Concur’s journey of a thousand clicks starts with a WTF?

2/14/2019 update II:

My attempt to add a hotel receipt and a few meals and lyfts to an already approved trip continues:

After spending another hour with Concur today, I cracked and went down to the department office, a broken man. I pled for help from one of the smartest and most patient people I know – my department’s office manager.

Sadly, I learned that if someone else edits your expense request, Concur does not let that same person approve your expense request. And since she is the only person authorized by UO to approve my expense requests, this could put Concur into an infinite loop, leading to a shutdown and unknown consequences for the U.S. macroeconomy.

But I’d brought my laptop, so she tried to walk me through it on my account, while she checked what her own screen showed. As it happens the Concur interface for  administrators is much better than that for users. I wonder why. But eventually we discovered that when a mere user gets a screen like this,

do not click on the check box! As UO’s general counsel often tells me, “that will take you to a place that you do not want to go.”

Instead, click on the William …. text. Yes, I know that text is not in blue, as has been the internet convention for a clickable link for hundreds of years. WTF? Click on it anyway, grasshopper. It will take you to a screen like this:

Unfortunately this is not where I want to be either. But I believe I can get there from here, and I’ve got the whole weekend coming up to continue this expedition.

2/14/2019 update:

I’m still waiting for that Brave New World where omnipotent computers monitor our every move, and either help us or destroy us. Meanwhile we’re stuck with Concur.

I really don’t mind that ever since I signed up with Concur they’ve been mining my email and credit card accounts, presumably through the free Tripit Pro account they gave me. But why can’t their shitty algorithm figure out how to use that information to actually help me get reimbursed for my USC trip hotel, and maybe a little per diem?  Instead it sends me scary emails like this:

I’ve got a fairly high risk tolerance, so I logged in and clicked:

Fort Worth? I had a direct flight to LA.

Fortunately my department has just hired a full time staff person to help with Concur problems like this, and while I’d blocked out a few hours tomorrow for class prep, I don’t think I can resist finding out what they think I did in Fort Worth, and which if any parts of this imaginary trip the university wants to reimburse me for.

1/16/2019: Click the Concur link, or just pay for this damn trip myself?

To click or not to click?

iI’m trying to go to LA for a meeting on university business. Back in the day this was easy. Buy a cheap ticket from expedia or wherever, make a hotel reservation, then submit the conference program and get reimbursed at the per diem rate for whatever meals the conference fee didn’t include.

But now, after several hours clicking through Concur’s poorly documented help pages – which, no shit, start with a “Legal Notice” – and a few phone calls to very helpful UO staff, I’m getting emails like this:

I’m pretty sure I don’t have a Company Card. And why would UO trust me with one, when they no longer trust me to buy my own airplane ticket? Is this legit, or has someone hacked my Tripit account?

OK, I did the smart thing and instead of clicking, I typed the url into my browser and logged in. Apparently this update was to tell me that UO’s travel agent had tacked a $9 fee onto the ticket that I could have bought myself with way less hassle:

I just hope someone’s getting a decent kickback for signing the contract with Concur. And if anyone knows how to add a hotel to this trip, or a good bridge near USC to sleep under, please post a comment.