my employer revoked everyone’s telecommuting status, my coworker copied my LinkedIn profile, and more

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. Can I lie about my hours to get a better salary at a new job?

I have been working at the same company for 10 years, from a junior role to managerial position. It’s a very small company (less than 5 people) and has been hit in recent years by the economy; people have been laid off. I’ve only had a few small pay raises in that time, and a couple of years ago I asked for a pay increase and was refused as the company wasn’t doing well. I managed to negotiate working a four-day week along with no drop in holidays for the same pay (I do the same job but just more efficiently).

I love my job but obviously there comes a time when you have to move on and start earning what I believe is deserved. When job hunting, I’ve been told my pay is very low (about £15k + less than it should be). I’ve started lying to agencies about my salary with the intention of suggesting that would be my salary if I worked full-time. However this is still lower than I’m aiming for.

I’m now wondering if I can lie about my hours, i.e. say I work three days a week instead of four and that I freelance elsewhere in between (which I do, although I don’t earn much from it). I’m not comfortable with lying but really want my next role to be in line with the industry standard. Would a future employer ever find out my working hours, either through pay slip or reference? Or would there be a better route to getting such a huge increase?

What?! No, you can’t lie in the interview process. It would raise huge issues about your integrity, for obvious reasons, and yes, it’s easily discovered. Employers that base salary offers on what you’ve been earning are often employers who ask for verification of that information, either as part of the reference-checking stage or by requesting tax forms, pay stubs, or other documentation. And moreover, sometimes they do it after you’ve already accepted a job offer as part of their new hire paperwork, which means that you risk them pulling the offer after you’ve already accepted it and resigned your current job.

You’re better off keeping the focus on what the market rate is for your work.

2. My employer just revoked everyone’s telecommuting status

I work for a bank in a southern city. I work as a telecommuter and live 2 hours from the office. There is no public transit. I was hired under these conditions and signed up for a program called MyWork. I go in once or twice every two weeks. A lot of my hours are out of standard hours (I can be working at midnight on an issue) and I work from home during these as well.

This bank just revoked everyone’s telecommuting status. Everyone in my major metropolitan city. Thousands of people. Some of us are being offered relocation if we don’t live in the city (like me). Regardless, that disrupts families in mid school year and spouses with jobs. We’re having to deal with this during the holidays! It is obvious that if we say no, we will lose our jobs. The question is, will they fire us for cause for this? Can they?

That wouldn’t typically be considered being fired for cause; “cause” generally means a performance issue. This would be something more akin to a layoff; the nature of the role is changing so dramatically that it’s essentially being eliminated and replaced with a different one.

But if your question is more about whether you can lose your job over this and less about what it would be called: Yes. If they’re committed to eliminating telecommuting, they can require that you move or otherwise work from their office. However, you’d almost certainly be able to collect unemployment, and you should try to negotiate severance as well.

3. My former coworker copied my LinkedIn profile verbatim

A former coworker and I held the same position at different times at the same company (she was in this role first, then was laid off and I moved into that position a year later, and now have a new role). I noticed recently that she updated her LinkedIn profile about that position to be practically identical to mine. Her tagline is verbatim the unique tagline I had until a few months ago as well. Do I say anything or assume it’s a coincidence?

Unless your wording was very generic. I wouldn’t assume it’s a coincidence; it sounds like she stole your wording. But I don’t know that it’s worth speaking up about. I’d file this in your head as evidence that your former coworker kind of sucks, and move on.

4. Do I really have to spend so much time reconciling my business credit card expenses?

I travel a tremendous amount for a national nonprofit. I have a company credit card, which I am able to use for all my business expenses. There are some months when reconciling my credit card for our accounting department takes me 3-5 hours. The spreadsheet has 50-60 items on it. and I despise having to do it. I don’t have anyone else to help me and I don’t have any one to blame. When I object to the spreadsheets, the copies of receipts and the cumbersome process, I am told that our auditors demand it and the IRS demands it. I just dont believe them that I need to explain every expense – a $2 metro card? Am I just crazy? Should I just suck it up, pour some wine, and reconcile away?

What is the easiest way to do this? Am I daft?

Pouring some wine and settling in for a few hours of reconciling sounds right to me. Reconciling expenses does need to be done; otherwise, someone could scam your organization out of significant amounts of money over time.

But you might look for ways to streamline expenses — for instance, rather than having to record a $2 metro card every time you go to a meeting, see if you can buy a $50 metro card for the month and categorize it as “traveling to meetings.” (They might not let you do that if they want more specifics than that, but it’s worth asking since you’re in such a travel-heavy job.)

5. My temp-to-hire job hasn’t given me any details about salary or benefits

I’ve got a “temp to hire” job, but no details on wages, timeline, benefits, etc. have been offered, casually mentioned by coworkers, etc.

I recall a past agency explicitly forbidding its employees asking about being hired, if they will be hired, the wages if hired, etc. The working conditions aren’t the best (having to second-guess construction site addresses when Google can’t find them, no designated work area, bad lighting, etc.) and not being able to find any details on compensation (not even on the ‘net) makes me inclined to ask my agency to pull me out. It may be a wonderful job with incredible benefits, but I haven’t heard a peep about them.

Why not ask your staffing agency? It’s true that they don’t usually want you approaching the client about this stuff directly, but it’s perfectly reasonable to ask your agency for details. I can’t see any rationale for asking to be taken off the job without first telling your agency specifically what you’re interested in finding out.

{ 128 comments… read them below }

    1. COT

      I got a 57% raise two months ago during a job change and never had to lie. I had several interviews and two job offers and no one asked me about what my last job paid. Their concern was paying me in line with what their organization paid, not what the last one did. Be prepared to have the conversation about why you’re looking for so much more, but it might never come up. There is hope!

      1. LJL

        I just got a 30% pay increase while changing jobs as well. They knew my former salary and made sure to beat it substantially. Being straightforward is always best, and if it’s a good company serious about attracting the best talent, they’ll offer what they believe the job is worth, not what they think they can get away with. Good luck!

        1. Artemesia

          I got a 30% raise after a merger where the company I was with had lagged due to its financial problems and newer hires had also come in at a higher rate so that some of us were seriously out of line. The key there was a new boss who promoted me to be his assistant to and new project developer during the transition tasks of the merger and made sure I was paid what similar people in the larger organization got. If you have to ask then be prepared to make a case based on market rates for similar positions.

  1. patty

    OP#4- I’m the person who pays the credit card bill and reconciles it within the accounting system. And shows them to the auditor during audit. What I’d like to suggest is that you approach it the same way you would approach a reimbursement. The documentation you have to provide if you were using your personal money and then asking the company to reimburse those expenses after the fact – well, that is what is needed in your credit card expense report. And yes, we really do need a receipt for that.
    When I was an assistant and filled this out for my boss years ago (sorry you don’t have help!) I took these steps (sorry if this is too basic, but it never took me 3 hours) 1) fill the report out using the credit card statement in Excel 2) find the receipts and tape them to paper in chronological order. 3) total the report to match the statement. 60 items? 2-1/2 pages right? Done! Wish I could have been drinking wine as I did it………

    1. Mary

      Yes, I would love wine at work as well. It takes me 3/4 hours per month to do my expenses when I travel. I have receipts I picked up as I travelled but I often have to find email with bookings and print them out and add them to the folder. I can do it online and take photos with my phone and upload them, but accounts want paper copies of everything which slows the whole thing up.

      It is just part of my work and I just schedule it into my work week. I know there are many other things that I could be doing that are a more valuable use of my time but it is was not expenses it would be some other tedious paperwork.

      1. AdAgencyChick

        “It is just part of my work and I just schedule it into my work week.”

        This. Although the OP’s statement about wine makes me wonder if s/he has to do this outside of normal business hours because OP’s boss doesn’t really think of it as a task that needs to be accomplished. (After all, OP, not the nonprofit, is the one benefiting from having that report completed.)

        In OP’s shoes, I’d start blocking time off on the calendar to do the reports during working hours, and then treat it just like other tasks when talking to the boss about workload. (Or, rather, like a task that cannot be deprioritized, because you should get your money back!) “I won’t be able to get to XYZ until Thursday, because I’m going to need all afternoon to do my expense reports.” Hopefully the boss won’t object, but if she does, I’d say that it doesn’t seem fair to have to spend several hours of my personal time just to get my own money back. It’s one thing to say “suck it up, buttercup, expense reports are just a tedious part of the job” and another to say “not only do you have to suck it up, but you need to do it on your own time.”

        1. The Cosmic Avenger

          Yeah, I don’t travel nearly as much as the OP, but filling out the expense report comes right after scanning my inbox as the second thing I do when I get back to the office (assuming there are no fires to put out). I’m lucky, as my employer uses an online expense reporting system, so I snap pics of my receipts with my phone (taxis) or print the email receipt (hotel, airfare) and attach the JPEGs and PDFs to the report. If the OP’s employer doesn’t like how much of their work week is taken up by filling out spreadsheets and attaching paper receipts, maybe they should invest in a better system.

          1. The Cosmic Avenger

            Oh, and I probably don’t have to submit nearly as many paper receipts (usually parking and taxis are the only ones) because I get a set amount for meals & incidental expenses. I love it, because I can either eat on the cheap and keep a few bucks a day (which I did when I was young and poor), or consider it a supplement to going out to a really nice restaurant (which is what I do now).

    2. Anon College AA

      I just spent 15+ hours on travel reconciliation for one of our staff this month for a 6 week international trip – after he spent hours organizing his receipts as well. I agree, it is one of the parts of my job I like least. But it is part o the job, even if it stinks.
      A few tips I figured out when traveling – spend a little bit of time every night or every few nights when traveling organizing your receipts. The credit card statement will come through in (nearly) chronological order, so if you can keep you receipts in order and spend an hour a week organizing them or 15 minutes every few nights it will go a long way toward cutting down the 5-6 hours at the end of the month to 1-2. A red pen and binder clips are also your friend. Write the date large on top of each receipt, and circle the total at the bottom. Then bijder clip together in chronological order, or by category if you have to do expense reports that way. Taping the smaller receipts to a sheet of paper also makes it easier to photocopy later. Numbering each line on the spreadsheet and writing the same number in red pen at the top of the receipt helps as well. Find out if you can get a login to the credit card website so you can look at the charges mid month instead of waiting for the end of month spreadsheet helps too.
      Travel paperwork stinks, but it is part of the work, so do what you can do to minimize the pain, and it will be less terrible. Are there other people who also travel as much as you do? If so, you might want to investigate software or services that simplify the reporting process, such as the ones that let you take a picture of the receipts with your phone instead of making copies – but a lot of that isnt cheap, so it may not make financial sense unless it will save multiple people time. And be grateful you get a company card – I’ve worked places where all the traveling had to be front loaded by the employee and then they had to fill out reimbursement requests, which is a sucky way to treat good employees.

      1. Mt

        100% agree. I usually travel 1 or 2 days a week and will do full weeks every other month. When I travel I carry envelopes to store my receipts.

      2. Kay

        Great tips!

        Also, as you do expense reports, remember if you work on project basis and those expenses are billable that if you don’t provide receipts, they can’t be billed out and then your company will have to eat the cost for something that should be reimbursable by a client. If something weird happened on your trip, make a note of it so the person doing the billing/reconciling will understand. I used to work for a small company that had contracts with the federal government. The guy I submitted my invoices to would ask me all sorts of questions like “Why did Joe rent a camaro instead of a normal car?” Come to find out, when he got to the car rental place, that’s all they had left and they gave it to him for the same rate as his reservation for a normal car. People do look through their invoices and want to know “why are you charging me for X?” If I can’t explain that to their satisfaction, it’s going to slow down the payment process and potentially cause cash flow issues.

      1. majigail

        That would be so nice… ours requires a receipt for everything… It seems nonprofits tend to require them for everything where forprofits realize that the $6 parking receipt really isn’t worth copying and storing for 1000 years. Yay for accountability and transparency.
        This is my least favorite task too, but it’s never taken me 3 hours even when travelling.

        1. Judy

          My current company requires receipts for everything, the one before only required it for over $25. Most of my trips were rental car driving 5-8 hrs at the last job, so I did a lot of buying $24.77 of gas so I wouldn’t have to worry about the receipt.

          1. Artemesia

            I got a 30% raise after a merger where the company I was with had lagged due to its financial problems and newer hires had also come in at a higher rate so that some of us were seriously out of line. The key there was a new boss who promoted me to be his assistant to and new project developer during the transition tasks of the merger and made sure I was paid what similar people in the larger organization got. If you have to ask then be prepared to make a case based on market rates for similar positions.

        2. Gwen

          It might also have to do with who nonprofits have to be responsible to. I also work at a nonprofit that requires receipts for everything, but we’re a tax-funded organization so we need to be extremely transparent about how and where we spend money. Other nonprofits are responsible to their donors.

          1. Katter

            Yep, this. I work for a nonprofit and my position is funded by a grant put together by a relatively small group of donors who do a lot for our organization, so you can bet I keep track of how that money is spent down to the dollar.

        3. Rowan

          Mine too! I recently had a whole claim rejected and have to be refiled because the receipt for a £2.50 cup of tea and pastry, from the same date and the same destination as the others, wasn’t itemised.

    3. ME

      I do this for others as part of my job and it’s annoying as anything, but yes we really DO need all the receipts for audits. When most travel purchases are fairly small, it would be way too easy to slowly leach money.

      Auditors also often prohibit the purchase of certain items (such as alcohol or gifts) so accounting might have to look at your receipts and do something different if you had wine with dinner.

      For people that travel a lot, I balance the card after every trip, rather than waiting until the statement comes. It makes thing so much easier, as the more trips you have the longer the spreadsheet is and the easier it is to make mistakes and not know what’s gone wrong.

      1. Frances

        When I worked in academia, I had a boss who had been at the university I worked at for years, and moved over to our department from another one. The person who replaced him in his old department ran a long overdue audit and discovered he had been stealing money for years by double charging expenses and other creative accounting. He got away with it for so long because he only double charged receipts that were for small amounts and common enough items that no one was going to waste time going back to look at old reimbursements. It was a large and embarrassing enough amount that they settled it all very quietly so the donors wouldn’t find out how lax they’d been about oversight.

        People *hated* doing reimbursements after that because the documentation requirements became so strict, but there was a good reason for it.

    4. Hillary

      I scan all my receipts as soon as I’m back in the office, store them in one folder, and rename them with the vendor name and expense date (or print PDFs when I get the emails). It still takes time, but it doesn’t feel like as much work when the charges eventually hit our online system.

      1. AVP

        I loved doing this for the first year I had to and was so excited every month for the statement to come out. After that I got really busy and it turned into a monthly badgering session from the bookkeeper because it wasn’t the highest priority and I was never getting it to her on time. Luckily now I have someone who does the first part of it and I can just fill in the confusing pieces!

    5. AVP

      I’m not the OP but enjoying weeding through all these suggestions as I have to do this for my whole company every month and it’s not my favorite task (although the whole company only takes me a few hours to do, thank whoever).

      One thing that REALLY helped was that I was able to log into the Amex website for the company account and download the whole statement as an excel sheet, and then from there it’s easy to build in extra columns to put in the info that the bookkeepers require and fill it in pretty quickly. My bookkeeper lets me submit that to her with receipts.

    6. BKW

      You might see if your employer will look at getting a tool to help with managing your expenses. The company I work for uses a web based product that allows us to take pictures of our receipts and enter all of the relevant information on our smart phones. At the end of the month I just have to go through the final check and fill in any information I skipped when I took the picture and submit. Doing it as I incur the expenses makes the end of month submission a few minutes.

    7. Abby

      I really have no sympathy for this person. Yes, it really is an audit requirement and an IRS requirement. If an employee of mine continued to complain about this, I would strongly suggest she either stop or find another job. That is serious whining.

  2. PEBCAK

    #4 — The IRS does not require every single receipt on small things, and many companies have policies where expenses under $10 are not reconciled.

    1. Ashley the Nonprofit Exec

      Yes, but nonprofits often have different systems for accountability….or “stewardship” of their funds, and much more scrutiny. Travel expenses in particular are item that gets an extra look. Many nonprofits donors who give $10, $20 or $100 would not like to hear that those expenses are too small to bother with.

      Do what you can to streamline and be efficient. Our sector owes it to the public to know where the money goes.

    2. ClaireS

      The day my company stopped requiring a receipt for purchases less than $25 was a wonderous day.

      I still have to track and account for it, just don’t have to worry about receipts.

      1. Artemesia

        We didn’t have to provide receipts for meals and the limit was 25$ for dinner; anything above that was not reimbursed. Somebody in accounting decided we were all scamming them because most people were reporting 25$ for dinner; he apparently assumed a round number at the limit was fake. So then they started requiring receipts. Well of course people traveling to New Orleans or whatever were spending much more than 25$ for dinner and paying the difference. As soon as the large receipts started coming in (with claims of 25$ as usual of course) they started bouncing the expense reports back because we had spent more than 25$ on dinner. It took months to get it through their thick heads that they couldn’t limit our dinners out in New Orleans or San Francisco to 25$ only their reimbursement.

        Business travel really ought to be per diem for such expenses and many non-profits do that. I just did a consulting gig for a very fiddly non-profit where contracting was a real nightmare BUT they did just have a per diem so I didn’t have to provide a receipt for that 5$ hot dog at the airport so I know that non-profits can behave rationally if they choose.

        1. Artemesia

          My personal favorite at my looney non-profit employer was that we had to provide evidence that no alcohol was charged thus food bills had to be itemized which was no problem with credit slips from fancy restaurants. I turned in a bill from McDonalds for less than 10$ and had it rejected because I had a credit card receipt that was no itemized and thus could not prove I hadn’t had a margarita or a beer on that dinner at McDonalds.

          1. Cucumber

            Yep, because McDonalds franchises routinely carry liquor licenses. I hope you took it off your taxes as an unreimbursed job expense!

            1. Joline

              One thing that amuses me about travelling is actually the liquor sales in McDonalds and similar food establishments. I’ve had many a beer in McDonalds (and Burger King) in Germany.

        2. Mister Pickle

          My company has gotten a lot better about travel expenses over the years. I have a corporate AMEX card that is used for almost everything (airfare, rental car, hotel, etc) and it’s hooked into the software that is used for expense reimbursement, so I rarely need to provide an actual receipt (although I still keep them all, Just In Case). The only downside is that it can take a few days for all of the charges to come through, so instead of taking care of it right away when I get home, it tends to go on my stack of Things To Do and becomes yet another one of those guilty things I’m procrastinating on.

          A few years ago they switched to a location-based per diem – amount is based on the location at which you are working – and (at least from my perspective) it was really good move. Although the per diem amounts are, as you might guess, unrealistically low (but not unbelievably low, I’ll give them that).

          The thing I used to hate most about expense reporting is dealing with tips. We don’t seem to have a policy on tips – I didn’t want to get a nastygram about overtipping for a cab ride or somesuch. Nowadays it’s not an issue.

    3. Observer

      That may be true in the for profit sector, but for non-profits it’s different. Petty cash and credit cards are places where both the IRS and auditors dig deep.

    4. AVP

      Also, even at for for-profit companies, if you are traveling for a client, the IRS may not require such scrutiny but the client can. It’s not done as much these days because everyone is strapped for time, but I’ve heard a lot of stories about having to sit in a meeting with the client’s business manager and go through every single receipt, PO line, and invoice line item and justify exactly who used or ate what and why.

      My favorite was that I once got a $150K invoice rejected because one of my freelancers had turned in a receipt for a car rental that was $2.00 off from what we had projected. And these were not government or nonprofit orgs!

  3. Jillociraptor

    #4, I get it: I used to process company credit card transactions for 7 people who traveled at least 2x per month. It was 40 hours a month of work, when no one had any weird expenses. It was a huge pain.

    But this isn’t your company or your finance team being pedantic jerks: the level of documentation is often required by funders, especially federal funders, and without appropriate documentation your organization can lose out on the money your development team worked so hard to raise. I can tell you from experience that when you express sentiments like this, it really grates on these folks who spend their time building relationships and cultivating donors so that you have money to do your job.

    Still: here are some tips that make expense reporting faster for me:
    1. Take pictures of your receipts on your phone as you go. Write right on the receipt what it was for.
    2. Try to consolidate your expenses into the smallest number of purchases. I try to buy my lunch with my coffee when I’m traveling — cup of coffee and a sandwich or bagel or something to eat later. It really cuts down on the number of receipts.
    3. In cases where I know the expense is going to be weird and require extra documentation (for us that’s cabs, since you often write it out yourself), I usually just pay for it myself.

    1. EngineerGirl

      The IRS requires receipts. How the receipts are reconciled is the company’s implementation and is NOT required by the IRS. It sounds like accounting is using the IRS excuse so they don’t need to change their processes.
      Many companies have an on-line tool to reconcile credit card expenses. As the charges come in the employee categorizes them by day. When I traveled I used to do this once every few days even when I was traveling. That kept things from stacking up. But you could start filling in the spreadsheet while on travel too.
      One thing I did invest in – a coupon holder book from Staples. I labeled the sections unreconciled food, unreconciled transportation unreconciled lodging, reconciled food, reconciled transportation, reconciled lodging. I could write the date on the back of the receipt and the item (breakfast, gas, etc.) It would be stored in the appropriate folder by date. As I reconciled each item it would move to the reconciled folder.

      1. Graciosa

        Yes, the IRS requires receipts – for expenses over $75!

        If the business has decided to set its own lower threshold ($2 – seriously?) that is a business choice rather than a tax requirement. The OP may want to do a little lobbying for a different internal standard. Unless the OP is the only one traveling, you would think there would be a lot of support for this.

        Also, the IRS does accept other evidence for expenses that typically require receipts if that receipt is not available (business travel expense journals, credit card statements, etc.). They are basically trying to make sure the expense was actually incurred and paid, and that the expense was a legitimate business one – but if the IRS has decided not to sweat the small stuff, the OP can certainly suggest that her employer do the same.

        1. Observer

          Except that the IRS generally has NOT decided “not to sweat the small stuff” when it comes to non-profits. And auditors can get even more picky.

          1. Jillociraptor

            Right and to reiterate, if you are a non-profit, this is probably not even an IRS issue but a funder issue. Grantors will often not disburse grants without sufficient documentation, so you’ll need to pull from limited stores of unrestricted funds.

            Another point that seems increasingly obvious: every company or organization should just be transparent about this stuff. It’s almost never for nefarious or even sensitive reasons that they require stuff like this. Finance teams also find scrolling through pages and pages of receipts slightly tedious — they’re not just trying to make more work for themselves. There are almost always really good reasons for policies, and they should share what those are! I used to feel similarly to the OP, until I learned the basics of how grant disbursement works. I don’t know why our finance team didn’t share that more proactively. I can just lead to assumptions like the OP’s, that you’re getting trolled by overzealous bureaucrats who don’t understand what a time-suck it is.

            1. Poe

              +1 I work in the finance office of a non-profit that doesn’t get private donations, but grants from major funding organizations. We have someone whose entire job it is to sort through receipts and check expense claims. Most of the non-finance employees hate her, because no matter how many times she explains that she needs receipts in case funders ask for them or we are audited by a funder (has happened twice, our excellent documentation protected us), they think the finance people are just jerks out to waste their time. We’re not! We’re trying to protect their jobs and ours, no funding = no future.

    2. Judy

      One thing I’ve seen most companies do is if people are travelling together, they should combine checks for meals. If I’m travelling with Wakeen, then today I buy lunch and he buys dinner, and tomorrow he buys lunch and I buy dinner. That reduces the number of expenses quite a bit.

      I’ve had to do the spreadsheet reconciliation before, and that’s not fun, but recently the companies I’ve worked for have moved to an online solution. I can take a photo of a receipt and email it into the system, it shows up in my receipt store in the system. I can use the app on my smartphone to do the report or use the website. With our system, I usually take photos and email them in nightly while on a trip, then browse the system and attach the photos from a few days ago to the credit card items. All that has to be done in our system then is to recategorize things that the credit card had wrong and add attendees if I bought meals for someone else.

  4. Befuddled Squirrel

    #3 – I don’t think the co-worker who copied the LW’s LinkedIn profile is necessarily a sucky person. They might just be clueless about how to write a profile and compensated by copying that someone else who had done the same work. They might not realize how much of a blunder this is and how it comes across to other people.

    I say this as someone who used to be really inept at writing resumes and LinkedIn profiles. I wouldn’t have copied someone else’s, but I can see where the person may have been coming from.

    But if the tagline was particularly unique or they’re advanced in their field, then yes, they’re kind of a jerk.

    1. nina t.

      I disagree, I think it is a sucky thing to copy verbatim- it’s called plagiarism. Unless as Alison said it’s really generic, but otherwise clueless doesn’t excuse it, although for something like a LinkedIn profile there’s nothing much that can be done.

      1. frequentflyer

        How would this appear to a recruiter or potential employer who sees both these profiles? Should OP change his profile to differentiate himself?

        1. GrumpyBoss

          I would and then I’d move on from the whole situation. This was ethically wrong, but I’m not sure what the OP thinks can come out of it.

          File it under “people suck”.

        2. Allison

          Not sure if OP should change, but if I see two profiles or resumes that look identical (or very, very similar) I assume they were both given a template from a staffing agency, or someone from their company told them what to put on their profile. I wouldn’t assume anyone’s copying, but I would figure someone fed it to them, and then wonder why – poor command of the English language? poor writing skills? I wouldn’t make assumptions, but it would be a red flag.

          I guess the OP should change their profile, unless they can the other person to change theirs.

          1. Ask a Manager Post author

            You know, that’s an interesting option — the OP has the option of reaching out to the coworker and saying, “Hey, I see you borrowed wording from my profile. Normally I wouldn’t care, but I’ve been told by recruiters that it’s a red flag to them when they see that, and they’re more likely to pass up both people since they assume they’ve copied a template and wonder why. Would you mind coming up with your own language?”

            Frankly, whether the coworker complies or not, it would be pretty satisfying to say.

      2. Taz

        I find LinkedIn to be so generic, though, as it is with its simple title and minor job descriptions. Even taglines. Unless it’s something totally out there and almost flip (like Graduated From School of Hard Knocks) I’m having a hard time really imagining a job description or tagline rising to plagiarism, especially if your jobs are the same. (But I accept it’s possible; I just am skeptical.)

    2. Vdubs

      What about someone who lies about their position on LinkedIn? We had someone who was very much Not A Manager list that he was Asst Manager at our organization… and he was connected with several of us, so we all knew. He just moved on, but should this have been addressed? (Another reason why employment verification checks matter!)

      1. GrumpyBoss

        It amazes me how many people do this.

        Frankly, any company that hired someone without any reference checks/employment verification/background checks gets exactly who they deserve.

      2. Colette

        The one thing I’d do there is … unconnect? (What’s the term on Linked In?) I wouldn’t want to help someone who I know lies get access to my contacts.

        1. HRC in NJ

          It’s called removing a connection. I’ve removed connections whom I would no longer feel comfortable referring or recommending.

      3. hayling

        There’s a way to flag it on LinkedIn which anonymously lets the user know that someone else thinks something should be changed

    3. illini02

      Yeah, I agree. Bad judgment =/= bad person. I’ve definitely used co-workers job descriptions as a basis for my own. While I would never just copy and paste, if you read both, you would definitely see many similarities. Which, to me, makes sense if you are doing the exact same job. Yeah, its always better to put some metrics in, but every job doesn’t have those easily. If they are just clueless, or a bad writer, to me its not THAT big of a deal. Are you both competing for the same job, I could see the issue. However it sounds like you haven’t even spoken to this person in a while. Unless you just had the most eloquently written job description ever, to me its just something that wouldn’t even register as something to get worked up about.

      1. Traveler

        Yep. I would want to make sure if I held the same position as someone at the same company, and we are connected through LinkedIn or there’s a possibility of them seeing my resume (or a chance of someone else seeing both of ours) that they are closely aligned. I don’t want it to sound over or under inflated. Though I agree there are lots of ways of doing this without copying it.

    4. Career Counselorette

      Before I started doing career counseling professionally, I once helped my younger sister with a resume once, and I showed her mine as an example of format. Cut to this past year, and she asked me to look at one of her friend’s resumes, so I did. Lo and behold, her friend’s skills section was identical to the one on my old resume. When I asked my sister about it, she was like, “Oh… I copied your resume, and then she copied mine, so…”

      *headdesk*

    5. Artemesia

      No this is just jerk behavior. Copying the way the title is listed is one thing — that will be the same across holders of that title. But copying other lines is jerk behavior.

  5. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.

    #5

    Temp to hire. We do a lot of this and you’ll always find me commenting on one of these questions.

    Companies will handle this differently but the set up you are describing is a classic set up. The temp part and the hire part are being treated distinctly. This works well for both parties if you are happy enough with what you are making while temping and they are happy enough with the work they are receiving for the money they are spending. Hiring decisions and offer negotiations happen at the end of the X month period.

    First of all, staffing agency, what Alison said. Their job is to make both you and the employer happy.

    Secondly, how long have you been there? If you’ve been at the assignment two weeks and you’re considering asking to be pulled out, you don’t want this job. It will be the longest X months of your life, finding out if they will even make you an offer.

    Two months? Okay, I’m down with your frustration. The two month mark seems to be a point where our good prospects need more information about what they are working toward, including whether or not we think it is likely that we will make an offer. We’re open to that conversation which they either initiate thru their manager or HR.

    Also, IMO, companies should let temps know how long until hire decision when they start. I don’t know how common it is but we’re up front with 3 months from day 1. I read stories here about people being dragged on and on and I think that’s wrong.

    The flip side is people being led on. A temp assignment is not a job offer and you can’t onboard a temp the way you would a hire. It’s already hard enough on them when two months in the assignment is ended. Even worse if they believed that it was just a matter of paperwork for them to transition to hire at 3 months.

    1. Dang

      This is helpful, thanks. I love seeing temp to perm questions here because I am growing increasingly frustrated with it. I began a 3 month temp assignment in June. They told me at the end of July that they’d like to hire me but they’re getting push back from their parent company and it probably wouldn’t be until 4th quarter. It now is and they haven’t said a word since thay conversation. I’m frustrated because I’ve been let go of temp jobs with a weeks notice, so I can’t go out and buy a car (for instance) and it’s now been more than the 3 month period they designated. It feels like they will probably just string me along indefinitely and its so frustrating.

      1. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.

        Well, I’m part of a smaller company (around 200 employees) and I have control over my budget, so I know whether I have a budgeted position open or not. I should have some sympathy for manager who have less control but, I don’t when it comes to screwing with somebody else’s finances.

        What I’m hearing is, they’d like to hire you but they don’t actually have a job to offer you. If there’s no money allocated for the position, there’s no job.

        Honestly, (and this might not be the best advice ever so, just consider it as one option), honestly, at this point I’d turn aggressive. You need to know whether there is a job or not and what the timetable for resolution is here. You need permanent work and if they can’t offer you a job, you have to turn your focus to looking for that. (Which, I’d say. Which, may not be the best advice you’ll get.)

        1. Colette

          I don’t think I’d turn aggressive – but I do think I’d start acting as if I weren’t going to be offered a job, which means interviewing elsewhere.

          1. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.

            mmm, probably used the wrong word because I was irritated.

            How about proactive, which would include asking for an expected timetable.

            1. Dang

              How would you suggest opening the conversation? I’m admittedly a terrible conversation starter.

              1. Colette

                “I know we’ve talked about bringing me on as an employee. We’re now outside the timeline we discussed – do you have an update on whether this is still the plan? What is the new timeframe?”

                But I don’t think I’d stop looking for other jobs for anything other than an offer letter.

              2. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.

                Lookit, I don’t want my advice to cost somebody income they need. If they don’t really have any intention of offering you a full time job and you stir the pot, they may choose to move onto another temp they can keep hanging around for awhile.

                If that risk is okay with you, I’ll tell you how I would approach it. I’d ask my immediate whatever for a sit down. Tell her how happy I am to be working with the company and ask her if she is happy with my work. Mention we’d talked about moving to perm in the past and say that I’m at point in my life where I must secure a perm position and I’d like it to be here. Do they have a timetable for a job opening up?

                To me, that’s key because it’s not really ever true that someone’s temp job is “turned into” permanent. Temp money comes out of a whole other bucket. It could be possible for the temp bucket to be endlessly funded from above with the same above people having their finger on the “freeze” button for any job creation.

                My goal in the meeting would be to come out

                1) having hopefully lit a fire to get the job creation finalized
                2) or, having a clear understanding of the impeding timetable/lack thereof

                1. Dang

                  Thanks! I will definitely do this. At this point I don’t have too much to lose.. And they’re having trouble hiring other temps anyway because of their ridiculous temp standards ( 2 hour intrvirw, skills test..)

          2. Dang

            I definitely get both points of view here. It’s just a slap in th face to see what people are spending on travel and being reimbursed for, and the huge overhead they have… They spare no expenses elsewhere, yet they can’t offer me a job with basically entry level salary. And there’s a ton of work that they need to get done, so it’s not like they’re paying me for nothing. I’ve gotten great compliments from everyone I’ve worked with. But I feel like I’m in a relationship just waiting to get proposed to!

            fact is, temping longer than a few weeks sucks. No paid time off, if you’re sick or have an interview or doctors appointment you’re SOL for pay for that day, no insurance, etc. it’s unreasonable of anyone to expect someone to temp for more than a few months.

            I was burned out by my 9 month job search and had to take something. Figured I would take the summer off from rejection and frustration, but its time to start looking again. This company once had a temp for 9 months and they were shocked when she left for a permanent job, so why did I even think they’d make me perm after 3?

            1. Colette

              I think you’re looking at the the wrong way.

              Yes, temping isn’t great – but you can (and probably should) continue to look for something else. It’s OK to take a temp job when you have nothing else, or if it will help you develop skills that will help you move into a new career path, or whatever – but you should take it as a temp job, and not count on it turning permanent until you get a job offer. Even if they offer you a job, you may not be able to agree on salary, and a job is not a sure thing until you accept the offer.

              Hiring you is also more than just carving out the money for your salary – there are other expenses (taxes, benefits, having somewhere for you to sit, computer equipment, etc.) that come with hiring an employee. Unlike travel, you can’t cut back by deciding you’re not going to pay your share of your employee’s taxes.

              Maybe they’re wasting money on travel, or maybe it’s critical to the business – but either way, travel money is often a different bucket than salary money.

              1. fposte

                Yup. Travel expenses are nothing compared to payroll. In most workplaces, they’re the biggest expense by far. Additionally, they fund the travel because it’s requisite to their business–they’re not going to forbid travel for twelve employees to hire another one any more than they’re going to opt out of paying for computers for everybody to add staff.

                1. Dang

                  I totally get that. What I mean is that the company is doing really well. So well that they still can fly people first class. Stuff like that. I get that it comes from a different bucket but it doesn’t make it not frustrating that they aren’t being forthcoming about something they told me would happen.

      2. HRC in NJ

        I had a situation once where I was a company temp, not a contract temp. The manager told me that I’d go full-time in about 3 months. Then it kept getting pushed back – lack of revenue growth, loss of a client, yadda yadda. Then I learned that they knew I was on COBRA for my healthcare, and they were planning to keep me as a temp until just before my COBRA ran out. I ended up getting a 2nd interview at a company close to home, and they realized there was a good chance I’d be leaving and they’d be stuck. Lo & behold, they made me full-time – after 19 months!!

        1. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.

          What is wrong with people?

          By the way, though, you are underlining a point that I often make in these conversations. A good temporary employee has negotiating power she should use.

          They already know your work and they are happy. You’ve proven you’re not a flaky nut job. You’re already partially or perhaps fully trained. You’re the bird in hand that’s worth way more than a couple in the bush.

          Sometimes temp situations can take on an indentured servant kinda vibe. Don’t let them!

          1. krazy K

            I am currently temping with a company that has promised to hire me. the assignment was for 2 months and 4 months later nothing…only more work. I would like to start saving money for the 401k which I manage and maybe get a sick day ( I was sick 2 weeks ago and that was a major hit to my pay), I would also like to buy a new car ( things are getting desperate) but I cant do that as a temp. SUCKS! I am also job hunting but its hard to be on a comp all day go home and stay up all night looking for a job.

            1. Colette

              It is really hard to work all day and then job hunt at night. Can you set aside one evening a week to apply to, say, two job postings? Compartmentalizing your search to one day might make you more willing to do it because you still get time to do other things during the rest of the week.

            2. Dang

              I hear you. Same situation here. I do something like collette suggested.. Collect ads I’d like to respond to during thr werk and do the actual applications on weekends.

          2. MaryL

            Hi Wakeen: Thanks for your point of view. I sometimes forget to see things like that. I have tons of commendations letters in my almost 4 years permatemping, nice people that support me and like my work, etc. Thanks for the positive vibes. I also need to have mor confidence in my abilities.

      3. Mary Laux

        Hi: I have been contracting at a large and extremely profitable biotech tech for almost four years. My former manager, who left a few months ago, said that my current role is too clerical in nature to make it FTE. However, the work load is increasing, and I also support another division handling their mobility/telecom work. I still don’t know if I will be made FTE; they will probably roll me over again for 2015. They (the co and your agency) don’t confirm that until December. My temp agency has had three points of contact in 6 months. I’m so very demoralized and depressed. I’m tired of being a permatemp (not going to team meeting, creating reqs for parties I can’t go to, etc) and letting everyone I know know that I’m looking for FTE work. My current manager is also aware. If this is not a good idea, let me know your thoughts. thanks

        1. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.

          I’m sorry, that just sucks. : (

          I don’t really know anything about long term contracting, myself. Hopefully other people have some input. The only thing I have experience in is temp and (supposedly) short term temp to hire.

        2. Judy

          I thought there was this thing, through the DOL that you couldn’t contract/temp at the same company for more than 2 years? My former company enforced that, requiring any long term contract engineer after 24 months to not be under contract for 3 months before having another contract with the company.

          1. MaryL

            Hi Judy: You may be thinking of the Microsoft permatemp case. In fact, there are no laws. My company has had some temps on for 4 years or more.

    2. SH

      THIS. I was on a temp job that lasted 10 months. It was supposed to last six weeks while the receptionist was on medical leave. She left four months into my assignment, I was offered an interview and thought for sure I’d be hired. Unfortunately, they didn’t tell me until they hired someone else. I was devastated.

      When I got my current permanent position I was told I had three months temp side. During the three months they gave me updates directly, critiqued my job performance and helped me develop skills in problem areas.

      1. JM in England

        From all of the temp jobs I’ve had to date, learned to take everything the employer says with the proverbial pinch of salt!

  6. Elkay

    #4 I must be a weirdo because I love reconciling accounts, you don’t even need to give me wine! If you don’t enjoy it though I would say try to set aside 15 minutes at the end of each day to make sure you’ve got every receipt in one place for your credit card with a note on it of what you used it for. You can even do that while you’re on the subway if you need to.

    I’m totally with you if your expense system is as out of whack as ours where you’re expected to remember which fields you have to fill in and which ones are N/A. That drives me crazy.

    Also, as the person on the other end, it drove me to distraction that people would max out their credit card, not submit expenses/reconcile it, get their card stopped, use their personal card and again not submit expenses. Meant my budgets were constantly out of whack.

    1. LBAI

      I’m with Elkay! Love it. I traveled internationally 100% of my time for about 4 years. Look at it as, I GET PAID FIRST. I mean, if I didn’t get a paycheck, I wouldn’t work. I looked at expenses the same way; if I didn’t get paid my expenses, I wouldn’t work. If you keep your receipts organized daily, then dropping them into an expense report first thing Monday morning is a breeze.

      1. The Cosmic Avenger

        I do, too, but I hate it when the process is inefficient. I’ve actually created fillable PDFs out of Word documents that my company was using for internal forms. It’s a fair amount of effort up front, but it saves a lot more in the long run. (Like having a good expense reporting system does, as I mentioned earlier.)

  7. majigail

    The world needs weirdos like you to make the reconciliation process bearable for the rest of us!!

    1. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.

      That is always true with temp to hire. It’s not a matter of believing anybody. That’s how it works. You are never hired at temp to hire until you get to the hire part.

      1. Sabrina

        Yes, very true. In my case my agency told me that everyone got hired on FT after 90 days as long as they were performing OK. They said that the only people that didn’t, were those with attendance issues or who just weren’t “getting” the job. All lies. And I was miserable and desperate enough at the previous job to believe them. So, lesson learned. Don’t make rash decisions just because you are miserable and desperate.

  8. JayDee

    OP #1 – Don’t lie! Can’t you just explain what you explained in your question here, that because your former employer couldn’t afford raises that would have kept your salary in line with market rates, you negotiated a four day work week with them. You negotiated a different type of compensation to try to reduce the hit of a below market salary. That’s not crazy. It’s how many non-profits keep their doors open (family-friendly! flexible hours! great benefits! salary competitive with other non-profit teapot preservation and appreciation societies in the upper Midwest :-/). Then focus on the market rate for your type of work.

    1. Lindrine

      I was in a similar situation to OP #1. I was asked about my range, and went with the market rate talk. I also described the other benefits, which at the time were good for me: close to home, flexible hours, some telecommuting, etc. that for me balanced out the lower pay scale. I too was offered a much higher salary than before. I recommend you practice talking about this with a friend (heck practice the whole interview) and you will find it will be a lot less stressful than you think.

      1. Cautionary tail

        It’s 3 days later so I’m not sure anyone will see this, but here’s a hilarious related post.

        A recruiter contacted me over the weekend about an unspecified position in an unspecified company in an unspecified location in the USA with a generic job title.

        After stating I’d like to learn more about it I just got the reply, moments ago, “What is your current base/bonus? And what would you need to make this interesting?”

        Ummm, what/where/what company etc. is the job?

        1. Cautionary tail

          It’s three hours later and I talked to the recruiter who wouldn’t move my status forward without me revealing my salary information. I told him in very nice words that he was not going to get it so we parted ways.

  9. FD

    #4- I’m guessing that part of the reason this takes so long is that you loathe doing it and end up waiting until it has to be turned in to do it. It might be more palatable if you do it every day. It’ll take less time, and doing 10 minutes every day is much less irritating than having to do several hours of work you hate at the end of the month.

  10. Camellia

    RE: #2 I’m interested in how this works out. The OP said “thousands of employees”. That is a lot of people to suddenly have to provide with office space and possible even parking space. I wonder if this is a sneaky way to downsize without calling it that?

    1. fposte

      This is pretty findable in the national news, and the company has been cutting back on this program for a couple of years now. Doesn’t mean there’ll be no layoffs, but it hasn’t been associated with them so far.

    2. MaryMary

      When Yahoo changed their work from home policy, a lot of people thought it was a way of reducing force without announcing layoffs or paying a tremendous amount of severance. I don’t know if reducing headcount was the main reason for Yahoo or OP’s employer’s decision, but I’m sure was a consideration.

    3. Meg

      Reddit has also revoked telecommuting – all of their remote workers are getting relocation packages or severance packages. At first glance of the title, I assumed the OP was a Reddit employee.

      Reddit’s stance on this is it wants to promote unity and teamwork under one roof or something like that. And they just got new offices and need bodies to fill them.

      1. esra

        Ugh, weak.

        I used to wfh on a remote team, we were fast and good and had a great reputation in the company. And 95% of us would have left instantly if they revoked remote work.

      2. JoAnna

        My employer is actually considering making some telework mandatory… we’re full to capacity in our office space in terms of desk space and HQ doesn’t want to get more office space or a bigger office. So from what I’ve heard, we may be going to a desk-share type system, where everyone works from home 3 days per week and is in the office for the other 2, etc.

    4. Mister Pickle

      I’m idly speculating on whether or not this has anything to do with the JPMorgan hacking incident. Not that it’s necessarily a good response, but I can see how some businesses might react this way.

      I’m one of those people who strongly suspects that Yahoo did this largely as a headcount reduction move. Although I think the Official Story was (more or less) that their telecommuting culture was dysfunctional and out of control, and it’s not too hard to believe that, either.

      Personally, I think it’s kind of dumb to drag telecommuters back to the office unless your business is already geographically concentrated in one location (like Microsoft was/maybe still is).

      1. fposte

        I’m finding stories about the repeal of MyWork from 2012 and 2013, though, so I don’t think so.

      2. INTP

        The industry gossip consensus on Yahoo, from what I heard, was that the metrics showed that the full-time-remote sector was costing way more than it was contributing as a whole. They had somehow acquired all these remote contractors who weren’t contributing to actual thing getting done. So it does seem that it was a targeted layoff – not “we need to reduce total headcount by 2000 and this is the most convenient way to do it” but a strategic way to get rid of an unproductive swath of the company; they certainly never intended for all of those remote workers to report to the office. Plus, the new CEO was trying to make the company relevant again. Many of the most successful tech companies have a highly “collaborative” culture, for better or worse (i.e. open desks instead of cubicles at Facebook).

    5. Op#2

      OP#2 here. Yes I agree. Seems there are some people in the city that are still remote but are not on the list. I think they will be let go and just don’t know it.

  11. Cindi

    #3 You know what really sucks here? If a recruiter sees both profiles, and it occurs to him that one obviously copied off the other, how would he know who was the original and who was the copier? Well, he might look at the dates of employment for that position. And since the copier had the job first, he might assume that was the original profile. Ugh.

  12. Observer

    #4 – I work for a non-profit, and we don;t give ANYONE a credit card, because the rules around them are so onerous. Not just to you, but for the organization as a whole. Our rules for using the company credit card are also arcane – and stupid, but I know why they are set up that way. As I said earlier, credit card and petty cash purchases are scrutinized with a fine tooth comb – even though a very low limit on how much you can spend in a given petty cash purchase is essentially a required policy.

    Others have given you some good ideas on how to simplify this. I’d add two things. One is that most banks will allow you to download your activity to either something like Quicken, or to a spreadsheet. No need to retype. If you can’t do that for whatever reason, get an app that allows you record your expenses. Record everything as you do it – the good apps will make it easy to do it. At the end of the month, export to an excel spreadsheet and you have most of your work done. If you’ve been keeping your receipts in order, it shouldn’t take long from there.

  13. Lindrine

    My company uses Concur, which I really like, as it makes the process much easier. I keep a folder on my computer (should keep it on the company network really) with expenses, and when I get a confirmation email or it let’s me print one, I print as a pdf and save it with the date and what it was in the document title. I am allowed to submit them by type, so airfare/travel, meals, etc. If it is a reservation for a conference, I usually get to expense it right away which is nice. Concur and other tools also allow mobile scanning/submitting. There are also scanning tools out there, even like Evernote to help you organize as you go.

  14. amp2140

    OP1, see if there are options to list your pay as an hourly rate. For non-exempt employees, when we list an annual salary, we’re estimating.

  15. BadPlanning

    OP #2 — Did this just happen? If it just happened, the backlash from employees might modify the “in office or else” policy. If they have a lot of people who can’t or won’t move, they might change their minds.

    A couple of years ago, my company sort of did this. It was not an absolute, come to the office or else. It was more, if you’ve been working at home just because, come back to the office. They did not force people who were living far away to make a choice. This was around the same time as other companies hit the news too with “Back to the office” campaigns.

    1. Op#2

      Op#2. This is happening now. They’ve threatened it for a while but lots of us had exceptions (health accommodations, distance etc). But it seems they just expanded it and everyone is now impacted. I think it is an easy lay off myself.

  16. C Average

    Re #4:

    I think I may be the only person on earth who likes doing expense reports. I mean, I don’t want to do them all the time, and I’m not volunteering to do anyone else’s or anything! But the rest of my work is so fast-moving, so intense, so collaborative, so fraught with ambiguity, and often so stressful that it’s really lovely sometimes to sit down with a stack of papers, put on some tunes, pour an adult beverage (my particular poison is cognac) and punch in the numbers. It’s a nice break to do something clearly defined, not confusing, and relatively mindless.

    I try to always have a stockpile of mindless and non-urgent tasks somewhere on my plate so that on my occasional inevitable “I woke up stupid today” day, I can seek refuge in mindless work for a few hours. I find it soothes and restores me and enables me to return recharged to my more intellectually challenging work.

    Does anyone else ever feel like this?

  17. HR Manager

    #1 – If you had flexibility for a 4 day week, and had a pro-rated salary as well, I think it’s ok to explain that given these circumstances, you accepted the lower salary (you can annualized that out for better comparison), but that your expectations for a FT, 5 -day a week position would be more along the lines of market rate at xxx.

    #5 – Temp-to-hire is often in place as a ‘try before you buy’ so I can see how this can be irksome to have someone already asking about salary and benefits before an offer is made for conversion. That being said, I would hope the agency has a general idea of range so that they are placing candidates in that area, so they should be able to give you a ballpark. If you want benefits information – does your company have an intranet site? Is there an HR portal where this information is posted? I’d poke around to see what you can find.

  18. Korren

    #1. I’m NOT encouraging anyone to lie about anything in the job process, but I do know someone who got caught lying during her job interview, got that job, and is still in that job 15 years later–telling the same lie. The supervisor of that department is pretty dishonest as well. Probably thought this was someone who wouldn’t turn him in. I just ocassionally pull this story out to show that when it comes to interviews, it’s all about your audience.

  19. PugLady

    What timing! I just discoverd this morning that a former employee of mine revamped her LinkedIn profile to mirror mine. Personally I think it’s funny. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

  20. Ruthan

    LW 4, any chance you could talk someone at your company into letting you sign up to have this outsourced (or could just pay for it yourself)? There are a bunch of companies who’ll do this for you (Expensify, Shoeboxed, and Harvest all come to mind).

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