Payback Please

Gina and Beth were recently on a week long business trip together in London, and the two women had strict rules from their company of what they could and could not charge on the company card.  Room service and the minibar were not on the list! That said, it was Gina’s first overseas trip with the company, and she didn’t really know the rules…

So when the two women checked out – and Gina had a $250 room service and minibar bill – she was not prepared.  Having only brought her company card, Gina asked Beth if she could cover her until they got home.  Of course Beth was happy to help out her colleague and charge the fees to her personal card.  Gina promised to pay Beth back in cash their first day back in the office.

It’s now two weeks later, and no payback yet from Gina.  However, Gina has confided to Beth that she hasn’t forgotten about the money she owes her, but she didn’t realize how tight her finances were this month, and she’s just waiting for her next paycheck before paying her back.  The problem is that Beth’s credit card bill is due before Gina will get her check, and Beth really doesn’t want to go out of pocket.  In fact, she feels like she’s been taken advantage of, and worries that Gina might not pay her back at all.

Is Beth overreacting? Should she confront Gina and tell her she needs all or part of the money back immediately, knowing that she clearly doesn’t have it?  Or should she avoid making things more tense and wait until next week after when Gina gets paid and has the opportunity to pay her back without being asked?

What would you do?  Tell us what you think!

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3 Responses to “Payback Please”

  1. Molly says:

    Beth should tell Gina that she’s now putting her in a bad postion with her credit card company and her credit card company will now be charging her interest on that $250.00 which she expects Gina to pay.

    Beth might also suggest that Gina go to HR, or accounting, and let them know that on her first business trip she didn’t understand the rules and had a $250. personal expense that Beth covered, and ask the company if they’ll reimburse Beth and take the money out of her paycheck or expense account reimbursement.

    • Mary says:

      I agree that it may be in order for accounting to remedy the “error” if the company is small enough……this would never fly in a large company.

      The reason for the suggestion? If the allowable vs. unallowable charges were spelled out and the dunderhead only traveled with the company card, you’re dealing with someone in arrested development and not exactly trustworthy……at least not when it comes to money and meeting expectations they signed onto.

      If accounting won’t step in then the old adage may apply — lend money only under the understanding that you may never get paid back. It is ok to have someone pay the piper. Saying you’d love to help, but can’t, means Gina charges the company cc and then speaks with accounting right away, letting them know they can take the money out of her paycheck and that she won’t make the same error again. Being held to adult expectations means graduating to being an adult. Yeah!

  2. louie says:

    Suggest she waits the week and then collects the money. The rules should have been clearly spelled out at the point of hire. If the money is not volunteered after she gets paid, then it’s another problem all together, which then must be dealt with head-on and immediately.

Any Thoughts?