An urban legend, but this is how I heard it.
*** begin quote ***
Back in the 1950s, men wore hats as part of their business attire.
An IBM sales rep, new on the job, was going to call on a key customer in Texas. The old sales rep met him for he was to introduce the new rep. The old rep was aghast that the new rep had no cowboy hat. “You’ll never be taken seriously”, he advised. So the stopped at the local Stetson dealer, and the new rep purchased a fine $100 Stetson cowboy hat. (In the Fifties, a hundred dollars was “real money; not like today!) The meeting went well and the new rep was warmly greeted by the client.
Everything was right with the world.
In preparing his Sales Report, the new sales rep also prepared his expense report. Of course, he attached all his receipts as part of his expenses as required by the IBM policy, including the one for the hat.
His boss returned the expense report, telling him to “lose the hat.” While the rep felt it was needed that didn’t matter. It was not on the official schedule of reimbursable expenses. And so the company wouldn’t pay for a hat!
So, the sales rep turned in a new expense report … for the same amount, but with no line in the report for the hat. In response to his boss’ questioning look, the man said, “Find the hat.”
*** end quote ***
Obviously a urban legend since no one at IBM would have ever been so confrontational.
# # # # #