Friday, February 20, 2015

Tales from the Workplace, Part VII

I am posting stories from my job, because I think they're funny.  I've done my best to disguise my company name, even the industry, and to keep the people I write about and even some details of the situation anonymous.  If you know me, and know where I work, please don't include details in your comments.  I'll have to delete your comment and reconsider posting these stories.

We have a customer who is apparently making deals with all his friends and neighbors and business partners that he'll run their purchases through his own account.  That's fine with us, as long as he pays us.  Then he gets us involved in his profit-making venture by having us charge him $1.00 more per unit than we actually charge him, bill him that price on an invoice, then issue a credit memo for that same $1.00 per unit so he nets out at owing us only what he normally would, but has the doctored invoice to show his friend or neighbor or whoever.  Oddly, we comply with this.  Whatever.  I do what I'm told (as long as it's not actually illegal, not that I've been told to do anything illegal.  I haven't.)

This same customer is also a part owner of a different company in the exact same business, and for a while, we just had that other business set up as a separate ship-to, but billed the original customer as always.  This was fine with him, until it wasn't.  He expressed surprise at what his account balance was, and it turns out that's because he had three invoices outstanding when he though he just had one.  Well, yeah, you've got one for YOU, specifically.  But one of the marked-up ones for your neighbor, plus one for your other business, and it adds up fast.  So he asked if we could set the separate company up as a separate entity in our system as well.  Sure, if they apply for credit and we grant it.

So I send him a credit app to have the separate company complete and return.  Some places ask for four (or even more!) credit references--companies you've been doing business with.  We just ask for three.

(Side note--I had a potential customer send in a credit application with two of their references being companies who they're on a cash basis with--that isn't actually a CREDIT reference, then, is it?  The third one hasn't responded yet, so I'm dying to know whether they're the same.)

So, the credit app from this side company comes in.  They filled out their own information, for the most part.  They filled in the bank information, though it's so messy I can hardly read it.  Doesn't really matter--I don't usually call/fax banks, because just having money in the bank (if the bank will even tell me about it) doesn't mean you'll pay US--other vendors are much better references.  

The first vendor reference is actually a customer of ours as well.  They didn't include anything except the name (which was actually incorrect, but I inferred the correct one based on them being a customer of ours in the same town as the applicant) and the phone number, but hey, I guess that's all I really NEED.  

The third vendor reference space was left blank.  Sheesh--you can't come up with THREE companies who can vouch that you'll pay us?

But the kicker is the second one--the second vendor reference, who is supposed to tell us how good of a customer you'll be, was THE CUSTOMER.  The same name, phone, and fax listed at the top of the application.  Seriously.  Um, Acme Company, how good a customer would you say Acme Company is?  Do they pay their bills on time?  Do you think they'll pay us on time?  Really, you do?  Great--we'll go ahead and extend them an unlimited line of credit.  Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

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