We're certain that plenty of Reg readers have at one time or another been given short shrift by the company finance department for presenting a dodgy receipt as part of an expenses claim. Last weekend, though, we obtained a bit of paper which we reckon would be hard to beat if you're determined to be shown the beancounters' door …
This seems all very reasonable. In the bar we expats meet up at in Manzanares el Real, a single beer will cost you 2.50€, the tapa will be a couple of crisps and if you buy food it comes with bread you could build houses from. The when you do the maths, you still can't work out how 3 beers=9.37€
Don't worry, one of my locals is Perth, Western Australia is charging AUD$15.00 a pint!!!
Most places are about AUD$10.00...
And speaking of Perth, a visitor from the mystic East decided to have lunch in the waterfront bar called "The Lucky Shag". His expenses claim was returned with a note saying "Please explain" stapled to it.
You should be able to get beer cheaper than that, it's certainly a lot cheaper in Villalba and we're only 15km away...
Godfather of all bills
Antonio Corlioni = Anthony Corleone aka the Godfather
4 of us stopped off on the way for 2 Coffees, 1 beer, 1 soft drink and got stung for 60 euros. That included 3 euros each for the 4-piece "orchestra" trying to make themselves heard in the background.
Re: Avoid Venice-
hahaha .... used to be the same 20+ years ago when I went there a few times .... once when my sister was on a choir tour there one of her friends decided that he just had to have a GnT sitting outside Florian's in St Mark square whatever it cost - this was 25 years ago and I think even then it was something like £10 as soon as your bum hit the chair and the drinks were similar amounts on top!
As for me ... order espresso at bar and drink standing there ... fraction of the price!
"...I have no idea ... who on God's Green Earth Antonio Colorino might be."
According to a well-known search engine, he arrived at Ellis Island on 11 June 1905, aged 21.
So he was that really really old bloke that was sitting inside out of the sun - the one you tripped over on your way to the toilet. Nice to see him still getting out.
Don't you have a VAT?
At least down here in Austfailia the one good thing about our GST is that if there's no ABN or GST mentioned, you can play the old "I work for the Taxation Dept." line.
"Your licence is in order pal?"
"The man is dry. Give 'im one on the house. Si."
Re: Don't you have a VAT?
In some places, if you say you are from tax department for that purpose, you may end up with hospital bill :)
Fair dues ......
But I suspect that there's a lot more clarity in that document than the information Barclays et al have been passing off as LIBOR data in recent years.
I guess you had to be there.
Having just got back from Rome with a very similar scrap of paper with multiple names (none of which ours), ambiguous figures and some italian writing - I feel you pain.
I will however say that I paid it never the less as the other option was to get out my translator and argue the toss.... to time consuming!
It shouldn't be "IIIII", should be "XXI" for 5 (x is 2), they even broke world wide paper billing standard :)
Douglas Adams as always ...
Bistromathematics - HHGG
(Something along the lines that mathematics done in seedy Italian restaurants have little relationship to mathematics anywhere else in the universe)
Re: Douglas Adams as always ...
was just thinking that... yah beat me to it lol
how the famous Bistro drive works? So, was this in fact El Reg investigating alternative fuel sources for their next great project?
Only 98 euros?
I know Spain is cheaper than the colder bits of Europe, but still.... If I were to spend 4 hours in a bar drinking with seven friends and we were only charged 98 euros, we would be laughing all the way to the bank, regardless if we were in Spain or say, Belgium.
Let's see: drink 3 beers/hr for 4 hours = 12 beers. With 8 persons this makes 96 beers. At 2 euros per beer: 192 euros in drinks alone. Some snacks could add say 10 -20 euros....
Can I have the address of that bar you vist?
Re: Only 98 euros?
"Can I have the address of that bar you vist?"
Is this where we find out the address of the bar is Lester's home address and the proprietor, who wrote the bill, is Lester...
Re: Only 98 euros?
"laughing all the way to the bank" - this is the usual response to Spanish banks at the moment, isn't it?
At last, the final proof I needed ...
El Reg is really published by Megadodo Publications - or at least shares the same expense claim philosophy.
Well done Lester...
The receipt might not have passed the expenses Tsarina, but you have managed to pass off your complaint as a publishable article...
Re: Well done Lester...
.. and almost certainly just resubmitted it, listed under the heading research!
Looks remarkably like the BOFH in his "hand written in crayon" expenses story.
My God, Juli works hard!
It would have been OK if it had had the bar's CIF number on it, and a VAT breakdown.
Of course, it would have been even better if the numbers actually added up.
Antonio Colorino et al.
Barmen often use nicknames to identify their customers. Antonio Colorino could have been someone named Antonio who is maybe a painter, or dresses loudly, or has a funny skin tone (colorino is a diminutive of "color", although it could even be an actual surname).
Pep (Josep) and Juli are just regular Catalan names, "obe" I have no idea, and Pascual is not a heavy drinker.
I thought you said receipt, not a tax receipt sir.
Ah, the 'would-you-like-VAT-with-that?' culture. Put it this way, there's no way the Spanish VAT-man or taxman will be seeing a penny of that bill.
I think I see at least one Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster on that list.
Seems completely fair to me - we all know that numbers in restaurants / bistros / pubs are unlike any other numbers in the entire universe.
This is pure Bistromatics - and you'd be hard pressed to put in an expense claim without visiting yet another restaurant to sort the last bill out.
Before you go home...
My other half, being a maths teacher, would never have let a sloppy bit of work like that go unchallenged. At the very least the incorrect addition would be brought sternly to the proprietor's attention. All items would have to be clearly identified. If there were any offers (BOGOF, happy hour, menu del dia, etc.) that applied, they would be carefully optimised and combined to minimise the bill. The proprietor would also be very lucky if he wasn't instructed to write it all out neatly before we left. Finally, if we were a group, everyone would be informed of exactly what their contribution should be.
Some people just can't leave their work behind.
I love the tally-marks, that's just awesome! Sometimes they are more effective and faster than traditional numbers, and certainly more funny ;)
There IS a high-tech solution here!!
On eBay there are lots of nice receipt printers available. It takes a small bit of software to make it look right and maybe a bit extra for the expense of the receipt printer. You could even add nice logos and make it look VERY official. Even better to make up receipts for others, a cottage industry. As a side comment, I see a BOFH episode here.
You want a receipt, I'll give you a receipt. Kinda like if you want a green coat, turn on a green light!
An example of Bistro mathematics perhaps? Invented by Douglas Adams to traverse the universe faster than anything else before, it might explain how the Reg lunch party ended up paying the bill in Spain...?
Not a valid claim unless
the expense was made as part of your journalistic investigation for an article. And now it is, well done for getting that one through.
Re: Not a valid claim unless
Certainly a claim is now justified. But the amount to claim? That's still not so obvious.
I am reliably informed that one Fleet St hack/legend/etc. once placed a UKP 1000 claim (sans receipt) for "a camel", which was paid by accounts. At the time, the jargon for an expenses claim was something like "swindle sheet". Other claims by the same person apparently included "a yacht", "a tent", etc.
I quite like the German approach of tick marks on beermats - it's very easy to understand, even after many tick marks on your beermat.
Sadly, the expense department at a previous employer felt that a beermat full of tick marks with the total written in the middle did not qualify as a proper receipt.
You mean the establishment didn't give you handful of blank receipts with their letterhead with the instructions to fill it in with whatever you want? Works well with taxi drivers as well, especially if you tip them well.
I'm taking notes for future expense claims
Now all I need is a legitimate excuse to raid the hotel mini-bar.
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