Gravity's Rainbow

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Being prepared is a waste of time

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When it comes to getting your travel reimbursements anyway.

I complained last summer about the complicated process and long time frame for getting reimbursed for conference travel. My funding came from several sources that each required a different application. The applications could not all be filed at once and forgotten about – there was a specific order they had to be filed in and each required proof that the sources ahead of them in line had already ponied up.

A simple guide to applying for your travel reimbursement.

I did what any responsible graduate student would do – got my shit organized, read through travel policies the length and complexity of the fucking US tax code, and plowed through all the applications in a day and a half. I then got my supervisor to sign them all at once and neatly stacked them on my desk with post-its reminding me of the order and deadlines associated with each application.

Being responsible is such a waste of time.

You see, the processing time for the first two funding sources took so long that the third funding source has completely changed their application (and of course they want even more information). So today, instead of reading exciting papers about landscape genetics, I filled out yet another travel reimbursement application.

This additional twist in the trail of tortuous paperwork would have made me give up on the last $500 if I didn’t need it to make rent in January.

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