Author Topic: Helping someone else unravel their mistake?  (Read 4882 times)

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CakeBeret

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Helping someone else unravel their mistake?
« on: December 26, 2012, 10:43:17 AM »
I handle the finances at my company. Our company name is unfortunately really common. Think Smith Inc.

A month or so ago I got a call from a business we've dealt with several times in the past, saying that they had written a check for Smith Corp and accidentally mailed it to us, Smith Inc.

I checked our records and we showed absolutely no signs of having ever received the check. I called back their accounts contact, Hanna, and told her that. She was distressed and seemed to think that we must have received it. I asked her to fax over the back of the check to me, and if it really was deposited to our account, it would be indicated on the check. I received the fax from Hanna and sure enough, it was not deposited to our account. I told Hanna this, and thought the matter was over.

Next I got a call from Hanna, wanting me to sign and notarize a form saying that we had neither received nor deposited the check. It was a mild inconvenience since I had to go find a notary, but not a big deal. I did it and sent it in. I didn't hear back and thought that the matter (or my involvement, anyway) was over.

Today I got another call from Hanna. She launched into a complicated story about what was going on with Smith Corp, apparently the funds had been taken from someone's bank account, and Hanna wanted to know if the funds had been deposited to my account. Uh, no, there's no way that some random check that I've never seen before was somehow deposited in my account after being yanked from someone else's account. I'm honestly not even sure what the full story is, since I couldn't follow Hanna's account of it and it doesn't concern me anyway.

So I politely told Hanna that I did not have the funds, and I hoped she got it straightened out. Hanna seemed a bit deflated that I didn't offer to do anything to help, but this is SO not a problem on my end.

Etiquette wise, do I have any further responsibility to help out?
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NyaChan

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Re: Helping someone else unravel their mistake?
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2012, 10:50:58 AM »
I think you've more than carried out what you could reasonably be expected to do out of courtesy for a business connection.  They made the mistake - I think Hanna is probably feeling the heat from her bosses to "fix" the situation or someone is trying to cover up a loss in funds.

onyonryngs

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Re: Helping someone else unravel their mistake?
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2012, 11:04:21 AM »
Hanna doesn't need to be working in the accounts department if she can't figure out that she needs to contact the bank about this. 

doodlemor

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Re: Helping someone else unravel their mistake?
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2012, 12:24:22 PM »
Hanna doesn't need to be working in the accounts department if she can't figure out that she needs to contact the bank about this.

POD

She needs to do this immediately, in case there is some sort of malfeasance involved.

CakeBeret

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Re: Helping someone else unravel their mistake?
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2012, 12:28:37 PM »
Hanna doesn't need to be working in the accounts department if she can't figure out that she needs to contact the bank about this. 

She knows that she needs to contact the bank, but for whatever reason decided to call me first.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

Carotte

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Re: Helping someone else unravel their mistake?
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2012, 12:34:36 PM »
Hanna doesn't need to be working in the accounts department if she can't figure out that she needs to contact the bank about this.

That's exactly what I was thinking, if money went from your account to somewhere else, surely the bank will tell you where, when, how much and I guess in the case of a company, who authorized it.

I don't think there's anything you can do OP, next time she calls I guess it's your job to once again verify that your company is not involved in all of this, and then tell her that you are sorry but you will have to hang up, go back to urgent file N3.

mrkitty

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Re: Helping someone else unravel their mistake?
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2012, 12:36:01 PM »
Hanna doesn't need to be working in the accounts department if she can't figure out that she needs to contact the bank about this.



This. And, I'm going to need to second what NyaChan said as well. I think something fishy is going on in the other company. In any case, OP, I think you've been more than helpful and I can't imagine what you could possibly do next, other than cut them a check for their "overpayment." Which, methinks is not going to happen....but which I imagine Hanna is rather hoping you'll offer to do....

I'd step away and wish her good luck - there's nothing more you can do.
Learn from past. Live in the present. Hope for the future.

Minmom3

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Re: Helping someone else unravel their mistake?
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2012, 02:55:52 PM »
Hanna doesn't need to be working in the accounts department if she can't figure out that she needs to contact the bank about this.



This. And, I'm going to need to second what NyaChan said as well. I think something fishy is going on in the other company. In any case, OP, I think you've been more than helpful and I can't imagine what you could possibly do next, other than cut them a check for their "overpayment." Which, methinks is not going to happen....but which I imagine Hanna is rather hoping you'll offer to do....

I'd step away and wish her good luck - there's nothing more you can do.


Wait, WHY?!  Didn't the back of the check, which Hanna HAS in her possession, and faxed to OP,  indicate that the check was NOT deposited into OP's company coffers?  Why would OP's company cut a check for services never ordered or received????  Why would Hanna, however silly and over her head she may be, think that would ever happen?  OP's company isn't involved in this mess outside of Hanna's phone calls to OP, right?  Am I misunderstanding something here?  I am SO confused by this! 
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Midnight Kitty

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Re: Helping someone else unravel their mistake?
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2012, 03:09:57 PM »
This. And, I'm going to need to second what NyaChan said as well. I think something fishy is going on in the other company. In any case, OP, I think you've been more than helpful and I can't imagine what you could possibly do next, other than cut them a check for their "overpayment." Which, methinks is not going to happen....but which I imagine Hanna is rather hoping you'll offer to do....

I'd step away and wish her good luck - there's nothing more you can do.

Wait, WHY?!  Didn't the back of the check, which Hanna HAS in her possession, and faxed to OP,  indicate that the check was NOT deposited into OP's company coffers?  Why would OP's company cut a check for services never ordered or received????  Why would Hanna, however silly and over her head she may be, think that would ever happen?  OP's company isn't involved in this mess outside of Hanna's phone calls to OP, right?  Am I misunderstanding something here?  I am SO confused by this!
I think mrkitty was not suggesting that this is the correct response, only that Hanna may be hoping that she can annoy you into feeling sorry for her enough to make you write a check you have no other reason to write.

Wow! That last sentence should confuse everyone.  >:D
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pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Helping someone else unravel their mistake?
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2012, 03:45:41 PM »
In some sense, I think Hanna is trying to use you as a crutch because she doesn't have a clue.  If she does try to contact you again, I would gently but firmly say that you are unable to help her.  If she persists, you might need to contact her manager, because this is ridiculous.
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onyonryngs

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Re: Helping someone else unravel their mistake?
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2012, 04:02:41 PM »
Hanna doesn't need to be working in the accounts department if she can't figure out that she needs to contact the bank about this. 

She knows that she needs to contact the bank, but for whatever reason decided to call me first.

Someone working with accounts should know to call the bank first, not you.

mrkitty

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Re: Helping someone else unravel their mistake?
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2012, 04:42:23 PM »
Hanna doesn't need to be working in the accounts department if she can't figure out that she needs to contact the bank about this.



This. And, I'm going to need to second what NyaChan said as well. I think something fishy is going on in the other company. In any case, OP, I think you've been more than helpful and I can't imagine what you could possibly do next, other than cut them a check for their "overpayment." Which, methinks is not going to happen....but which I imagine Hanna is rather hoping you'll offer to do....

I'd step away and wish her good luck - there's nothing more you can do.


Minmom3,  :) Tee-hee...I was just attempting, in my exclusive mrkittytm (patent pending) less-than-articulate way to make a point about Hanna's ridiculous harping on the issue with regard to helping her "resolve" the "mistake." I was simply pointing out that she might be trying to confuse or annoy CakeBeret into sending her a check...which is NOT going to happen....

My DH works in accounts receivables, and he told me about a couple of Hannas he's dealt with in his career...and, trust me, the thing to do would NOT be to further assist Hanna in her odyssey...Hanna just needs to call the bank and stop bothering CakeBeret, lest CakeBeret become annoyed and escalate the issue to Hanna's supervisor....just sayin'.  ;)

I suspect Hanna knows exactly where the missing money is. If I were Hanna, I'd drop it and start looking for a new job. And maybe get a lawyer.  ;)
« Last Edit: December 26, 2012, 04:46:00 PM by mrkitty »
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oogyda

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Re: Helping someone else unravel their mistake?
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2012, 04:24:02 PM »
Okay....the information on the back of the check should indicate what account it was deposited into.  And the bank the account is at. 

I think *if* you offer Hanna that information, any obligation you have is over.
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YummyMummy66

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Re: Helping someone else unravel their mistake?
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2012, 04:45:49 PM »
If Hanna calls you back, I used to work in banking in the research department.

Hanna needs to call her bank and have the check researched.  Where did the check come in from?  What bank? What bank and/or account was it credited to?

She needs to research this on her end and stop bugging you for which you cannot help her in the first place.

Someone got this check. Someone deposited it.  Her bank can research it and find out as much as possible on their end and she might still need to pursue it further.

oceanus

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Re: Helping someone else unravel their mistake?
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2012, 06:25:36 PM »
OP, you've done all you can reasonably be expected to do.

However, (if you haven't already) I think you should make a note of what has happened thus far, and inform your supoervisor in person or via email.

Ya never know; could be something shady going on - not with Hanna but ..........well, ya never know.  :-\