Monday, February 21, 2011

When Accountants Attack

This actually happened.

Probably due to something in the water, we’ve had an outbreak of pregnancies on campus over the past year. In every case, we’ve had to pay replacements to pick up either the classes or the hours of the woman who went out on leave. There’s a budget line for substitutes, but we’ve already blown well past it for the academic year, and it’s only February.

The college budget hawk, whom I will simply call Money Guy (MG), dropped by my office to express his concern. This is the actual, I-am-not-making-this-up conversation.

MG: DD, you’ve gone well over the allotment for the substitutes line.

DD: That’s true.

MG: What happened?

DD: We had an outbreak of pregnancies, so we’re covering for several maternity leaves.

MG: Well, you’ll need to keep an eye on that.


DD: Keep an eye on that?

MG: Right. We can’t keep overspending the lines.

DD: MG, they’re pregnant. What, exactly, do you propose I do about that?

MG: Well, we need to exercise fiscal discipline.

DD: Fiscal discipline? They’re pregnant. What am I supposed to do about that?

MG: (silence)

DD: I didn’t get any of them pregnant. Beyond that, I’m really not sure what you’re asking me to do. Should I send out a memo asking everyone to knock it off?


MG: Well, I guess we’ll take it from somewhere else...

The joys of bureaucracy...