The Paper Trail

At my last job had to fill out a mountain of paperwork in order to give an employee a raise. Although I worked for a company that touted itself as a leader in technology solutions, everything was transferred from person to person on paper.

I created stacks of paperwork that was sent to our corporate offices. There, it would be reviewed, and passed on to another division. As you can imagine, many times the paperwork was lost in transit, and the entire process would start from the beginning.

The most confusing part of the process was how I had to transfer numbers from one sheet of paper to another. In fact, I had to do it twice. But one sheet of paper had to be pink and the other sheet had to be blue. It was the same information on both sheets, but those were the rules.

More than once, I tried submitting a raise (or “market adjustment” because nobody knew what that meant so nobody questioned it) on plain white paper, and it was rejected. A call would go out from corporate to my boss reminding him that I wasn’t playing by the rules. He’s toss the incorrectly colored papers on my desk, and I’d start from scratch.

After a few years of trying to buck the system, I decided to call corporate payroll and ask they needed the same information on two sheets of differing color paper. The answer still makes me laugh today.

“Because that way anyone can open the mail and sort it into the correct piles. Pink goes in one pile and blue goes in another.”

Brilliant!

Comments

  1. Stupid rule that it is, you denied yourself raises because you bring yourself to use something other than white paper? That seems as brilliant as their rule.

  2. Brett Nordquist says:

    Who said I was denied raises? I always filled out the paperwork when it was kicked back, but it was never for my raise. The point was to make the entire process so difficult that people gave up. Most did.

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