Mondays = the worst arghhhhhhh
Sorry, just had to get that out of the way.
My co-workers have to work on Saturdays during tax season, so I have a full day’s worth of work waiting for me to do Monday morning when I get in, on top of Monday’s work which starts coming in the minute everyone gets here. Blargh, says I.
ANYWAY. I did manage, between tearing my hair out and trying not to weep, to do my taxes today. It’s one of the few perks we have here, getting to do our own taxes for free on our software, and if we have questions – well, I have fifty co-workers who are able to answer them for me, now don’t I. And – REFUNDS BABY. Both state AND Federal refunds! Enough to buy my laptop, even! If I save a teeny bit more, enough to buy a FANCY laptop! And only a teeny bit more, seriously. This is very exciting news. I like when I don’t owe the government anything. Because I am totally poor and I feel like they should pay me some money every year just for working six days a week and not just giving up and going to live under a bridge like a troll or something, right? RIGHT.
Also, I’m scrupulously honest on my taxes. Every year, this confuses people. I have a couple of jobs that pay me miniscule amounts of money – like, less than $100 a year, amounts. They’re like these online-survey jobs. They’re not REAL jobs or anything. But they’re income. Therefore, I claim them and input them. And every year, my co-workers that check over my taxes for me before I release them LAUGH AND LAUGH and say “No one but you would bother with something like this.” Well, maybe if MORE PEOPLE bothered with something like this, we wouldn’t be in such financial ruin, hmm? I made the money. It seems improper to lie about it. It probably takes a dollar or two off my refund, seriously. It’s not like it’s taking that much food out of my mouth (or, in my case, fanciness from my new computer) to tell the truth on my taxes. Am I the only person in the entire world who tells the truth on their taxes? That’s a totally disheartening thought. Even people who I think are very, very honest otherwise think it’s fine to lie on their taxes. I guess because they see it as sticking it to THE MAN? I don’t know if it’s so much STICKING IT TO THE MAN as it is STICKING IT TO EVERYONE ELSE, including yourself, because tax money helps with things like roads and social programs and the arts and things of that nature. I know, it’s weird I don’t have an issue with taxes, right? I totally don’t. I think we should all tell the truth and we should all pay them and we should all shut up about it, because you made that damn money, and it’s part of living in this country that you have to pay taxes on it. I mean, if we didn’t have taxes, wouldn’t we all be living in the wilderness eating roots and shit? I don’t know, I might be completely wrong about this. Anyway! I totally tell the truth about my taxes and this is, apparently, COMPLETELY BIZARRE TO PEOPLE.
Also, aren’t people scared of being audited? I mean, I don’t think the IRS will murder you, or anything, but it’s a HUGE hassle. Like, you have to show them all the paperwork for everything you input into every single box on your return, and hopefully you saved all that, and if you’re a liar, and they catch you, can’t they just say, “hey, we have documentation here that you received $97 from this one place, WHY DIDN’T YOU WRITE IT DOWN?” and there are fees and such, and if you tell the truth, odds are much slimmer that will happen to you, you know? Although one year, I totally got audited. Which was a hoot, because I am ANAL AS HELL about keeping EVERYTHING. I have my taxes going back TEN YEARS. Every W2. Everything. And they wanted 2005! Well, here it is, in the envelope marked 2005. Faxed it over, bing bam boom, and they sent me a very apologetic “whoopsie!” letter about two weeks later and that was the last I heard from them. Which was kind of sad, though, because why are you auditing ME, who’s like the only honest human, tax-wise, left in America, and I could totally give you NAMES and SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS of lying liars who lie, you guys, seriously? And you’re wasting money auditing me? I’m like in the poverty tax bracket. I open my Social Security statement every year and canned laughter drifts out.
I mean, think about all the time and energy people expend trying to get AROUND paying taxes. Like, we field hundreds of calls in December every year from people about how they can reduce their taxes before the year ends. How much they can give to charity, because it’s a write-off. We had a client once who was writing checks to charity in January and back-dating them to the year before because she realized she was going to have to pay a bunch of taxes in the current year. Then there are the “is this a write-off? What about THIS? And THIS?” questions. IT IS INSANE. PAY YOUR TAXES. Also? It’s always rich people. Poor people don’t care. Mostly because they didn’t make enough money to have it matter, I guess. But the rich people DO NOT WANT THEIR MONEY GOING TO THE GOVERNMENT DAMMIT.
OK, enough about taxes, my head is full of taxes, it’s not a fun place to be right now, very dark and twisty.
OK, so I got a new GPS for Christmas? And it is muy fancier than my last GPS. My last GPS wouldn’t update anymore, so often, you would be driving along and there had been construction and the road had changed, only no one had informed my GPS, so you’d be DRIVING INTO WHITE SPACE. It was very unnerving. Tom Tom (that was the last GPS’s name) would be all “recalculating…RECALCULATING!” and going into a tizzy and you’d be like, “All is well, Tom Tom, I’m just going to keep driving along here until you get your head on straight, we’re not in outer space, all’s well.”
So my dad got the old GPS, because he didn’t have one, and I got a NEW GPS. Which is also a Tom Tom, but I couldn’t just name it Tom Tom, because there already WAS a Tom Tom out there in the world, that’s like naming your new cat the same name as your old cat when your old cat passes away, that’s totally uncreative and kind of rude.
So the first time I used it, I thought, hmm, what shall I name this GPS?
My choices for voices were slim – a couple of men and a couple of women – so I chose the one that made me the least stabby. She sounds vaguely British. Kind of like Madonna or Gwyneth. Like, she’s totally American, but she WANTS to be British. And this GPS is fancy, because it tells you street names. The last one didn’t tell you street names. This one’s the TOP OF THE LINE GPS.
So I decided, this one’s definitely a girl. So her name will be Thomasina! Because I like to keep it in the Tom family, you know?
BUT HOLY HELL THEN. So Thomasina decided to start telling me some street names? And it is HILARIOUS, you guys, no joke. I don’t know who programmed this thing, but the word recognition software was NOT built for an area where a lot of the names are old Dutch names, or even names that aren’t like “Main Street.” Listening to Thomasina trying to say “Schenectady” has me in TEARS. “Ske-ne-k-teh-deee.” With huge pauses and very hard vowels. “Turn right onto HIGHWAY I-SEVENEIGHTYSEVEN” every damn TIME has me laugh so hard I almost swerve off the road because it comes out so LOUD and so SQUISHED TOGETHER, like she forgot to take a breath. So Thomasina sounds like a person for whom English is NOT her first language. And also a robot. She kind of sounds like this really early software on the first computer my parents owned where you could type things in and it would say them, but really choppily and in a funny weird robot voice, and my brother and I used to (of course, you’d have done the same thing) type in ALL THE DIRTY CUSSES to hear the computer say “effooque” because that’s how it pronounced the eff word, and also, if you typed in the letter “x” over and over and over it would kind of hiss out “kisskisskisskisskisskisskiss” like an insane sex-obsessed snake and this entertained my brother and me for HOURS. Listen, don’t even judge. This was pre-interwebs. We took our entertainment where we could get it. ANYWAY, therefore, her new name is Senorita Thomasina. I am madly in love with Senorita Thomasina, because she is the second funniest person in my car. (If you have to ask who the funniest person is, you can just suck it, because OBVIOUSLY it is me. I AM HILARIOUS IN A CAR. You don’t even know. I provide the BEST running commentary. I crack MYSELF up.) I sometimes use Senorita Thomasina when I don’t even need to just because she is so effing hysterical.
OH! Also, on that ancient computer, we had this matching game where you had to match things up and whoever matched up the most won a prize, and the prizes and the things written on the matching tiles were all spelled wrong. One was “a pet squirriel” and this was so, so funny. I can still make my brother laugh if I tell him I want a pet squirriel. And one was “a used toupe” and we were never sure if that was supposed to be toupee or maybe taupe, but a used taupe wouldn’t make a lot of sense, really. So probably toupee? But who wins a used toupee? There was also a Clue-like game where you put in the names of the people in this house, and one of them would be murdered, and you had to solve which of the other people did it. Which was awesome, because you of course put all your friends’ names in, and then one of them would be murdered, and if you were lucky, it was one of them you weren’t that keen on that day. The smart thing to do was to put in ALL YOUR ENEMIES. Then you never minded who got murdered. Ha! Good times! …and now you can see why I’m a total weirdo, because these were totally my formative years, spent making fun of how things were spelled on bootleg computer disk games and and making a robot voice cuss and killing off my middle-school enemies in knock-off Clue.
I think it’s pretty obvious I don’t have a point today. GIVE ME A BREAK IT IS MONDAY. So far today I’ve accomplished more than a human really should. I’m doing my best.
Oh, a crazy person called the answering service this weekend and first he said a little man was living in his stomach, and then he said he wanted to sue someone for stealing his pudding. TRUE FACT. I kind of have to say, I’d be pretty pissed if I had delicious pudding and someone ganked it. Pudding’s pretty sacred, yo. Also, two people cussed me out, one because I wouldn’t give her medical advice over the phone (because I…have a medical degree? I don’t know) and the other because I wouldn’t get in my car and hand-deliver her message to the person on-call, whose office was only a few miles away from our answering service. Um. That is not how the answering service works? We are not a COURIER service. Or the Pony Express. Or Kevin Costner in that movie where he was a dirty raggedy mailman. If the on-call doesn’t call us back for his or her messages, YOU HAVE TO WAIT. Sorry, lady. SO MAD. Even madder when she was all, “I WANT TO TALK TO YOUR SUPERVISOR” and I put her on hold and realized while she was yelling at me, the supervisor had left, and guess who the supervisor is after he leaves? Me. So I had to get BACK on the phone and be all, “Well! I AM the supervisor. So…I guess you ARE talking to my supervisor. I AM MY OWN SUPERVISOR.” (That’s kind of like being your own grandpa, only less incestuous.) This did not go over well.
Alright. It is lunchtime! I am going to eat a PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH! Because I am FULL OF THE CLASSY! Also because I forgot to make a lunch today and had to run around like looney this morning and that was the fastest sandwich to make. Happy day to you all! DO YOUR TAXES, YOU YAHOOS!