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All techreps have one thing in common....they all hate the paperwork they have to file in order to be paid for their expenses. It's not so much the actual filling out of the reports, it's the way they are received and then sent back to them with acid little comments to refile.

Like a colony of ticks growing fat hanging on a living animal, so it is with the bean counters. They neither produce the product, nor do they install or maintain it. They feed off the work of others. In theory, they are supposed to be there to support the field engineer. However, in reality the tail wags the dog and these bureaucratic parasites are experts at creating empires in order to preserve and propagate more of their own kind.

I would like to relate one example of this beancounter strategy:

It was common in the late 60's and the early 70's for car rental agencies and even airlines to give out green stamps (or other varieties) to their customers as a bonus for renting/flying with them. Well and good...who really cared about these stamps?...we just wanted to schedule a flight/rent a car to get us to where the job was. If we happened to receive a few of these stamps on the way, they usually wound up in the dresser drawer and were eventually thrown out.

The bean counters found out about these stamps and demanded that all be turned into the company...after all, we were traveling at the company's expense. This meant one was supposed to attach an envelope filled with the stamps to his expense report when he sent it into the home office. Failure to do so meant you had to deduct the dollar value of the stamps received from your voucher so that the company would not be cheated.

This created yet another sub-department of bean counters at the home office...the stamp counters and lickers. To make matters worse, they soon demanded that we fly exclusively with airlines or rent cars from agencies that gave the "most stamps per mile". Even though it would be more expeditious to hire a car from agency "A" instead of "B", we instructed to always hire a car from "B" because they gave more stamps per mile or whatever.

I've often wondered what the beancounters did with all these stamps...did they turn them in for toasters or was it for waffle irons?

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