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Taxing Taxing, Part 11

, , , , , | Working | October 9, 2021

Back when the Affordable Care Act was first implemented, I was only on my mother’s insurance, since I didn’t get insurance through my job. When it came time to do taxes, I used a computer tax program to file. When it got to the part about insurance, I put that I had insurance but didn’t pay anything as I was not the policyholder.

A couple of weeks later, I receive a notice from the IRS saying that my taxes were missing Form 8962, which is the form for insurance. My taxes won’t be filed until it is submitted. I do the form myself and send it in. A few weeks later, I receive my tax return and it is $2,000 more than it should be. I figure out that they gave me the insurance tax credit even though I put on the form that I paid nothing toward the insurance as I wasn’t the policyholder.

I call the IRS and explain the situation and that I do not deserve this money.

Employee #1: “Since our tax department is closed for the rest of the year, there isn’t anyone you can talk to to amend the tax return to return the money.”

After this, I call a few more times and nobody will help me. I set the $2,000 in my savings account and don’t do anything with it.

I receive a letter from the IRS sometime later saying they listened to my phone calls and will investigate the situation, that I don’t have to do anything else, and that they will contact me later. The next tax season rolls around and I haven’t heard anything more. I decide I want to get this situation settled before filing my taxes for that year. 

I call the IRS AGAIN and ask them about the case.

Employee #2: “The case has been closed and the money is yours to keep.”

Me: “What are the chances you could audit me years later and hit me with fines?”

Employee #2: “It could happen, but there’s no way to know.”

I thanked her, hung up, and then thought for a bit. I called the IRS one more time and asked to talk to someone who could look at my previous year’s tax forms. I was transferred to their tax department and the woman there was so helpful. She looked over it with me and said I had done the form wrong, but they should not have sent me that money. She was nice enough to amend my tax forms for me, send them so I could sign them, and give me instructions on how to return the money.

When I received the package, I followed the instructions, sent the amended tax forms and the $2,000 back, and thought nothing of it. Then, I received a letter from the IRS that turned out to be a bill. They billed me $80 in interest for keeping money that I did not deserve. I called the IRS and asked the representative if the fee could be waived since I had tried multiple times to return it, but nobody would work with me. She told me the fee couldn’t be waived. Frustrated, I paid the $80 and tried my best to put it behind me. It hasn’t worked yet since I freak out every time I receive a letter from them.

Related:
Taxing Taxing, Part 10
Taxing Taxing, Part 9
Taxing Taxing, Part 8
Taxing Taxing, Part 7
Taxing Taxing, Part 6

If You’re Not Here, Please Raise Your Hand

, , , , , | Learning | October 8, 2021

I’m fifteen, in eighth grade, and we are having history class. Our teacher is a very calm, tall, big guy who gives this vibe of being a cool, laid back person in practically all situations.

In my class are four girls who are usually quite good at following along in class, but not today. Today they decide to be very — loudly — chatty after class starts. 

Our teacher just looks at them while quietly marking down who is present. After a while, the teacher speaks out loud to all of us in a sort of wondering way.

Teacher: “Can you be absent while still being present?”

All of us students, besides the four girls, think about it and slowly agree. Without paying any attention to the teacher, the four girls just wave their hands in a “whatever” gesture.

Four Girls: “Yes, yes. Sure, you can.”

Then, they go back to chatting.

Teacher: *With determination in his voice* “All right, then I’ll mark all of you four girls as being absent in this class.”

You should have seen how fast these four girls started to pay attention, declaring that he could not do that, since they were in the classroom. I don’t think we ever got it clear if the teacher did actually mark them as absent or not, but the four girls never did the same thing in his class again.

Leave The Jobs For The People Who Actually Want To Do Them

, , , , , | Working | October 7, 2021

[Coworker] used to work in a different department, but for reasons we were never told, had to quickly change to ours. This always surprised me, as I remember her complaining constantly about our department before she started to work in the other. Either way, we welcomed her, and we all did our part to train her and get her set up.

[Coworker] is what many would call an attractive young woman, and she certainly knew this. She would easily get some of the younger guys to “help” her do her work. When she didn’t want to do even that, she would talk and talk — mainly about herself — stopping them from doing anything, either.

After a few months, the department was way behind on work, complaints started to come in about delays, and we were given a dressing down by senior management. 

This improved things, but not for long. Eventually, they realised that [Coworker] was a major disruption, but instead of disciplining her, they put her with me. I decided what work she did and I was to report back if she didn’t do it.

She quickly learnt that fluttering her eyelashes wouldn’t work on me, and the other guys had warnings not to help her. She did what any reasonable person would do — not — she started taking longer and longer toilet breaks, lunch breaks, etc. to avoid doing any work.

I reported that back and she made a complaint of bullying. When that didn’t work, she requested to change departments again. No one would have her. Then, someone somewhere pulled some strings and gave her a last chance and she changed departments again

She lasted six months before being sacked as “unmanageable”.

Did She Ever Play “Don’t Wake Daddy”?

, , , , , | Related | October 6, 2021

My toddler is three. I also have a newborn and am still recovering from pregnancy and labor. Dad sets two alarms so he can prepare himself to actually get up in the morning. I have to get up at the first alarm in order to get both children and myself ready on time.

Me: “Come on, sweetie. Time to get up. Take Dad to work.”

Toddler: “I’m still sleepy.”

Me: “You can sleep in the car. Come on, go pee.”

Toddler: “Sleeeepy…”

Me: “If you don’t hurry, Dad will be late for work.”

Toddler: “I want to go back to sleep.”

Me: “You should have gone to bed when I told you to last night. It’s time to get up to take Dad to work or we won’t have the car.”

Toddler: “Nooo!”

Me: “Either you get up now and come with me to take Dad to work or you’re grounded. That means no TV, no treats, no juice, no playing outside, and no going to the store or the park.”

By that point, Dad was already up and we were going to be late even if she got out of bed right then.

Me: “Short of moving her bodily, I’m not going to be able to get her ready. And I still have to get myself ready and feed the baby and get him ready, too.”

Dad: “It’s going to be too much trouble for you and I have to leave right away, anyway. She’s just going to have to figure it out the hard way.”

Later that morning:

Toddler: “Can I watch [TV Show #1]?”

Me: “No. Eat your breakfast.”

Toddler: “Can I watch [TV Show #2]?”

Me: “No. You’re grounded. You don’t get any TV today.”

Toddler: “Ride my bike?”

Me: “No. You’re grounded. You didn’t take Daddy to work. You’re in trouble.”

Now, when it’s time to take Daddy to work, she gets up promptly. She even goes in to “help” and get Daddy up, poor guy.

Irresponsibility, Immorality, And Audacity

, , , , , , | Working | October 5, 2021

I had a young coworker that was just starting out his first adult office job. He wasn’t the best employee out there, but he was contributing, and some of the more experienced employees were working with him on how to settle in and be seen as a higher-level contributor to grow his career.

Then, one day, eighteen months in, [Coworker] just stopped showing up and was not appearing on the company instant messaging system. It was crunch time for the project, and it was allowable to work from home, so most of us just assumed he’d set his IM availability to only appear online to his immediate team so that he could concentrate. But then, his team lead who worked from a different location reached out to those of us who had offices next to him to find out what was going on because he wasn’t responding to her, either.

After a week of this, we got an email from management that [Coworker] had put in his two-week notice as of one week before — he backdated it to when he stopped working — and they asked us to arrange the handover of his badge and laptop on his official last day. My officemate, as the most senior local person, set up a time for [Coworker] to come in to handle all of that. It just so happened that the date was the day after our crunch time was over and we had been granted permission to leave at lunchtime, so the time was set to be 10:00 am.

The appointed time arrived, but no soon-to-be-former coworker. Lunchtime arrived, still nothing. The rest of us were still hanging around because we didn’t want to leave [Officemate] with no witnesses in case [Coworker] never showed but claimed he did and no one was there.

Finally, around 2:00 pm, [Coworker] showed up to turn in his stuff and we got to ask him what he planned to do next. Apparently, he and his brother had decided to become music producers and he was quitting to get started with that. We wished him well while privately shaking our heads because, according to stories he had told us in the past, he was the first member of his family to stick it out and get a degree and also the only one who had not been in trouble with the law.

The next Monday, I got a strange email from my HOA telling us that there had been a home invasion in the neighborhood over the weekend but that we should not be concerned because all the people knew each other and it was unlikely to occur again. I Googled my neighborhood only to find [Coworker]’s photo. He and his brother were listed as wanted for a shooting that occurred during the home invasion in question.

Managers were called, security freaked out, and we were asked to hold onto [Coworker]’s laptop rather than sending it in to be wiped just in case the authorities needed access to it. He was eventually located and arrested, facing multiple felonies. We don’t really know what happened with his case as, one day, it just disappeared from the court calendar. We assume some sort of plea deal was reached.

And then, a year later, some of us started getting job reference requests. [Coworker] was apparently applying to be an office drone with financial institutions and thought we would make good references for him. We couldn’t really say anything about how he had ghosted us as part of quitting his job. All we could really say was, “Yeah, he worked here. Can’t say anything more, but you should probably Google his name.”

I’m amazed at the audacity (or cluelessness) of someone walking out on a job at crunch time, getting arrested for multiple felonies, and then still expecting a good reference.