Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Darkness has a hunger that's insatiable

I was going to write a rant about/to BCBS and Bumblebee tuna, since both are almost equally deceptive in my mind: BCBS making up shit as they go along, and Bumblebee surreptitiously changing the size of their tuna cans, keeping the price just as high, and thinking we won’t notice the 17% reduction. Nice try, thieving tuna barons.

But I’ll have to rail against those injustices another day, so that I can impart more life lessons to help you, my tens of readers, avoid these pitfalls. Today’s lesson: never assume a monolithic government institution has any clue what they’re doing.

You see, I made the mistake some years ago of not filing my taxes on time. Okay, this was stupid, but it was a bad time in my life, my dad having just died unexpectedly and a bunch of other stupid shit going on. I was also starting my own business, so I didn’t even have much in terms of income, so I didn’t owe any money. Eventually I filed, but in the meantime, the IRS had decided I owed some decidedly larger sum – suffice it to say we’ve been going back and forth on this, I finally got an accountant to deal with it all, who talked to them and it was supposedly being looked into. I then got a letter early this summer about a small sum I had to pay as a fine for being late in filing. Fine. Done. My stupidity fine.

Enter last week, when my bank calls me to tell me.......they’re freezing my accounts. All of them. Because of a letter from the IRS claiming I’ve never responded to them and hence owe them thousands of dollars. I call my accountant, in tears, and she determines that somehow this levy came from a totally different department than the one that I’ve sent ALL THE CORRESPONDENCE TO, and those fucktards have no idea what’s going on. But they’ve agreed to unfreeze my accounts – but this hadn’t happened yet, so in the meantime, I’m racking up late fees, and my automatic deductions aren’t going through. Like, oh, say, my health insurance??

So I know what some of you are thinking: “But Tasha, you have to admit that you bring some of this stuff upon yourself. ‘Cause you know, you are kind of a dumbass.” And this is indeed true. The IRS thing was stupidity on my part, at least the first part of it all. But then how about the fact that, say, my property taxes are going to increase wildly in the next go-round? Yes, in spite of the steepest decline in property values in decades, I recently got a letter saying that my assessed value had gone.....up. By quite a bit. Say what?? My decrepit old house that I haven’t been able to do anything to in terms of fixing it up? My friend Stan pointed out that maybe it’s my neighborhood in general, a shining beacon of light amidst the housing gloom. Hmm, maybe. Except that the yuppies who live next door in the gut rehabbed place that they’ve made all sorts of improvements to in the last couple of years – THEY got a reduction. By a lot. So now they’re assessed at a lower value than me, even though their place is worth at least twice what mine is.

Not to mention my friends who live in Lakeview, i.e. an area where property in general is way more expensive than mine, who bought a gut rehabbed place a few years ago for about a million, then immediately started doing more rehab work, and then recently had MORE work done: knocking down walls, putting in bathrooms, adding closets, etc. All in all, probably a couple hundred thousand of work done. Their place? You guessed it. Was assessed lower than mine, AND they just got a reduction, so it’s EVEN LOWER. What the hell, Chicago, do you have monkeys with dartboards figuring this stuff out??

So it’s been a bad week. And sometimes I just wonder, what’s the fucking point of it all anyway?

Then I think, maybe I’m just here as a lesson to others, so that when they think their lives are crappy, they can look at my life and say: “Umm, you know what? Never mind. Forget I said anything.”

And maybe my bad mood isn’t being helped by the drugs I’m on, FatSurly, which – oh, didn’t they mention this to me? No, they didn’t – can also cause depression. Tamoxifunk, as some call it.

And the worst part of all this, the true tragedy here, is this: my blog has become unfunny. Instead of amusing, wry anecdotes, now it’s just this “blah blah blah, woe is me, po’ po’ pitiful Tasha” shit. And who the hell wants to read that? I know what some of you are thinking: “But Tasha, you’re never THAT funny, not like that Dr. Grumpy guy and his blog, who’s more funny-strange rather than funny-haha, and who seems to have every whack job in the continental United States showing up at his office, but nope not like him.” To which I say, bite me. Okay, not really, but it’s not nice to kick a person when they’re down.

I’m just a little tired of the whole shitpile of bad luck. Okay, universe? Enough. I’m done. I am weary. I’d like something good and happy in my life for a change, if you don’t mind. Something other than “Well, I’m not dead yet, so there IS that!” That’s great and all, but it’s not enough.

Addendum: So yesterday I tried calling the IRS myself to straighten this stuff out. Ha, as if. Their computers were down FOR HOURS. The guy that I talked to the 5th time I called, after my 5th hour on hold, did tell me that “the computers should be back up in an hour – I’ve worked here for many years, and they’ve NEVER been down all day.” At which point I laughed, a little manically.

But the 6th time I called, 6th hour on hold, I finally did talk to a nice woman who could look up the info on her computer, tell me that the bank should have gotten the info to unfreeze my accounts, and when told they hadn’t, was willing to send them a fax instructing them to do so. So that at least was something. But I have to ask – THIS is the organization and its decrepit technology that we trust to manage these vast sums of money and, commensurately, people’s lives? Are we sure about that??


D said...

Once again, happily living in Canada. I didn't file my taxes for two years in a row: I knew they owed me about $2500 the first year, and $400 the second so it was like a savings account (obviously no interest, but I would have spent it wildly had I had it). Finally the sent a letter telling me I had to file. If they had only known...
Pretty much if you don't owe anything or if they owe you, they don't give a shit if you file. Pretty sure they'll think twice about asking me to file last year's now ;)

JoJo said...

AARRGGHH!! That blows! So sorry to hear the craziness coming your way. All I can offer is what you've been doing....fight back. And keep writing about it. I still see the funny-haha in your blog even if you don't feel it. And I totally relate to the frustration...been there, done that, hope it doesn't come around again. Hang in there girl!

tribabe said...

We too discovered the tuna can size change! What the heck!?! I can't believe all this crap about your taxes. It seems like they should have notified you prior to freezing your accounts. That is just nuts. I think you need to start stashing money under your mattress.