Need A Data Entry Sentry

, , , , | Right | November 7, 2019

(I work in the data entry department of an accounting firm that specializes in religious organizations and non-profit charities. Believe me, there is no greater stinginess in the world than that of a megachurch religious group’s accountants and pastors when you want to take money away from them — to get our company and people paid or to help them pay their taxes, either or — rather than give money to them. Each of our separate departments has its own specialized software for their respective tasks, and thus a person in one department usually can’t fill the requests of a client for something needed from another department. I’m also one of two people in my office with the same first name, and the other [Shared Name] isn’t in my department. The phone rings. I am confused as DE usually doesn’t get called from outside numbers.)

Me: “Hello?”

Client: “Hi. It’s [Client] from [Church]. I’m calling back about the status of [job from another department].”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, you probably meant the other [Shared Name]; there are two of us here. He’s in [other department].”

Client: “Well, I have you here now. So, about–” *starts going into complex detail about a job from [other department]*

Me: “I’m afraid I can’t help you with that, ma’am. I don’t work in that department. If you’ll hold a moment, I can transfer you to the other [Shared Name].”

Client: “No, don’t transfer me! I got you; you’re going to solve my problem!”

Me: “I can’t solve your problem, ma’am. It’s not in my department.” *internally: “I have no idea what you’re talking about!”*

Client: “Oh, yes, you can! I know you’re all hooked up to the Internet together in that office!” 

Me: “I’m just going to transfer you to [Other Person With Shared Name] now, ma’am… Please hold.”

Client: “Don’t you dare!”

(I put her on hold and, after calling in a coworker to show me how it was done — like I said, DE doesn’t get calls from outside often, and almost never work-related ones — finally got her transferred over to the right person. The secretary called me later and apologized for sending the client to the wrong person, and we had a nice little laugh over it. Apparently, this sort of behavior is far from abnormal.)

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Taxing Really Lives Up To Its Name

, , , , , | Working | September 7, 2019

I am a female veteran and I have just moved to a new state right before tax season. As such, all my paperwork is from out of state. When I register at my new Veterans Affairs office, I’m told there is free tax prep, where you fill out paperwork at the VA and the tax people call you to confirm. So, in February, I fill out all the paperwork at the office and it is sent off. I’m told the tax people will contact me in April.

April rolls around and I get a voicemail from the tax people. I try to call back to arrange an appointment with them, but I just get their inbox saying it is too full to leave a message. I call the VA office and they assure me it is just because they are so busy, but I will be contacted by April 15th.

On Tax Day 2019, I finally get an actual caller on the phone, who tells me they are calling because I do not qualify for the tax prep! As all my paperwork is out of state from my previous job, I am outside their jurisdiction.

The woman tries to hang up on me, but what she doesn’t realize is that I was a Drill Sergeant. And I let her have it. I remind her that I am a veteran, that other veterans use this service with the understanding that we are taken care of, and that the least they could do was call me and tell me. I also tell her that the VA office did not give me notice, which means they have given wrong information to the VA, and they are now officially responsible for whatever wrong information is incurred.

The woman on the other end is very meek and apologizes over and over again, but I just hang up on her, as it is the afternoon and I now have less than five hours to get my taxes done. Luckily, I do it online and it is not as hard as expected.

The next time I am at the VA, I stop by the office and inform them of the call. They are absolutely furious, as no one has ever told them that and they have sent in paperwork from out of state before! They tell me that if the IRS contacts me or if there is a problem to immediately come to them and they will make sure the tax people are held responsible.

While I don’t think there will be a problem for this year, I’m going to shell out the money for tax prep next year.

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A Deduction Reduction

, , , | Right | September 4, 2018

(As tax students, we have to work at a tax office for two weeks during the period everyone has to fill in their tax return forms. We help people fill in their forms if they have trouble understanding how it works. In the Netherlands, you’re allowed to deduct expenses on certain items of clothing and bedding from your income so you don’t pay tax over them, if you pass a certain threshold. This is proven by simply showing me the receipt. I’m with a 73-year-old customer who has deducted money for this for the last few years and wants me to do it this year, too. He was already slightly irritated when he came in. As students, we don’t have access to any of the databases, so we can’t check any previously filled-in forms.)

Me: “Did you have any expenses on clothing and bedding for medical purpose this year, sir?”

Customer: “Yes, about €400.”

Me: “Can I see the receipts, please?”

Customer: “I don’t keep a receipt; it’s just the regular stuff everyone buys.”

Me: *slightly alarmed* “You mean normal clothes?”

Customer: *getting more irritated* “Yes, clothes like you’re wearing; you can deduct them. I do it every year. Go check your database.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, we can’t check any databases, and also I’m not allowed to let you deduct anything if it’s for regular clothing.”

Customer: *now getting red and talking very loudly* “Well, I’ve been doing it for years. What kind of nonsense is it that I can’t do it now?”

Me: “Then you’re lucky you’ve never been caught in the past few years. I surely will not allow it now.”

Customer: “Next thing you tell me is you won’t deduct my Viagra, either.”

(Luckily for me, he had a prescription for that, so I didn’t need to have the same discussion all over again.)

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Will Call At The Appointed Time, And All Other Times

, , , , | Right | June 20, 2018

(I work in a tax office. I overhear this conversation between a customer and the receptionist:)

Customer: “My name is [Customer]. I have an appointment today.”

Receptionist: “I’m sorry; your appointment is for Tuesday.”

Customer: “Oh, that’s right. But why didn’t you call to remind me it wasn’t for today?”

Receptionist: *speechless*

 

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When Two Wrongs Did Make A Right

, , , , , | Working | March 12, 2018

(My boss and I are the culprits here. We have a client who is generally very nice, but she is neurotic, paranoid, and obsessive about her tax returns. I am tasked with holding her hand through the process. I email my boss:)

My Email: “[Client] is going crazy, trying to itemize every tiny little expense. Can you please let her know that all that junk makes zero difference to her refund, so she can just calm down?!”

(My boss sends a very polite email and CCs me. I read it, but then…)

Me: “Um… [Boss], you didn’t write a new message to her; you hit forward.”

Boss: “What?”

Me: “When you replied to her, you also forwarded her my email to you!”

(We stare at each other in horror, imagining how she will react to my casual language. Stunned, I look back at the screen.)

Me: “Wait. What is her email address?”

Boss: “It’s [address], but don’t send her anything else.”

Me: “No, it’s okay. You typed it wrong.”

Boss: “What?”

Me: “You typed her address wrong. It didn’t go anywhere.”

Boss: *after deleting my message and re-sending* “Thank God I screwed up twice, and not just once!”

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