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!”

Too Taxing For Them To Understand, Part 3

| UT, USA | Right | June 2, 2016

(I call a customer to collect payment for finished tax return.)

Me: “Hi, [Customer], I’m just calling to let you know your tax return is complete and you have a balance of [balance]. Once we collect this amount we will send you your return.”

Customer: “Uh, so I have to pay before you will send me my return?”

Me: “Yes, it is required that we collect payment before sending you the return.”

Customer: “Why? That seems weird. Why can’t you send me my tax return then let me pay you?”

Me: “Uh, because we would risk the chance of customers getting their tax returns and never paying us and the firm would go under…”

Customer: “Okay, I’ll pay… That is just so weird.”

 

Thinking Outside The Box Of Common Sense

| Dublin, Ireland | Working | February 2, 2015

Colleague: “[My Name], did those archive boxes you ordered arrive?”

Me: “Yep, they’re on the fourth floor just outside the lifts.”

(Two minutes later, she’s back with a bundle of flat-packed boxes.)

Colleague: “When I’m done with these do I put the ones I don’t need in the photocopying room?”

Me: “No, there’s no space in there for them. Just drop them back upstairs with the rest. The guys up there will need them.”

Colleague: “But I only need two boxes, and I don’t want to have to bring the rest back upstairs!”

Me: “If you only need two boxes, why did you grab ten of them?”

Colleague: *angrily* “Well, I don’t know!”

Me: “Neither do I, so put them back where you found them and don’t snap at me because you can’t use your head.”

Taxing Taxing

| GA, USA | Working | March 21, 2014

(I am a single parent who gets paid once a month as a teacher. Since we get paid in the middle of December and the end of January, it is always a financially difficult time. I go in to a national chain tax service that is advertising refund anticipation loans to see if I can get some money quickly to help me through the month. It is the first week in January. I am using my last check stub since my W-2 is not in yet.)

Tax Agent #1: “Okay, looks like you are getting $2,200 on your Federal return, and $150 back on your State return. We can give you a check for $600 today, and when you receive your W-2, come back in and we can process it to get your remaining refund in about 2 days.”

Me: “Thank you! That will help me out a lot right now.”

(I get the check and return about a week later. For some reason my W-2 shows I made several thousand dollars less than the amount on my last check stub.)

Tax Agent #2: “Great news! With this W-2 you will actually be getting back $3,500 instead of $2,200! We can process this today, and after your tax fees and the loan you already have, you will get the rest in about 48 hours.”

Me: “That’s awesome! I need a new computer and I had hoped I could take my children on a vacation since we have never had one. Thank you for your help!”

(The agent has me sign the new forms and gets ready to process my return. As he looks at the screen, he frowns.)

Tax Agent #2: “Hold on a moment, I just need to check something.”

(He walks over to [Tax Agent #1] and has a whispered conversation with her. He does not look happy. Then he goes to the back of the room and talks to a supervisor. I can see the supervisor’s eyes get larger as he looks shocked. I am getting very nervous at this point. Finally the supervisor comes to me and sits down at the desk.)

Me: “Sir, is something wrong?”

Supervisor: “Ma’am, I am very sorry about this. It seems [Tax Agent #1] already sent your return to the IRS using your last check stub. She is not supposed to do that. I’m afraid it will mean your extra $1,300 will be delayed because we will have to wait until your original return is processed, then file an addendum.”

Me: “How long will that take?”

Supervisor: “Unfortunately, it may be about two months.”

(I am unhappy but I go ahead since I have little choice. When my first refund comes a few days later, I go ahead and buy a computer from a rent to own store. They have a 90 day same as cash price, so I only pay about $100 down. I can pay the rest in 90 days and have no interest fees. I also pay the deposit on a vacation. Sometime in February I find out that the addendum had never been filed, so I go back in, complain, and get it filed. By the middle of April, the IRS still has not processed my addendum and even tells me it will be at least six weeks until it is. I call the toll free number again. By this point the person I speak to has several minutes of reading the notes before they can help me.)

Me: “I just got off the phone with the IRS, and they say that my refund will not be here in time for my vacation. I have already paid for the hotel, but I can’t afford food, gas, and entertainment without the rest of my money. Plus I bought a computer, and I will have to pay an additional $600 in fees if I don’t pay it off in two weeks! This is not my fault. This is [Tax Service’s] fault! I need you to make this right!”

Call Center: “Ma’am, I have never heard of a story like this before. I am going to contact my supervisor and he will call you back in a few minutes. I promise; we will make this right.”

(Half an hour later, the supervisor calls back and is shocked by what I have been through.)

Call Center Supervisor: “I am so sorry for all of this. Since it is our fault your refund is delayed, we are authorizing your local store to cut you a check for your remaining refund amount. All that we ask is that in good faith, you pay us back when you finally get your refund from the IRS. Is that okay?”

Me: “Yes! That is awesome. Thank you for all of your help.”

(We arrange for me to pick up the check the next day at 4:30 pm, when my work day is over. The next day, around 1 pm, I am teaching a math class when the front office receptionist buzzes my room.)

Receptionist: “[My Name], your guest is here! I am sending her down.”

Me: “Who? What guest? I am not expecting anyone!”

(My class and I are confused, so I open my door. Walking down the hall is [Tax Agent #1]. I am in shock but I stand in the doorway to prevent her from coming in my room.)

Tax Agent #1: “Hi! I am here with your check! I just need you to sign this promissory note first!”

Me: “Why are you here? I arranged to pick this up at 4:30 when I get off work!”

Tax Agent #1: “But I have to be the one to give this to you, and I didn’t want to stay that late. Sign now and I can give you the check!”

(The paper she hands me says I have 45 days to pay them back or there will be huge fees and a possible lawsuit.)

Me: “No, I won’t sign this! The whole reason you are giving me this check is because my refund WILL take longer than 45 days!”

(By this time the woman is physically trying to push past me into my classroom. The teacher across the hall from me, who is fully aware of the nightmare I have been through, comes out to see what’s going on.)

Teacher: “Take your hands off her or I will do it for you!”

(He grabs her off of me and escorts her off the premises. Once done, I call the toll free number, where they once again must read for many minutes before I tell them what happened.)

Call Center: “Ma’am, this is the craziest story I have ever heard. Let me get the supervisor.”

Supervisor: “[My Name], this is insane! I have no idea what to do now. Here is the number directly to our CEO; I will forward all these notes to him. Please call me back if they can’t help you.”

(I call the number and they get my information, and tell me someone will call me back by the end of the day. A few hours later, I get a call back from someone high up at [Tax Service].)

Tax Service Big Wig: “Um, [My Name], the call center supervisor sent us everything. I have verified your story with your local tax store. How much money will it take to make you go away?”

(I am in such shock that I simply ask for a modest, fair sum.)

Tax Service Big Wig: “Done.”

(I receive the check in a few days, and find out that the tax agent was fired. I know I could have sued for thousands, but that’s not me. I do have a cool story to tell, though!)

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A Number Of Problems With That Question

| MD, USA | Right | September 24, 2013

(I work as a receptionist for a financial management firm, where I am in charge of answering phones and transferring the callers to the right person.)

Me: “Good morning, you’re through to [firm name]; how may I help you?”

Caller: “Is this 1-800-Flowers?”

Me: “I’m afraid you have the wrong number.”

Caller: “Are you sure?”

Me: “I’m sorry; this number isn’t even 1-800.”

Caller: “Oh, Do you have the number for 1-800-Flowers?”

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