it, apologizes, and says she is traveling and will send it the next day.

April 5, 2018: M is worried that she has not heard any response from the Georgetown Tax Department. As a non-U.S. Citizens, she has to register with our tax department. She attaches her receipts from the seminar.

April 6, 2018: I email M to inform her that she has not yet been registered with the university.

April 6, 2018: M responds, saying that she had tried to register quite some time before but has heard no response.

April 13, 2018: I email the Georgetown Tax Department, concerned that M has not yet been registered.

April 26, 2018: M asks if I have heard anything from the Georgetown Tax Department.

April 30, 2018: The tax department sends me M’s supplier registration number. M had made a mistake in the registration process.

May 1, 2018:  M apologizes for the registration mistakes and wonders if all is now correct.

May 3, 2018: I inform M that the registration process seems to be completed.

May 4, 2018: I submit a reimbursement form for M to Georgetown’s Accounts Payable.

May 7, 2018: M writes me, concerned that she has received an email from “Viewpost” on behalf of Georgetown, and wonders it this is spam.

May 7: 2018: I inform M that she need not worry, that Viewpost is a reporting system that Georgetown uses, and that it sends unnecessary email notifications.

May 7: I ask my finance office to see if they can put a stop to unnecessary emails from Viewpost. I received a response that day: the system doesn’t distinguish between individuals and companies, but now that they know M is an individual, they will manually prevent viewpost emails sent to her account.

May 7, 2018: M asks if she can receive payment in Euros instead of U.S. dollars.

May 7, 2018: I forward M’s question to Georgetown’s Tax Department.

May 14, 2018: Georgetown Tax Department informs me that the question should have been sent to AP.

May 18, 2018: M again asks for a payment in Euros, and provides me all of her banking information.

May 21, 2018: I ask M to fill in a Wire Transfer Payment form, and I send her the form.

May 22, 2018: M returns a filled-in form.

May 25, 2018: I email Accounts Payable (AP), asking it M can be paid with a Wire Transfer instead of a check.

May 25: 2018: AP informs me that a check has already been sent to M.

May 25, 2018: I ask AP if they can stop the check and send a wire payment instead. I provide a filled-in Wire Payment Transfer form that M has filled in for me.

May 25, 2018: I inform M that a check has already been sent, but that I have asked AP to cancel the check and send a wire payment instead.

May 27, 2018: M confirms that her mother has received a check, and would like to know what to do with it.

June 10, 2018: M asks about the progress of the reimbursement and the wire payment.

June 11, 2018. I email AP and Georgetown Tax Department, to ask about the status of M’s payment. I ask if her check has been cancelled,and if a wire payment can be sent instead.

June 12, 2018: AP voids the check.

June 12, 2018: I email M to say that AP is still working on the issue.

June 26, 2018: M emails me to ask if there is any progress on the reimbursement.  She thanks me again for my help.

June 26, 2018: I email AP and Tax Department, asking if there is any progress, and anything they still need.

July 5, 2018: Having heard no answer, I again email AP and Tax Department, asking if there is any progress,and anything they still need.

July 10, 2018: M informs me that she has received a second check from Georgetown. She tells me that she will attempt to cash the check.

July 10, 2018: I apologize to M that it took so long for her to receive the check, and I wish her luck in cashing it.

August 10, 2018: M emails me, extremely upset that the check she cashed was empty. Her bank has charged her for this, and has hit her with various fees and penalties, which are growing by the day.

August 10, 2018: I inform AP of the error, asking for remediation.

August 10,. 2018: AP responds that they are looking into it.

August 13, 2018: AP asks for documentation from M.

August 14, 2018: M provides a lengthy email with significant documentation of the case.

August 22, 2018: I send a lengthy email to AP, Tax Department, etc., explaining the situation and the need for a solution.

August 22, 2018: I inform M that I am working on it.

August 23, 2018: M receives a wire payment for the original amount, but Georgetown has not covered her fees and penalties.

September 11, 2018:  M has not received payment for her fees and penalties.

September 11, 2018: Internal emails from AP are sent to me, informing me that they are working on it.

October 1, 2018: M is wondering where her payment is.

October 3, 2018: AP informs me that I need to send them more paperwork to process a payment to cover M’s penalties and fees.

October 3, 2018: I inform AP that I was not aware that I needed to provide them with more paperwork to process the payment.

October 9, 2018: AP asks me to call them.

October 10, 2018: I submit the paperwork AP has requested.

October 11 through October 16, 2018:  Various emails among AP folks trying to figure out the proper exchange rate.

As of today, October 16, 2018, M has still not been reimbursed for the fees and penalties acquire when she cashed a bad check from Georgetown.


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