Form Frustration: Is it worth the aggravation?

by epi on January 31, 2012

Q: My company sent a form for me to fill out and return.  Because the return envelope had no postage, I ignored it.  Six weeks later, I received a second notice.  This time I sent the form back with a note: “You owe me 37 cents postage.”  I was trying to make a point that if a company wants employees to return a form, it should provide postage.  Later, I received an envelope containing a copy of my form, and a quarter, a dime, and two pennies, with no note of explanation.  I suspect they didn’t get my point.

A: They understood your point precisely.  An important part of getting along at work is to pick your battles carefully.  Is a 37-cent stamp work making a stand over?  Probably not.  By answering the form right away and dropping it in your company’s interoffice mail, you could have resolved the situation with a lot less aggravation to yourself.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Jodi January 31, 2012 at 1:47 am

Yes, your point was made and understood, and I would guess it has not put you in a good light. Years ago, while working for a real estate development company, I watched as my boss (and the company owner) read over a bill in the amount of $37 from an architectural firm. This company had been working with us for a year on what could potentially be a multi-million dollar project; they had been paid several hundred thousand dollars to date. The $37 bill was in regards to a phone conversation. My boss didn’t say much, but he was laughing as he pulled 37 one dollar bills from his wallet and had it messengered over to the architectural firm. His feeling was that if this company was going to be so petty over such a small cost, in light of what had and was coming their way, he was not particularly interested in working with them.

I understand your feeling that if your employer wants you to mail something back, they should cover the cost of postage. However, have you ever been a little late to work? Extended your break or lunch hour longer than allowed? Left early for the day? Tread lightly … becoming known as “that person” over 37 cents postage just doesn’t seem worth it.

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Ashleigh January 31, 2012 at 12:18 pm

IMO this was incredibly petty. What was this form for? Insurance? If the company is asking you to fill out forms for insurance that they contribute to this is more than fair. Tax forms? Legally necessary. If the price of a stamp is such a travesty, bring it directly to HR.

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Jerry January 31, 2012 at 10:46 pm

No way this question is legitimate. Postage hasn’t been 0.37 in many years!

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Ashleigh February 1, 2012 at 10:50 am

I was thinking about that too Jerry!! Unless it was an unusually expensive postcard? ;)

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Camille February 1, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Call out the faux post. :)

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Ashleigh February 1, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Faux post or faux pas? haha

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