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If You Play Games With The Manager The Manager Will Take Games Away From You

, , , , , , | Working | January 9, 2023

Our office has a new manager. They are firm yet pleasant, and I appreciate them taking a stronger stance against some of the lazier members of the office.

One coworker is one of those aforementioned lazier members of the office and has coasted so far under the neglect of previous managers.

My coworker is moaning to me at lunch.

Coworker: “That d*** [Manager’s Name] told me that I won’t get a bonus this year if my score doesn’t improve!”

Me: “What’s your score?”

Coworker: “Four, but I was always a five until they showed up!”

In our office, our schedules and process-based tasks are scored based on accuracy, and timeliness, and as long as you do a reasonable job it’s very easy to score an eight or nine out of ten.

Our small-but-appreciated end-of-year bonus goes a percentage point or two higher the higher the score. Five is the lowest score that grants a bonus, so four and below get you nothing.

Me: “Maybe if you didn’t browse the Internet between tasks—“

Coworker: “I knew [Manager] was out to get me as soon as they started talking about efficiency this and productivity that!”

Me: “And maybe if you weren’t always so late—“

Coworker: “And I needed that bonus! I already put down a deposit for a PlayStation!”

Me: “It’s not the best idea to spend money you haven’t got.”

They continued to rant, not really wanting to hear what I had to say and I finished up and got back to work.

A few weeks later as we got our end-of-year scores and bonus announcements, I see my coworkers storm into my manager’s office. Less than a minute later my coworker storms back out.

Later that day, our manager sends out an office-wide email.

Manager: “Just to let you all know I’ve become aware of a super-hard-to-find Playstation 5 that has just become available, and for cheaper than the recommended retail price at that! PM me for details!”

My bonus allowed me to play some great games over the end-of-year holiday season! I wonder where the manager got such a hard-to-find item from?

Turns Out Student Loans Aren’t ALL Bad

, , , , , , , , , | Legal | January 7, 2023

I have a story about Karmic justice for a coworker of mine, even though it was somewhat temporary. About seven years ago, [Coworker] was in her third year of college, using grants and student loans. She ended up having a complicated pregnancy and had to withdraw mid-semester. Since then, she has not gone back to college. Since she withdrew and did not complete her degree, she not only has to pay back the loans but the grants, as well.

[Coworker] says she wasn’t able to put her loans and grants into deferment because of this. She says she tries to pay back what she can when she can, but she is overdue to the tune of $10,000. But with a part-time retail job, it is slow going.

Last year, [Coworker] moved to a new house, and while she updated her address with our place of employment, for some reason, her W2s were sent to her old address. She was able to get a copy of her W2s, and she and her husband filed. They file jointly but with an “injured spouse.” This is not a physically injured spouse, but a financially injured spouse; basically, it means that the government can only take [Coworker]’s part of the tax return to pay for her student loans. It leaves her husband’s part of the tax return alone.

[Coworker]’s share of the tax return is usually about $1,000, and his share is about $4,000; he is a full-time worker. Well, a few weeks after they filed, they got a notice back from the IRS saying that her W2 had already been filed!

Yep, whoever now lived in [Coworker]’s old place got her W2 and decided to not only file it but file it jointly, hoping to steal my coworker’s tax return. Of course, they didn’t know about her loans, so they did not file with an “injured spouse.” As a result, not only did they not get a single dime, but the tax return went to pay my coworker’s over-due student loan to the tune of $6,000!

Now that’s poetic justice!

I wish I could have been there when the nasty fraudsters found out they weren’t getting back anything. What were they going to do? Admit they committed tax fraud to the IRS?

[Coworker] and I laughed ourselves silly before she admitted that, yes, she did get things sorted out properly in the end. As tempted as she was to let the fraudsters wallow in their own Karmic bed, she knew that not sorting it out on her end would get her in trouble, too. Still, the idea that tax fraudsters tried to steal and instead found themselves paying off someone else’s debt is a story that gives her the warm fuzzies.

And I’m sure the IRS has some pointed questions for the fraudsters, too!

Making A Clean Break From The Dishwasher

, , , , | Working | January 6, 2023

I am talking with a coworker.

Coworker: “I have had dishes piling up for more than a week.”

Me: “Well, why haven’t you cleaned them for a week?”

Coworker: “My dishwasher is dead and hasn’t been fixed, and it won’t be fixed for another week, so I can’t wash them for another week.”

Me: “You do know you can wash them by hand, right?”

Coworker: “Wait. You can do that?”

If It Means I Don’t Have To Pay, That’s Fine With Me!

, , , , , , | Working | January 5, 2023

I work in a busy tax accounting firm. It’s morbid to say, but our area has a large retiree population, so something I see more prevalently here than at other firms is the number of deceased estate returns we prepare.

The usual procedure when we find out a client has died is to make a note of it and a note to not send information requests to the family for a period of time. Tax departments move slowly, so why rush a grieving family when this process will still take months to finalise?

One day, I answer a call from our admin officer.

Admin Officer: “Hi, I’ve got [Deceased Client] on the line. They’re just after an update to where their tax work is.”

Me: “Uh, are you sure that’s who is calling?”

Admin Officer: “Hold on. I’ll double-check the name.”

I’m put on a brief hold.

Admin Officer: “Yes, it’s [Deceased Client]. Did you want to take the call?”

Me: “Umm, okay. Yes, let’s do that.”

I frantically look for a pen and paper and open his file, thinking it must be his son or something.

I take the call. It turns out that we have two clients with similar names, and when we got the death notice, the admin officer at the time put the deceased marker next to the wrong name. [Client] is very much alive and is just checking where his tax work is because he hasn’t heard from us.

The admin officer came up to me, after the call, to check because I’d sounded so confused on the phone.

Admin Officer: “What was the go with [Client]? Had we forgotten his work or something?”

Me: “No! I thought he was dead!”

I Hope You Like Your Eggs Steam-Poached

, , , , , , | Working | January 5, 2023

We’re at the tail-end of a week-long heatwave here in the wonderful state of New Jersey. High temperatures are between 95 and 101F (about 35 to 38C), and the humidity is so thick you need SCUBA gear to walk to your car.

One of our new hires is actually from southern Alaska, and while it’s not the wasteland of the northern parts, he is NOT used to this sort of heat.

We’re sitting around the lunch room, discussing how glad we are that the central AC for the office was just fixed, when the new guy gets up to throw out his trash and glances out the window.

New Guy:Uhh… Why is the parking lot on fire?!”

This triggers a few panicked folks running to the windows, followed promptly by laughter. I put my arm around his shoulder.

Me: “Well, [New Guy], you ever hear the phrase, ‘so hot you can cook an egg on the asphalt’? That’s what happens when the phrase is literal, and then we get a little afternoon shower.”

Sure enough, there had been a little five-minute bit of rain before, just enough to leave a thin, wet coating on a scorching hot parking lot that quickly steamed away when the sun came back out.

New Guy: “How… do you all live like this… on a normal basis?”

Three of us, almost in sync: