A Taxing Conversation, Part 2

, , , , | Right | June 24, 2013

Wife: “Can we try filing separately?”

Me: “You can, but it’s not usually the best idea. You’ll disqualify yourselves from some of the biggest credits. I’ll run it through both scenarios, and see what happens. Who should have the kids on their file?”

Husband: “Put them on hers.”

(I run the return both ways. It takes about fifteen or twenty minutes, since they each have multiple jobs.)

Me: “Okay, taken jointly, you’re getting $[amount]. Separately you, sir, need to pay $[amount] and you, ma’am get $[amount] back.”

Wife: “Hmm. Put the kids on his return.”

Me: “Okay.”

(10 minutes later…)

Me: “Now, he has to pay less, and you get back less. Jointly is still the better option.”

Wife: “How about if he has one kid, and I have two kids?”

Me: “Okay.”

(Five minutes pass.)

Me: “Jointly is still better.”

Wife: “Okay, reverse it please. Him with two kids, and me with one.”

Me: “Okay.”

(Five minutes pass.)

Me: “Jointly is still better. But this other person you’ve talked about…”

Husband: “Our niece?”

Me: “Right, let me check some info out with you; she might qualify as another dependent.”

(10 minutes of interviews, and calling for info later…)

Me: “Yep. She qualifies as another dependent, and now you’re joint refund would look like—”

(The program glitches in a funny way. I have never seen this before.)

Me: “Hmm, let me call over the manager real quick.”

Manager: “What seems to be the problem?”

Me: “The file glitched. I’ve been running different scenarios for them, and the husband’s file is giving me weird data and won’t let me delete it.”

Manager: “Can you restart a file with the wife as lead tax payer?”

Me: “I can do that, but they haven’t decided if they’re going to file joint or separate. I was just trying to get the results of the latest scenario, when it glitched.”

Manager: “Re-enter for the wife, and I’ll try to fix this file in case they want to file that way.”

Me: “All right.”

(Five minutes later…)

Me: “Okay, your joint refund is now even higher.”

Wife: “Can you try it separately, with me having three dependents, and my husband’s one?”

Husband: *groans*

(The next day…)

Coworker: “Why is there a biohazard sticker on this return file?”

 

1 Thumbs
2,767

A Badly Drawn Request

, , , , , | Right | May 28, 2013

(I work at a theme park as a caricature artist.)

Customer: “Hey, if I get one of these done can you make me skinny?”

Me: “Well, it’s a caricature, so you can have an exaggerated bikini body or something if you like?”

Customer: “Oh, good! Can you make my teeth look better, too?”

(I can see the customer has a gap in her teeth.)

Me: “Well, if you’re sensitive about something like that you could always give me a closed mouth smile.”

Customer: “And could you make me blonde? And maybe a smaller nose?”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m not sure you’d want a picture if I altered it that much.”

Customer: “Why not?”

Me: “Because… it wouldn’t look like you!”

1 Thumbs
1,387

Guaranteed To Shut Anyone Up

, , , , | Right | February 6, 2013

(I am an EFL teacher and a self-published writer. I am an English major and I’m in several classes focusing on the history and structure of the English language. I am paying my way by working at a call center. I get a caller who sounds reasonably educated.)

Caller: “I want you to tell me if there is a guarantee on this product.”

Me: “I know, sir, but to cont—”

Caller: “Tell me about the guarantee before we get anywhere else.”

Me: “I’ve given you the information on my sidebar, sir. To get further details, I need to advance the screen, so can you just give me your name—”

Caller: “Just tell me about the guarantee! Guarantee: Latin for ‘get your money back’!”

Me: “Latinate.”

Caller: “Pardon me?”

Me: “It’s Latinate, not Latin. We acquired it from the French. Probably Parisian French, but I’m not sure about that. ‘Warranty’ actually comes from the same word, but Norman French has the W sound and other types of French don’t, usually, probably because the Normans were a bunch of Norse Viking types the French gave some land to in order not to be pillaged. The Normans invaded and conquered England and tried to obliterate the English language but only managed to get a bunch of words added. When the English invaded and conquered France a couple of hundred years later, they got the Parisian version of the word with the GU sound. This is why ‘warranty’ has a more official and stronger meaning than ‘guarantee.'”

Caller: “Uh…”

Me: “Now, I have a specific script the client requires us to read about the guarantee. It is important that I read precisely the words they chose without interpretation. To get to that script, I need to process the first screen as if I am taking an order. I am not allowed to read from memory. If you choose not to order, then I just cancel it out and there is no order placed. Can I get your information now, sir?”

Caller: *much calmer* “All right…”


This story is part of our Writers roundup!

Read the next story in this roundup!

Read the Writers roundup!

1 Thumbs
2,772

Use Of Technology Is Undeveloped

, , , , | Right | March 15, 2011

(A customer brings in an SD card. He wants to transfer the files onto a CD.)

Customer: “Miss, how many photos can I put on a CD?”

Me: “It depends on the size of the files.”

Customer: “4×6 inches. They’re all the same. I just want to know how many will go on one CD.”

Me: “That’s a print size, not a file size. We can usually fit between 200 and 400 photos onto a single CD.”

Customer: “No. It should always be the same. There’s only one size of picture!”

Me: “No, sir. It can change depending on the camera settings. A high-resolution picture will take up more information space, even if it’s physically the same size.”

Customer: “Don’t you go throwing all that fancy computer talk around. I just want to put these on a CD, as plain old 4×6 pictures. I don’t want any computers involved!”

1 Thumbs
1,806