Three months ago I looked out through my office window and found a stain on the glass. I tried to remove it but I couldn’t get it done. The stain was probably left by a sick pigeon, and by now it became irremovable.
I called the cleaning lady.
She came with some cleaning equipment, but failed to remove the stain. She said: “I can easily remove it, but I need a special cleaning stuff. It comes in a bottle. Very cheap. You can get it from the corner store”.
I asked Finance to give me the little money for that cleaning stuff.
They said I should speak first with HR, since the purpose of my purchase related to employees’ conditions at work.
The HR said that the purchase could not be approved, unless I provided the chemical ingredients of my desired product. This requirement comes under the necessity to verify that dress and hygiene codes are fully met.
I went to the corner store, bought the bottle (for some 3 euros), and took it home. I copied the descriptions printed on the bottle, and mailed that to HR.
Three weeks passed until HR’s approval arrived. Since my written description had to be checked by several research centers, the three weeks duration was relatively short.
I handled the approval to Finance and they asked that I fill-up a form, in order to officially request the purchase.
I didn’t have direct access to our company’s forms, so I asked Finance which form I should use, but no one there was able to tell me. There were forms for regular purchases, however, forms for chemical purchases have not been created as of yet.
I approached the CFO, and within a week he ordered that a new form should be made.
Finance sent a form-request-form to Design. From Design it was moved forward, after another week, to the printing store.
The printing store called after three days, asking that we collect the forms.
I volunteered to bring it myself. Compliance made me sign a “self-pick-up” form, in order that the printing store would let me collect the forms.
The forms were ready by now, some fifty booklets in a quite large box. A bit heavy for me, but I didn’t really care for the effort.
I handled the new forms to Finance.
After two days I got a call from Compliance, requiring that I add a detailed explanation to my chemical purchase request form (CPRF-V2.form).
“What does this got to do with you?” I asked the people from Compliance.
“We are Compliance. Today, chemical substances relate to terror, and terror relates to Compliance”.
It took me a day to compose a convincing explanation, which I handled to Compliance.
Compliance was efficient, and returned an approval within only two days. I was amazed, but Compliance guy said: “I didn’t really have to check it. My grandmother has been using this stuff since she was a child. That’s OK, we can now proceed with the purchase”.
After couple of weeks I got a call from Finance, requesting that I add the Cypriot Pound next to the euro figures. I did that.
After another week I asked in Finance about the status of my request. They said that everything was OK and in its final stage. We are now missing just the CEO’s and CFO’s signatures.
Apparently, the CEO was abroad. I asked “Wouldn’t it be better to move forward with just the CFO’s signature, in order to save time?” and Finance explained that they favored doing both at the same time, because rules are rules.
The following week the CEO returned, but now the CFO was away.
After some more time, both were available, but it was not the 15th, the scheduled monthly date for signing purchase requests. So it had to be delayed a little more.
Time has passed, but then came yesterday.
A few children from the school next door played football and kicked too hard. Their ball flew at my window and broke the glass.
In two hours they fixed the glass, and I have no stain anymore.