Thursday, April 03, 2008

Today I signed the biggest check...

. . . of my entire life.

The amount was over 1.3 million dollars!

Too bad it was a check from my company to a vendor who is providing manpower and materials for a major process unit refurbishing.

No, I don't get a cut. And no, I don't have the sole power to approve amounts like that. By policy all checks for over $5,000 require two signatures.

But for a few minutes, mine was the only signature on that puppy. I considered making a copy and framing it, but decided it really wouldn't impress anybody so what was the point?

Anyway, right now we are going through a 30-day maintenance shutdown on most of the plant's equipment. This happens about once every three years, and it's VERY expensive. One of the biggest costs is the lost production while we're down, so we spend whatever it takes to minimize the downtime.

Including bringing in several hundred extra people to disassemble things; rebuild, repair or replace them; and then reassemble them. Also including replacing a lot of items that may have useful life left in them, but which might not last all of the next 3 years. We don't want an equipment failure to force us to shut down early, or on an emergency basis.

Why do I sign checks when I'm the Human Resources manager? Well, it's one of those practices that are in place to make stealing or embezzlement more difficult. The more people involved in the process of paying your bills, the bigger a conspiracy would have to be to actually steal.

So one person approves the invoice, another prepares the check, another (one or two) actually sign(s) the check, and yet another mails the check to the payee. The finance manager oversees this process. I got to be one of the "lucky" ones whose signature is registered at our bank.

Thus today I signed away well over a million dollars with a flourish of the pen, shrugged as if it wasn't my money and so didn't matter, and went onto the next check.


I thought about putting my name on the "Pay to the order of" line, but decided I like my job too much.

(Maybe if it had been 3 million . . .)


kenju said... would have been fun to do that! (not)

Christina said...

it always feels weird to sign a check for an amount that is way more than you have, or would ever spend on anything in real life!

I actually posted on my blog too, btw!