Friday, July 20, 2007

Group Pay Sucks

Yesterday Company had a meeting at Toy’s R Us for research field trip. After 1 hour, boss suggested a stop at Starbucks and then Target. I’m always game for Starbucks and feeling proud that I have a free coupon and am sticking with new budget commitment I happily jump in his rented mini cooper with a fellow employee.

I immediately assume this is not a business paid stop considering below mentioned “cash flow” so I walk up to counter, pull out wallet, order $3 drink and hand over coupon just as boss announces, “hey aren’t we going to all pay together?” Brain stops, confusion, who pays as a group for individually purchased coffee, is he actually going to pay for everything??? I opt to freeze with wallet still in hand. He orders a drink and hands over $3 that does not pay for ordered drink and then asks me to cover the difference with a “hey I owe you a dollar”. Fellow employee orders and hands over enough money to pay for her coffee and I present my free coupon. Boss then orders bread and says “hey I owe you another dollar”, I mumble don’t worry about it and start digging for change to cover the difference. He finds some change as well and somehow we complete the bill payment. I somehow got conned into paying for something when I had a free coupon. The cashier leans over and says, that free coupon was worth $4 so it really helped out. I mumble thanks and walk away.

I wonder if in his mind, he pays my salary so it’s really like my money is his money anyway?

I really hate confrontations about money and I have never collected any money borrowed from self and always opt to avoid repeating any uncomfortable money situation. When I was in college, my roommate would collect every freaking dollar that I caused with a “hey do you have that dollar for gas used on today’s car ride to school?” (oh yeah, she was always a same day collector). I stopped driving to school with her and took the bus because it was cheaper. Due to current budget constraints, I will not go to any coffee shops with boss even if I have a free coupon.

I’ve also stopped eating lunch out with fellow employees because of the group pay issue. When boss is involved (and he can jump in on any lunch at any time and want a sit down restaurant), we always end up paying $12 - $15 per person. Lunch should not cost this much – ever! It sucks. Somehow between certain unnamed people ordering the most expensive dish on the menu and everyone splitting the bill it ends up this high every freaking time. I now join birthday lunches only and budget for the $15.00 into the weekly budget.

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