Monster Hunter Nation

Tax Day Customer Service

Two things happened on Friday that are sort of related, in that they both are examples of the government pissing me off. While my wife was being treated like scum by a petty government bureaucrat, I found out what my final tax bill for 2013 was.

First, my wife needed to renew her driver’s license. The DMV requires some specific pieces of info to decide if you are worthy. It doesn’t matter that she’s had a license in Utah for 20 years. Nope. It doesn’t matter that she has a Utah Concealed Firearms Permit (because a state issued form of ID that is background checked out the wazoo DAILY totally doesn’t count). She needed a W2 (oh, you’re a stay at home mom? Too damned bad) and a Social Security card. She couldn’t find her card. It doesn’t matter that there are a dozen other ways to verify her SS number, including our taxes, our mortgage, or the aforementioned other state issued IDs, nope, you need the actual piece of paper, because regulations, and we all know that nobody has ever forged a piece of paper before.

But no big deal. The guy at the DMV was just doing his job. He was polite and professional. Sorry, no hard feelings, understandable. So my wife needed to go to the Social Security Administration to get a new card and once she could show the paper indicating she’d asked for it the DMV would issue a temporary license.

So before going to the SS Admin, the lovely Mrs. Correia decided to check to make sure she had everybody else’s SS cards in the safe. For some reason Correia 2.1’s card was missing. 2.1 is now a teenager, so it probably got pulled out for some minor function, and not put back in the file, and was floating around the house somewhere with some other paperwork. Either that or it was being used by a dozen Guatemalans working for ACORN, who knows. So off Mrs. Correia goes to the federal building to get a new card for herself and for our oldest. She takes Correia 2.4 with her, because the only thing better than standing in line at a government building, is standing in line at a government building with a 2 year old.

Meanwhile, I’m home writing another novel. I’d like to say I’m Getting Paid (as should be on all author’s mission statements) but since I’m still writing the first half, apparently that part of the novel was written entirely for the federal government, but I’ll come back to that.

So Mrs. Correia and Moose go to the federal building, where they have to go through a metal detector and a guard checkpoint, and then stand in line waiting to talk to some ladies behind bullet proof glass… Judging by how they treat people, I can understand the need for guards and the bullet proof glass, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Those of you who have met my wife normally have the same reaction. “Why’d she marry you?” Basically, Mrs. Correia is a beautiful, charming, friendly, kind person. When she says that she was polite and nice at this point, I believe her, because that’s how she is. She’s not snooty. She’s not bitchy. And this is important, when she gets mad, she gets quiet. Not loud, that’s me. Quiet. She gets real calm and starts to plot her revenge. In 16 years of marriage I’ve never seen her shout at anybody other than me or the children, and it isn’t like that’s happened very often, which is what lets you know you done really screwed up when mom yells. She also put herself through college working crappy service jobs, and has waited tables, answered phones, been a hostess, and a restaurant cook, so her default to anybody doing a service job is always patient, because she’s been there.

So she’s in a good mood. 2.4 is in a good mood. She gets to the window. The woman, or shoggoth wearing a woman suit, I’m not entirely sure, on the other side of the thick glass doesn’t make eye contact. She keeps staring at her computer screen, mumbling something incomprehensible.

“What?”

The woman barks at her that she’s not talking to her yet. She’s talking to some of the other .gov employees. Okay, no problem. Then she mumbles something else, all without making eye contact, and then gets angry when my wife doesn’t immediately respond, because now she is being addressed. She finally looks at my wife, and gives what she described as a sneer. Oh, yes, pretty lady, you’re in my lair now.

Okay, Mrs. Correia is still patient. Because she can barely hear the woman through the glass, she assumes the woman can’t hear her, so she speaks loudly and clearly and states her business. Keep in mind, my wife isn’t a loud person. I’m the loud one. She explains that she needs a new card for her and her daughter. She presents various pieces of paperwork that show she is who she says she is.

The shoggoth says she can’t accept the driver’s license, because it is expired. My wife, who checked the website to make sure she had enough stuff before standing in line, says that expired licenses are still good for like 60 or 90 days, and this just barely expired, so it should be fine. (meanwhile, our insurance card, which we could have made up and printed and then had laminated at Kinkos? Totally legit form of ID)

And this is when it gets sideways. The lady says, I shit you not “Ma’am, you need to calm down or I’m going to call the guards and have you removed.”

What the fuck?

My wife doesn’t even have an immediate response. She’s flabbergasted. That was too out of left field. Her reaction at this point was, huh? She’s not been agitated, or angry, or even particularly loud by adult human standards or even a little upset. There is literally nothing in her demeanor that suggests she is in any way distressed, at all.

My wife says she’s not upset… And this is why I love her, says “When you call the guards, call your supervisor too.” Then she reaches into her pocket, pulls out her cell phone, and says “I’m going to record the rest of this conversation.”

Boom. That stops the talk of Guards! Seize her! And the surly minor mandarin gets back to her super complex job of pushing a couple of buttons on a keyboard. But oh no, she couldn’t just shut up and do her stupid job. She actually warns my wife that she’d better not lose any more cards, because the SS is only allowed to issue a few replacement cards over someone’s entire life, and if our kids don’t have cards, then they won’t ever be able to have jobs or licenses…

No kidding.

According to Mrs. Correia, that snide little comment was delivered with this sort of maternal, self-righteous, lecturing tone you reserve for crack heads. Why, look what a terrible mother you are. To quote my wife telling me the story, “that comment was not delivered in a helpful manner, but it was more of a, you’re a shitty mom because your kids won’t get jobs or have drivers’ licenses.”

Yes… If you lose this token from the king, then your children will starve in a ditch. Are you kidding me? My wife says she’s not worried, gets her stuff for her temporary license and leaves (they don’t even print the cards there, they have to mail the cards from another facility, because pushing Ctrl P is probably WAY TOO COMPLICATED for this crew).

I don’t know what part of that makes me angrier. That fact that some petty bureaucrat can threaten to sic armed guards on a woman holding a 2 year old because she didn’t like her imaginary attitude or the part afterward where she needed to be put in her place, peasant.

Now if I’d been there, it probably would have been a lot worse, because I worked closely with the federal government for a big chunk of my professional career and I am a keen expert on their various forms of nonsense. When she said she’d call the guards, I probably would have said, sweet, you do that while I call my senator’s chief of staff. That reminds me of a story that I still can’t tell because I know the petty little scumbags involved would punish the people I used to work with just out of spite. But I once dealt with a minor government functionary who was so screwed up, imbalanced, hateful, and dumb, that the only thing that finally got them straightened out was when we got a senator involved with their bosses’, boss’, boss. (on that note, Mike Lee is a total badass, and he doesn’t just talk the talk about stopping out of control government abuse, but he walks the walk). Yet you know how that particular agency solved the problem? They promoted the idiot so they wouldn’t have to deal with her anymore. That’s what happens in an organization where it is almost impossible to fire anyone.

Before the easily butt hurt get all up in arms, no, I don’t hate all government employees. Like I said, I’ve worked with the government a lot and I’ve known many solid professionals during that time. However, everybody who has worked with or for the government in any capacity knows exactly how inefficient they are, and if they are one of the aforementioned solid professionals working there, they know that many of their coworkers are useless sacks of poo. In most functioning entities, if you have somebody who sucks, you fire them. When it is almost impossible to fire people, .gov managers do the next best thing and simply shuffle them around so that they are somebody else’s problem. They are fundamentally immune to the repercussions of their actions, and they know it. Then when you give these people some small measure of authority over other people’s lives, it shouldn’t come as a shock when they act like assholes.

Yet Americans are expected to shut up, know our place, and be good little serfs… If we get out of line, we’ll be in trouble.

No, lady, get off your high horse, make eye contact through your four inches of glass, quit fucking mumbling, and speak to us like a human being. I don’t know if you’re talking to me or one of your other friends, nor do I give a shit, because you work for me. That security guard you are threatening my wife with? I bet he doesn’t really like the way you’re using him like a club to intimidate peaceful people either.

Because I lost a slip of paper, my children’s lives will be ruined forever? And I’m being told this by a snide little cog of the government that routinely loses billions of dollars, thousands of rifles in Mexico, or every email that might be vaguely incriminating? Fuck off.

And when I say you work for me, no, I kid you not. I got my final tax bill for 2013. On the same day that my wife was being disrespected by somebody so bad at customer service she wouldn’t be qualified to run a register at Taco Bell, I found out that I paid enough in taxes to cover that woman’s entire salary… Only I’m hoping she doesn’t make that much, and I actually paid enough in taxes to pay her supervisor’s salary, assuming he was a GS 11 or 12, and probably cover his benefits too.

Whenever I complain about taxes I can count on somebody to come along and lecture me about how I should be glad to pay my fair share—about how it is super importantto pay for the iPhones for crack whores program, or the legions of useless departments and their functionaries. Every single time I say something on Twitter or Facebook complaining about the sheer mass of my taxes, or lamenting the other useful things I could have spent that money on, I’m told what a bad person I am and how I should feel bad. If I pay that much, it must be because I’m rich and therefore evil, so I should be super happy to fork over a bunch of what I make. Wanting to keep the fruits of my own labor is greed.

I should be happy to pay my fair share because more Americans work for the government than in the construction, farming, fishing, manufacturing, and mining industries combined. And somebody needs to foot that bill. But that still isn’t enough. The government still needs to do more, because they haven’t yet managed to bring their shitty brand of customer service to every single facet of our lives.

The condemners are usually the same crowd who bitch about everything related to America, or American history, or American exceptionalism, who get all angry at people like me for actually believing in that stuff. The difference is, they think America is the government, whereas my side thinks America is awesome despite our government.

Here is a lot more detail on my opinion on that subject, and my Cut Everything plan. This was my Tax Day Rant that went viral back in 2011: http://monsterhunternation.com/2011/04/15/happy-tax-day/ Hilarity ensued. In fact, it got me so much hate mail that it spawned a response a few days later. http://monsterhunternation.com/2011/04/18/a-response-to-the-tax-day-response/ Which is what helped me come up with the Arguing Checklist.

Since that time I’ve quit my day job to be a full time writer and the amount I’ve paid in taxes has gone up dramatically. The government sure hasn’t gotten any smarter with our money during that either, and nothing drives that home quite like having some petty bureaucrat disrespect your wife all while having the honor of paying for it.

My Hugo Slate
A new short story from me
warpcordova
Guest

Alles in ordnung, mein herr. Arbeit macht frei.

PeterB
Guest

Na dann werde ich die netten Herren mal vorbei schicken. And you can spend the rest of your life in a nice cozy camp working your self to death.

rangerz
Guest

Amen. Our small business had it’s 1st big year last year and our tax check is more than the highest take-home pay we’ve ever had previously. Having spent my own time as a .mil worker – I know how poorly this money will likely be spent.

FYI – my wife loved the MHN e-arc — so plan on writing another big check next year!

Karen Myers
Guest
Here in Pennsylvania, I discovered that to get a driver’s license (having moved from Virginia) I had to present an SS card (my valid VA license wouldn’t do, nor my concealed-carry permit, nor my PASSPORT.) They were nice about it (all the local rural PA gummint employees seem to be presbyterians, that is, they agree with the rules but are civil about it. So I go to the SS office which wanted my birth certificate (woe!) but accepted my VA driver’s license instead (the one which PA Motor Vehicle would not accept) and reissued me my SS card. Which I… Read more »
Tully
Guest

Good grief. I haven’t had an SS card for over thirty years. The number is etched in memory (and on decades worth of my tax returns) so it’s never been a problem. My state required I provide it for a DL, but did not require I show the card itself.

Book
Guest

The government exists to support itself. And really not much else.

Wes S.
Guest
I guess your “shoggoth in a woman suit” figured that since she had bulletproof glass in front of her and armed security backing her up, that she didn’t *need* to be nice. I had a bit better luck the last time I had to deal with bureaucrats, which was about a month ago when I had to go into my local Job Service for an interview (I’m curently between jobs, alas). We’d just had a major snowstorm, and my car got stuck in a snowdrift in the entrance drive (the back way in had been plowed, but not the front.… Read more »
Tom
Guest

Yes, I wrote them a thank-you letter, with a copy sent to their bosses at my state’s Division of Unemployment.

What’s sad is that THIS is far more likely to get them fired than the crap Larry’s wife had to put up with.

Karen Myers
Guest
I’ve always believed that if you wanted to recruit a citizen’s army to take back the government, all you would need to do would be to go to the docks in NYC where the towed cars end up, and offer to arm everyone standing in that line. It’s been years, but at the time, you needed the person to whom the registration belonged (god help you if you were driving Dad’s car in from NJ on a date and forgot to stuff the meter) and an ungodly amount of cash (and there were signs on the wall limiting the amount… Read more »
chuck
Guest

Hey, I remember one of those visits. And the big fork lift piling car on car while exploding the tires. Impressive.

SirBrass
Guest

They probably instituted gun control in order to prevent said army of citizens from doing what the NYPD hadn’t been able to do and actually route the mob from NYC. Didn’t want their sugar daddies getting booted from town, I bet.

RS
Guest
Your wife has a remarkable ability to keep her cool. We live in California and our taxes are through the roof. My husband gives me a running tally every month on how much we have paid so far this year and it’s staggering. My husband works in finance and sees first hand how the constant barrage of regulations affects the average person’s ability to make money (or not) on investments. Yet, no matter how much we pay- or how much our taxes go up– do we ever see an improvement in government services or efficiency. It’s amazing how much money… Read more »
ratseal
Guest

We fled CA, ultimately landing in VA. It isn’t great, but compared to CA it is a cool drink of water on a hot day.

Wraith
Guest

RS…do you want freedom, or do you want money? I know which one I’d choose. 😕

RS
Guest
What do you mean by freedom? In my mind financial independence is one of the most important kind of freedoms one can have. If my husband and I stay in California for the short term and save our money we’ll have many more options in the future. Who is to say we won’t retire out of state? I actually agree with dyingearth that staying in California is the better option for now because so many Californians are taking their politics with them as they leave the state and it may only be a matter of time before other states are… Read more »
John
Guest

I’d go to said Senator and Demand her dismissal, and banning from any government work. Make a few examples, and the rest will fall in line.

Jeff Gauch
Guest

Won’t work. Even if she does get fired, she’ll just sue the government and get her job back, including back pay.

The game is rigged in favor of government bureaucrats. In no small part because the rules are written by government bureaucrats.

Howard
Guest

Sounds like a Vogon. Did she attempt to read Mrs Correia any poetry?

perlhaqr
Guest

She was muttering about freddled gruntbugglies.

The Childlike Author
Guest

The awful thing is that it’s still only getting worse. Think it’s bad now? Wait a few years…

NKR
Guest
I always try to be nice with these people, too. Sometimes it works really well if they’ve had a run of impatient clients and I come up all patient and nice. I recall — not gov related, but similar — when I called Apple Care (or whatever it’s called) to ask a question. I had to wait forever while the guy found my answer. Every once in a while he’d come back and say he was sorry for the wait and I’d say, “no problem” and he’d say “you’re so patient, thank you!” and I’d say, “no problem”. Finally he… Read more »
Larry G
Guest
For the past several years I have paid enough in federal taxes alone to employ a GS11 or 12. I started a business using what they left me, and now I am in debt for an amount well over the median income in my area. And I pay more per month in taxes STILL than any of my employees make and I haven’t pocketed a dime yet. Fargin’ idiots in Facebook-land tell me that if my business model can’t pay my employees at least 15 dollars an hour plus all the taxes, then I’m an idiot for getting into business… Read more »
BornLib
Guest

I’ll looking for something in the SMOD (Sweet Meteor of Death) area of apocalypses myself.

Andrew
Guest

This IS the zombie apocalypse.

Steve Randolph
Guest
We all feel your pain. Here in the midwest (won’t tell the city for fear of retaliation), the govt workers are a joke at best. That is both the Fed and the state level. I have never in my life seen a more worthless bunch. Do your work? Give me a break. If you can find two or three that are not on perpetual breaks you are having a good day. And why does every single agency need three to ten ARMED guards at the door at all times. Perhaps if the govt would stop letting in all the degenerates… Read more »
Splodge
Guest

As someone who’d like to move to the US, I find it kind of ironic that you mention the government letting in degenerates.

Have you looked at the visa requirements for non-degenerates recently?… Ouch.

Expendable Henchman
Guest

The complaint is not about people who get visas. The “degenerates” are the small minority of illegals that cause the majority of the legal and social expense problems. These include MS-13 members and many other unsavory characters. The crimes are getting more and more violent as well.

That’s over and above the 75% who have stolen kids Social Security Numbers (a federal felony) to get jobs. And have also now screwed up kid’s credit histories for life.

Kristophr
Guest

Do not move to the US. Do NOT get a citizenship if you do.

Pick another country like Canada or even Mexico. This country is going full retard socialist, and once you get a green card or a citizenship, the nazis at the IRS want you to file on income outside the US, even if you no longer live here.

Geoff Whisler
Guest

It gave me a great deal of pleasure to forward this link to my wonderful senators, Klobuchar and Franken and tell them I will crawl over broken glass on my lips to vote against them.

This is the future of ACA.

Not that sending them this link will do anything useful. But it felt good.

hygate
Guest

I checked the Social Security Bureau’s website and its true:

” You are limited to three replacement cards in a year and 10 during a lifetime. ”

Unbelievable!

Jeff Gauch
Guest

Well, seeing as you don’t need a SS card for very much, and that the SSA won’t be around in 20 years, you can almost certainly simply order a new card every time you need one and be fine.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen one, but as I recall they’re not anything a decent scanner and printer can’t crank out.

hygate
Guest

By the way the site also mentions that you don’t actually need the card, you just need to know your SSN. And of course, its printed on the SS card that it isn’t to be used as an ID card. Which makes sense, cause its just a piece of paper and anyone who wanted to could counterfeit one.

Yet, we have government agencies asking for them in order to verify your identity.

Lauren Ritz
Guest

If they ask for it to prove your identity (in a gov’t position or otherwise) you are allowed to ask for documentation of their right to ask for it. Read the small print. 🙂

Expendable Henchman
Guest

In Utah the card is required for a driver’s license. Of course W-2’s and 1099’s also work. If you have them.

Frankly, what needs to be done is to get Utah State legislators to amend the brand new stupid laws to allow other forms of SSN verification, including federal ID’s that already have the SSN (like US Military ID’s) and some others.

The official list:
http://publicsafety.utah.gov/dld/documents/DL335Brochure9-13_000.pdf

For fun, scroll down to the right side of page two, where illegal resident driver’s license requirements are listed.

Kristophr
Guest

They want the SS card because of the federal motor-voter law. If they issue an illegal a driver’s license, he can then use it to register to vote.

av willis
Guest

strictly speaking, military ids that have been printed recently don’t have SSNs on them to prevent identity theft, they have a “dod id” number on the back in it’s place now

Alan
Guest
Funny you should bring this up. I was at the Social Securty Administration in Salt Lake City last Thursday, trying to get a card so that I could apply at a temp agency. I had to pass metal detectors and security guards, too. I had to sit in the blandest waiting area imaginable until they called my number. Still, I felt sorry for the guards. They had nothing to do but sit all day. They were so bored that even when the metal detector went off, they still waved people through. The man who sat behind the bullet-proof glass didn’t… Read more »
Ruth Guthrie
Guest

Bless your wife. I wish I had thought to record conversations with Gubbiment gooks. It took me 3 years to change my name back to my maiden name after my divorce. Social Security and now the DMV are nuts. All this crap about homeland security at the DMV I don’t understand why an illegal can get auto insurance ( I’m an insurance agent) but I can’t legally change my name on a drivers license without an act of congress.

Tamye Durrant
Guest
I ran into the expired license and social security card problem when I was laid off. My license had expired on my last birthday and I had mistakenly laminated my social security card when I was 12. The DMV wouldn’t reissue my drivers license without me taking the written driving test and a driving test I would have to pay $18 to have a creepy man sit in my car for half an hour and order me to drive around the city like his personal hostage. It took three weeks to get the new drivers license and social security card… Read more »
John
Guest

I just have to say, I absolutely love this guy!

Joe in PNG
Guest

The worst case of Federalisus Derpitus I’ve ever seen was on a cruise stop to the US Virgin islands a few years ago. Normally, to enter a foreign country, one just swipes their cruise ID and smiles at the camera. But not for this US Territory port of call. No, we had to line up for hours, with passport in hand, to go to a different part of the ship so the GS officer could check off our name on a printout- a task that could have been easily accomplished at the ship’s exit.

Don McKinley
Guest
My favorite government story is also about the SS office. We were adopting a kid and I went to the SS office to get a SS number for them. Before I left I looked up the regs online to make sure I could do it before everything was finalized and printed out the portion of that said I could. I get there and the lady refused. I showed her the actual reg and she dug out her own copy but still refused to do it, claiming it said the exact opposite of what it actually said. I asked to speak… Read more »
dyingearth
Guest

As our last great President once said the nine most terrifying words in the English language are “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

MKEgal
Guest
When I lost my SS card in the move to WI & had to deal with the attitudinal bitch at the SS office, she had the gall to tell me I didn’t know my own mother’s name! Played 20 questions making me tell her personal information (because my driver’s license wasn’t good enough ID, apparently), then threatened to call the supervisor when I told her my mother’s name & she giggled & grinned and said, “no, that’s wrong”. Made as though she were going to roll her fat ass away from the window, & I said (rather loudly), “please get… Read more »
trackback

[…] Joe is that his rants are educational snark and not simply complaints. (Well, other than stuff like complaining about government bureaucracy, but hey, if my wife were treated that way, I’d be ticked off […]

Charlie
Guest
I am a construction “Road Whore” for those who have never heard the term it means I travel to where the work is. Several years ago while working in Co. I bought a Motor home to live in. When I took it to the nearest DMV to register it in NM (My home state) the troll behind the counter looked at the CO. title and seeing that black and blue ink had been used (I was taught to always use black on documents) asked “Did you fill in your information or did the seller?” I answered truthfully that I had… Read more »
ElamBend
Guest

I went without a valid state issued ID for a while (just used passport). When I finally went to get a new one (in a new state), the state worker expressed shock that all I could show him was a passport. ‘How do you get anything without a state id?” he asked? “I don’t asked for anything” I replied.

Andrew
Guest

I’ve frequently thought it would be a good idea to move tax day to October 15th…or election day to May 4th.

perlhaqr
Guest

I say that too, so, I’ll upvote this comment. 😀

Synova
Guest

The best thing ever created is privatized DMV’s.

John Carlton
Guest

The only thing that makes dealing with the government even slightly palatable is regardless hos bad they have made it for the rest of us:
http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/
They will not escape the hell of their own making:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2014/03/22/sinkhole-of-bureaucracy/

Kristophr
Guest

You realize you could immigrate to a country with a Clarke law, get a second citizenship, and renounce your US citizenship?

No taxes, and you can always visit the US on a visa ( not that ICE does anything about overstays ).

There are a bunch of places you can get better treatment for your family and money. In some of them, you can even sit on a stack of guns lawfully.

A second passport may be a good idea if the US goes full-retard socialist.

NR Pax
Guest

I’ve never heard the term “Clarke Law” before. Would you mind explaining it?

The “stack of guns” is the big problem. The only country I can think of that is nearby where you can bring them would be Panama.

Kristophr
Guest

Panama is the example I had in mind, thanx. Belize is similar, and things are pretty loose in the Philippines as well ( if you or your wife is a citizen ).

A Clarke Law is one similar to the one Arthur C. Clarke talked Sri Lanka into passing: If your income is entirely made outside of the country, you owe no taxes there.

NR Pax
Guest

That’s not a bad idea. The only problem I have is the idea of renouncing my citizenship. However, if things continue down the road they are on, it will probably start looking better.

junior
Guest

RE: Paying salaries of government employees.

During the shutdown, as is known, there were numerous incidents of park rangers and similar government employees essentially ordering people out of public lands. In one of the incidents, the people being bullied reminded him that they paid his salary. The not-as-clever-as-he-thinks clueless idiot responded that he paid his own salary too.

/sigh

Keith West
Guest

The more I hear about how things are in other states, the more glad I am that I live in Texas.

Kirk and Dianne Harrison
Guest
Kirk and Dianne Harrison
We moved across country for my husbands job.. ( Air Force) Once in the lovely province of British Columbia.. it was decided that a new drivers licence was required.. We took the standard ID with us and stood in line.. We filled out the forms, and took his Nova Scotia Licence and then informed him he had no valid ID as a military ID card is not considered valid ID in the province of British Columbia.. Meanwhile I was not amused.. My husband has served in the military for nearly 31 years this May.. and has been all over where… Read more »
Firehand
Guest
A: End tax withholding: make everyone have to actually write a check for the amount of income taxes. B: Speaking of taxes and .gov minions, second wife started working at the inspector general’s office of a fed agency. Came home one day with an odd look, said there had been signs put up all over the building saying “Just because you work for the federal government doesn’t mean you can skip filing your taxes.” Bad enough they had to put the signs up, but one of the people she worked with laughed at it; “I haven’t filed taxes in eight… Read more »
cspschofield
Guest
I have a strategy that has served me well. I start out being soft-spoken, taking an “I’m in over my head, can you help me?”. 99 times out of 100, this works beautifully. It makes you the first halfway sane-seeming person they’ve felt with all day. When I was trying to get a “User and Occupancy License” from the Prince George’s County, MD, I was told by people who had reason to know that the average time was six months. I got through in two weeks. And then, when it becomes time to bring on the vitriol, the contrast is… Read more »
Daddy Warpig
Guest

The Ogden Federal Building is ugly in a way that only 70’s-era government buildings can be ugly. (Not quite Brutalist, but maybe Brutalist-Incompetentalist.) The guard station is rickety, it’s as solidly made and professional looking as a Third World border crossing. And that Social Security waiting room can and does drain the life out of you.

Large portions of Hell were photocopied from the Ogden Federal Building. “Well, shit,” Satan said. “I can’t do any better than that.

SirBrass
Guest

The art style to which you refer is called “Lowest-bidder-ist”. It still exists, but is manifested more in construction times and quality of craftsmanship rather than outside appearance.

Mike
Guest
I have a similar tale, but in my case it was to get my contractor badge to allow access to a Military base. I have had a badge for this base for over 20 years but last year they decided I also needed a original SS card to get my badge. I only had a metal card my parents had made for me when I was a kid. I had it tucked away in a safe, had not shown a SS card to anyone that I can remember in my 50 + years of existence. The lady at pass and… Read more »
Glenfilthie
Guest

Well big fella…I’ll bet a dollar to a donut your taxes don’t cover that chick’s salary. Those idiots make top dollar and that is what I find even more infuriating…you would probably have to be taxed MORE to pay her salary…

Mike_in_kosovo
Guest

Unless Larry quit doing his own taxes and you’re his accountant, it may be wise to take to heart the old saw about “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and prove it”.

Glenfilthie
Guest

Not trying to insult anyone Mike, and if some idiot wants to think I am a fool there is no harm in it.

I am saying that a lot of these apparatchiks are grossly overpaid, especially the career cogs.

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[…] Tax Day Customer Service. I wish Correia could have seen the ogres I had to deal with when trying to get anything straightened out at college. […]

pavepusher
Guest

Oh. My. God.

Just read the entirety of both those columns and the responses… and got to this:

“…you seem to forget the simple fact that the government creates money.”

My head. has just… Exploded.

What I tried to reply (three years too late, and likely futile anyway….

“Hoe. Lee. Shee. Yite.

You flaming idiot. You are a danger to people around you, and to society as a whole.

Please deport yourself to North Korea immediately.

Or drown yourself. For the Children.”

Julaire
Guest

I wonder if the person in question understands there’s a difference between ‘creates money’ and ‘prints money’. The first increases wealth, the second reduces it.

Don
Guest
When it is almost impossible to fire people, .gov managers do the next best thing and simply shuffle them around so that they are somebody else’s problem. They are fundamentally immune to the repercussions of their actions, and they know it. Then when you give these people some small measure of authority over other people’s lives, it shouldn’t come as a shock when they act like assholes. LOL…That is the exact truth…I’ve worked for an Unnamed Federal Agency for the last 18 years and watched completely worthless shoggoths act just like the above mentioned quote from your post. Some of… Read more »
Gamera977
Guest

My favorite part is that the same people that set up this labyrinth of IDs just to get a simple drivers license are the same ones screaming that asking someone to present a single photo ID at the voting booth is intolerable and ‘raaacccissssmmmmm!!!!!!!!’

SirBrass
Guest
Know what I needed in AZ to get an AZ driver’s license? My VA driver’s license ;). Can’t remember what else (it was years ago, and my parents had come up from VA for my college graduation and brought all necessary documents to help me get officially registered as a resident of AZ, since I was staying and not moving back to VA), but that was basically it. Mainly it was old DL, and the title for the vehicle (since they were handing the title over to me). We spent more time in line than we did talking to the… Read more »
Dan
Guest

So wait, big picture. Expired driver’s license and lost SS cards, and because you can’t keep track of your paperwork and expiration dates like everyone else does you are unhappy with pissy attitudes? Call a waaambulance. Pay attention to things. BTW, typically to be considered a “supervisor” it’s GS14 and above, but as an “experienced government contractor” you’d know that, wouldn’t you?

Minimum Wage Historian
Guest

Dan, do you know that you’re a troll? I’m serious. I’m very curious about whether trolls know their trolls. Do you get some kind of sense of accomplishment or is it a sense of empowerment? Is this your way of taking charge after a lifetime of being pushed around? OR… is it that Larry’s a nasty libertarian and so you have to attack him because he’s “Not a real author?” Curious minds want to know.

musashi
Guest

No, Dan is just a douche who has no idea who he’s talking about or what he’s talking about.

Ray Spitz
Guest

If I recall correctly, my Social Security card (which I have not seen i years and is probably in the safe deposit box along with the passport) says quite specifically “NOT FOR PURPOSES OF IDENTIFICATION.”

Geez.

pavepusher
Guest

That’s been ignored for years. In the military, it’s now the primary ID for personnel purposes. Well, not the card itself, but your SSN.

Douglas Hester
Guest
When I moved to AZ from MN in early 2008, one of my first tasks was to register my three vehicles, one being a 1970 Chevy Nova. The clerk processed the other two newer cars with no problem, but said that I had to go to a different room/garage at the back of the place to register the Nova. When I got back there the next clerk told me that I had to have something called a Level 2 Inspection to establish the VIN number of the Nova, since it wasn’t on a sticker on the door (I later learned… Read more »
Guess
Guest
You need a better accountant… That is not meant as an insult. I think all authors are self employed right? Most small business accountants are garbage. When I was self employed I really didn’t pay that much in taxes and I had a very nice income. No it shouldn’t be this complex, but it is, so here is my guess at some of things your doing wrong… 1. Form an S Corporation instead of an LLC or 1099. I think you can have your LLC pay you like an S Corporation. Go buy quickbooks. You want to pay your self… Read more »
T.L. Knighton
Guest

Oh, this is gonna be good. I love it when someone comes in as the light of authority and shows some real ignorance in the process.

[Grabs some popcorn] Anyone else want any?

T.L. Knighton
Guest

I really hope this is a friend of Larry’s who is just screwing with him. 🙂

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