No matter where you’re going, don’t forget your paperwork

You officially have no excuse to ever miss handing in any expense information.

Whether you work for the government or industry, you’ve probably had this experience: you’ve lost a piece a paper — a receipt, a voucher, or something — that you need to file an expense report.

Most of the time that’s happened to me, I’m able to recreate it somehow.  Sometimes I’ve had to eat an expense I wasn’t able to document (i.e. I lost the receipt). But after this example, none of us have any excuse ever again.

On Friday’s Federal News Countdown, Kathryn Medina and Jeri Buchholz chose the three most important federal news stories of the week. Jeri’s choice at #3 (in the “You can take the girl out of NASA but you can’t take NASA out of the girl” department) was this story about astronauts on the International Space Station watching the new Matt Damon movie about being stuck on Mars.

That story jogged a memory about a story I had read a couple weeks back, that stuck out to me just because it speaks to the thoroughness one particular Air Force colonel took to documenting his government-mandated trip.

For a real trip down memory lane (Jeri said she remembered using those expense reports), click the links to the expense reports. My favorite: the notation “From: Houston, Texas To: Cape Kennedy, Fla.; Moon; Pacific Ocean (USN Hornett); Hawaii; and return to Houston, Texas.”

Aldrin was nothing if not specific. He also demonstrated his commitment to timeliness: he returned from the moon July 27, 1969, and filed his expense report Aug. 4.

His precision reminds us all: if Buzz Aldrin could file his expense report a week after coming back from the moon, the rest of us have no excuse.

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