The Practitioner: The expenses are on me

SOMETIMES IT TAKES LONGER for the penny to drop than normal but I disappointed myself recently for not recognising sooner that I had been totally duped into agreeing to attend a Fine Art Exhibition in Edinburgh.

One of the partners had asked me to attend with her a few months ago and she must have caught me at a bad time, because I obviously said yes.

Fine art isn’t really my thing to be honest, but I do like Edinburgh and find it hard to say no to a good night out. I almost said a free night out just then until I realized that the practice would be paying for it. That’s why I think I’ve been duped.

This partner has recently completed a night school course studying fine art, and it was only after chatting to one of our managers that the penny dropped why she asked me to go with her.

If she can persuade me to go with her she could claim it was a business trip and claim for the cost of the travel, hotel, tickets, food & drink etc. through the practice. If she couldn’t manage to persuade me to go it would have been a lot trickier to put it on her expenses sheet!

I guess I’ll just have to try to make as many contacts as possible while down there and sign them up for our monthly newsletter in the hope that some client work comes from it in the not so distant future. What else can I do?

The exhibition is next week and hotels and trains are booked so it’s pointless telling her that I can’t attend now. I suppose I could offer up my place to one of my staff as a prize for good behaviour? Not that they would see it as a prize though, a few hours sat on the train with the partner not well known for her engaging conversation or personality.

Secretly she is probably hoping I pull out so she can invite her husband to go with her. Apparently they were both on the night school class together.

As an act of revenge I may ask her if she would like to come with me to watch some ‘fine cricket’ at Lords this summer. She had better not say yes!

The Practitioner’s uncensored thoughts come from the coalface of a regional firm in the heart of England



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