Dear Finance Office,
I never thought you would catch me, but your diligence has paid off. To truly understand my crime, we need to go back a few years to when I was an undergrad. You see, at that time all I wanted was $46.72 worth of random supplies from Home Depot. But in my lowly life as an undergrad, this was out of my reach... so I plotted.
First, I got myself involved in research between my second and third years of college. I worked many hours of two years to produce a thesis, a couple of papers and admission to graduate school. I left my home country, family and girlfriend and went to get a PhD with a well respected member of the scientific field I wanted to pursue. It was a hard decision, but I had my eye on the prize: $46.72 in Home Depot goods.
I spent two years doing the long-distance relationship thing in different countries and time zones before I married my girlfriend, who moved to a new country with me. She knew how important my dream of Home Depot supplies was to me and I owe her a lot for being willing to move her life. After 5 years of graduate school, I had my PhD, but still no university purchasing card to abuse to my own selfish ends.... so I plotted.
I started a postdoc at a new university and started a family. I wrote grants. I wrote papers. I did research and supervised others doing research. I went to meetings and gave talks. When the time was right, I sent out job applications. LOTS of job applications. I got some interviews and some went better than others. I chose Employment University in no small part because they offered university purchasing cards.
I toiled at building up my lab for two years and even sat through your three hour 'training' session that was like a long winded parental speech about responsibility and how closely we would be watched. I endured much, but I was so close.
I used the Pcard for all sorts of things, diligently keeping receipts and lulling you into feeling like I was up to the task. I was never late, never lost a thing. Always crossing my t's and dotting those i's.... and I plotted.
Finally, I thought I had covered myself well enough to get away with a crime over a decade in the making! I went to Home Depot and carefully chose my precious items, ensuring they added to my envisioned total. I purchased them with my university card and when it went through a nearly wept in joy. I rushed out of the store, clutching my hard sought items to my chest, laughing manically. I thought I had won.
Your sharp eyes caught my missing receipt and the accusations started. You sent me emails in blue enlarged text! I knew I was doomed, and no amount of explanation was going to make up for the fact that there is no receipt. Letters were written, promises were made, and my Pcard was nearly revoked. I would estimate that ~$400 in employee time was used to rectify my egregious flaunting of the Pcard rules and regulations and I am now under double secret probation.
But for a few brief moments, as I held that $46.72 in Home Depot supplies in my hands after so much work, it all seemed worth it.
And I would have gotten away with it if it weren't for those meddling kids.