Having utilized my newly developed GTD skills, it was with no small sense of personal pride that I presented myself to the voucher office, forms and receipts in hand. I laid it all out at the voucher lady's feet in a supplication to her power and wisdom. Oh, great voucher lady, please reimburse me my rent and return to me copies of this form in triplicate which I must keep forever upon threat of document misplacement on your office's part and subsequent monetary woes on my own. I was glowing with the pure light of bureaucracy. Eyes cast down in reverence, I offered up to her... my first thirty day voucher.
"What's this? Where's your travel voucher?" The heavenly choir hit a sour note. I opened my eyes to realize I was kneeling rather inelegantly on her coat. I got up and sat in the chair by her desk. "Travel voucher..?" I ventured.
"Yes, this is the voucher for your first thirty days of training, but before this you need to fill out a voucher for your travel days. Do you have your ticket stub?"
"No, I don't have my ticket stub."
"A baggage claim receipt?"
Deep breaths. I reached for my hipster PDA for comfort. "No, I don't have any of that. Sorry, I didn't think I'd need it." She was highly unimpressed.
"Well then, how do we know that you used that ticket to get here?"
I considered this. I think I may have actually opened and closed my mouth a few times while searching for the best reply. Several answers presented themselves, including a Christ-like proffering of the scars in my hands. In the end, I went with what I thought best captured the spirit of the moment: "Well... I didn't swim here from Japan."
This may not have been the most politic response.
"Look," I told her. "This travel voucher is, what, $48 for M&IE? That's okay, I just won't claim that. I don't mind."
"Oh no, you can't file any other voucher until you've filed the travel one."
"Really?" At this point I was gripping the hipster PDA with such force that it was cutting in to my palm. "So, what you're saying is that if I don't find my ticket stub, I'm out $37,000? There's nothing else I can do?"
She hesitated. I could see she wanted to be helpful. I waited for her to send me off for permit A-38.
"Do you have your itinerary?"
Ah, a glimmer of hope! "Maybe... maybe I can find a copy archived in my email."
"Try that; it might work."