bunt sign

Thursday, April 18, 2002

We could waste space (and time) listening to me complain about work, but I don't think we want to do that. Again. Let me just say that the state of California goes out of its way to make things difficult for the poor office manager.

I have no one to help me with the sales tax returns, and so I do it the best I can. The forms don't really fit our kind of business. We don't purchase merchandise for resale, and whenever we do buy materials and supplies, we pay sales tax on them. The only reason we even have a resale certificate is that we do out-of-state work that's exempt from state taxes.

The thing is, I know how much we're supposed to pay in taxes, but I have to back into the number by filling the form with numbers that get me there, even though the state asks different questions from the ones I answer. I have to call our onions "apples," because there's no box on the form that says "onions."

In spite of all the apparent discrepancies, I know I'm paying the right amount. I just have to hope that our business is so pathetically small potatoes (or onions) that the state's attention won't be attracted, an audit ordered, fines levied, and my retirement savings garnished.

The state doesn't set out to make my life difficult. At least I hope it doesn't. I just think it doesn't care. (Now why would I think that?) This job I do is easy for the big corporations that sponsor the government. We really are small potatoes, and the taxes we pay don't add up to enough to buy a fan to clear up some of the acrid air in one of their smoke-filled rooms.

Real companies pay real accountants and buy real software to handle this stuff, while I fumble along in the dark with my abacus and slide rule (neither of which works particularly well in the dark, but neither of which I actually use; I'm just making a point here, okay?).

Oops! I didn't intend to write about a petty bookkeeping problem, but while we're at it, let me say also that I don't like it when people fax me time cards on the very same day they want their paychecks mailed out. The payroll week ends on Saturday and I get time cards Wednesday. And it's not even early on Wednesday, but at just about the time everyone knows I usually leave for the post office. If I have to go later to the post office, I run into all kinds of nasty lunchtime traffic. If it's later yet it might be after school traffic, which is even worse.

All I'm asking is for a little consideration. If Tim can leave the shop to fax me time cards at the last minute on Wednesday morning, why can't he do it Monday morning, or even Tuesday morning?

I've asked him that question, and he always acts as if it would be no problem to get them to me earlier in the week. And then he faxes them mid morning Wednesday, as usual. Is that a common business practice, telling someone you'll do something you have no intention of doing, because it's easier than telling them the truth? (Don't bother answering that.)


The top of the still-bare birch, against a cloudy April sky

So there you go. Obviously, if that's all I have to complain about, my life is peaches and cream. Well, peaches anyway, in heavy syrup.

previousbunt signemailnext

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Losing Battle
"So far, the diet is successful, if you don't count the results."

Two years ago: Jury Duty
"She apparently didn't think ennui and disillusionment were hardships."

Subscribe to the list to be notified of updates.