Prompt expenses reimbursement almost puts Bill in a generous mood

When it comes to lunch, Ollie’s options are much more limited than his friend Bill’s, because Bill’s use of online expenses software means he has enough money to pay for lunch when Ollie’s menu gets a little limited…

Although it was only 11.45, a hungry Ollie opened the plastic lunchbox packed for him by his wife Lizzie, and his shoulders slumped when he saw its contents.

Where he had hoped to see his working lunchtime favourite of a sandwich made with thickly-sliced fresh bread stuffed with cheese and a generous helping of salad, with just a hint of mayonnaise, lay a forlorn tin of soup and an empty mug.

“Oh,” he said, as his shoulders slumped. “That’s not much of a lunch when you were expecting a succulent sandwich, is it?” he asked his co-worker Bill at the other side of the office.

Bill glanced up from his work. “I suppose it depends on how you view the relative merits of soup or sandwiches,” he said. “Or even soup AND a sandwiches, which in my view is a better combination. What flavour is it?”

Ollie looked at the can. “Sweet potato and cauliflower.”

“Not the bedfellows that spring immediately to mind,” said Bill. “I don’t normally mind soup, when it’s hot and ready to eat, but I have to confess that I’m put off by its gloopy nature when it’s cold and still in the tin.” He stopped working again. “Are you going to eat it?”

“I’m less inclined to now you’ve said that, and the picture on the tin doesn’t look that appealing either,” replied Ollie, looking morosely at the tin. “Mind you, I haven’t even got a tin opener.”

“Makes the whole debate a bit academic then,” observed Bill. “What you’re looking at there, my friend, is something found at the back of the cupboard, which has lain there for months, having been bought in a bit of a culinary fervour, or a hurry.”

Ollie opened the bottom drawer of his desk and dropped the tin into it. “It can stay there for a few more months, then. What have you got for lunch?”

Bill waved his smartphone in the air. “The world’s my oyster, Ollie, old chum,” he said.

“Oysters? You’re having oysters? Wow.”

“No, I’m not having oysters – but I could. Thanks to claiming expenses using ExpenseOnDemand, I’ve had my expenses claim approved and paid in the twinkling of an eye, so I’m going to eat out.”

“Oh,” said Ollie, opening his desk drawer and watching the soup tin roll mockingly into view, before he shut the drawer again. “My wallet won’t stand at the moment…” he sighed.

“The last time I saw eyes as sad as that was on a spaniel,” said Bill. “Come on, I’ll treat you to lunch from my new-found expenses-reimbursed wealth. We’ll go to the pub, and I’ll buy you something from the lighter bites menu. You could have a bowl of soup, if you’d like. I know how fond you are of it,” he said, reaching for his jacket.