Passport to Plutocracy
I have enjoyed my career as a seasoned, high-level executive assistant in the financial sector. As such, my responsibilities include travel planning.
Recently, an associate in my firm planned a personal holiday from New York to Chicago and requested his return from Chicago, stopping in New York, then on to London on a multi-leg ticket. He failed to bring along his passport, even though his final destination was international. This resulted in the purchase of an additional domestic-only ticket.
Later, H.R. told me that it was my responsibility to ensure that the executive brought his passport. I feel that since he is an adult, and a seasoned traveler, he should have been responsible for bringing along proper travel documents. I may lose my job over the brouhaha, so would appreciate your objectivity.
— New York City
It is hard to tell from your description of the situation, but the question of the hour is simply: How much does this person make on an annualized basis including base salary, bonus and deferred compensation? Trigger warning: The following answer is going to be gross.
If it’s more than, say, $10 million a year, you might lose your job over this, even if it’s totally unfair. (And to be clear, I am not condoning this.) If it’s less than, say, a million dollars a year, you can safely laugh in H.R.’s face for even implying that you should be fired for this executive’s pathetic lapse in judgment.
The more money a financial executive makes, in other words, the more they are excused, at least in dysfunctional corporate cultures, for behaving like a spoiled child. The problem is, the job descriptions for executive assistants to senior finance personnel don’t typically mention babysitting.
I might also point out that a person who doesn’t know better than to not bring their passport on an international trip probably shouldn’t be trading in any size, or really making any important decisions at all.