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'For a medical experiment': The oddest work expenses in the last 5 years

Adriana Belmonte
Associate Editor

In 2013, someone listed an $800 human skull in their work expenses — and it was approved. In the employee’s defense, it was used for a medical experiment.

That may not have been the strangest expense request in the last five years, though.

View of a decorated human skull during the Natitas Festival at the cemetery of La Paz on November 8, 2018. (Photo: AIZAR RALDES/AFP/Getty Images)

One worker, in a desperate attempt to make it to a client meeting, tried to expense a $6,500 helicopter ride to work. Sadly, the expense was not approved by management.

Some work expenses dipped into legal woes: In 2018, an employee tried to write off $10,000 to cover the cost of a hotel bill, damages from punching a hole in the wall, and an airfare rebooking fee for missing the flight due to being in jail. Needless to say, it was not approved.

And for some people, they simply need a room that doesn’t smell like garlic. A salesman tried to expense $85 for a separate hotel room for garlic samples, as he “couldn’t stand the smell.” Unfortunately, it wasn’t approved.

Work expenses are often mundane. These are not. Graphic: David Foster/Yahoo Finance

A $2,000-hang slider was approved for one person, who reportedly used it “to avoid a divorce” in 2017. And, so was a $125 ticket to a Cher concert by an employee at a small company three years earlier.

Animals were also involved in some of these bizarre requests.

A photographer who wanted a llama in the picture was able to make it happen, receiving an approval for the $150 expense.

Another employee expensed boarding for a pet snake at $30 for a day, also receiving approval. The justification?: “Critical expertise needed with limited resources,” according to the independent rental owner.

Adriana is an associate editor for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @adrianambells


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