Soul Doubt: Taxes, Faxes, and Waxes

Monday, January 14, 2008

Taxes, Faxes, and Waxes

I got a packet from the IRS in the mail Friday. You know, the standard "Forms and Instructions" crap. I've been eyeballing it off and on all weekend, and although it's just an innocent sheaf of cheaply inked newsprint, it still has an ominous aura to it, in my opinion.
This may be due to the fact that I'll be filing quite differently than ever before. First of all, I now have a dependent! Two, actually, as my husband's daughter from his previous marriage lived with us for most of last year. Second, after lengthy discussion with the hubby, we decided the pro's outweighed the con's and we'd file jointly- also a first for me. And thirdly, but certainly not leastly- actually the most terrifying I think, I've been employed as an independent contractor these last six months since my release, so will be swimming in unfamiliar waters when it comes to filing; listing all those deductions and what-not. I've heard sharks and other dangerous creatures swim in those seas, just waiting to devour the ignorant souls such as I. And who the hell can afford an accountant? Certainly not I. How I long for the days of the good ol' online short form direct deposit, rubbing my hands together gleefully as I waited for my almost guaranteed return. Now, who the heck knows what's gonna happen. Will I owe? Will I do it wrong and get audited? Little old me? My man's the one who makes the big bucks, even after child support, so it just doesn't seem fair that my piddly little income has to be so darn complicated to compute. Yeah, I've tried to save some receipts of stuff I had to buy for work. Yeah, I've done my best to keep track of mileage. But, I just have this nagging voice sneering at me, one of the more unsavory characters from the committee who live in my head:
"You fool, Kendra. You're gonna get screwed, and you know it. Who do you think you're kidding? You don't know how to work a real job- the only thing you were ever good at was selling dope! And Uncle Sam will never forget how bad you took advantage of him when you were "serving your country". He'll get back at you one of these days, and don't be surprised if this is how he gets ya."
I hate that guy! Wish I could get him to shut up, but you know how that goes. They pick the middle of the night to whisper their negative nonsense, when you're at your weakest and all you want to do is sleep but can't 'cause they nag you to death, reminding you of all the embarrassing moments you've had since second grade and all the woulda coulda shoulda's in your life. I wish one of those fluffy sheep I try counting would crush their heads with a feces-encrusted hoof and silence them for good!

Normally I'm blessed with the ability to do my job from my own computer in my own office, in my own home. This is wonderful- if it were any different, my son would either be in some daycare (which I swore to myself I would never do unless absolutely positively necessary), or I would get very little done chasing him around at my boss's place- a non kid-friendly house, unfortunately. Here, though, Jameson's content to play with his myriad toys scattered strategically throughout our home, so no matter where his chubby little arms and legs crawl him to, he's bound to be sidetracked somewhere along the way, preferably before he reaches my keyboard to reach up and bang out things I really didn't want in whatever I'm happening to work on. He also can't seem to resist the cords- the ipod cord, the power strip ("AAHH!" I always shriek when I see him going for that one) or especially, his favorite: the mouse cord, which when he sees it wiggling while I mouse around, he assumes that must mean it's a game where he must tug on it in return, preferably with enough force to rip it out of my hand and onto the floor, where he then must immediately inspect it with his mouth..... Ah, the joys of motherhood.
But I digress. This little section was supposed to be about my ongoing war with FedEx, and their incredible assertion that 48 of the little boxes we mail every week, and which our company has been doing so for years, this time all happened to weigh 24 pounds apiece. Exactly. These packages were in 9x6x6 boxes, which is about shoebox sizes, except a bit shorter in length. Normally, once packed and labeled, they weigh between just under 2 lbs. or just over 5 at the most, depending on what's in them. So this claim of 24 pounds was freaking preposterous! What the hell did they think was in 'em- plutonium? Obviously someone screwed up somewhere, hopefully on accident- I'd hate to think a company as large and well-established as FedEx would stoop to overcharging by putting B.S. weights on mass mailing companies such as ours and just hoping no one would notice. Well, my boss is a stickler for details, and she certainly did notice. Her being the busy lady she is, she assigned moi the job of straightening the whole mess out. So I put together a graph of tracking numbers, dates, their incorrect estimate next to my exact weight (yes, I actually reproduced every single shipment by looking up what was sent in our records, and weighed it to get an exact number, down to the ounces and grams, even), and package dimensions. You shoulda seen me- I despise Excel, so slogging my way through this was quite the process, peppered with obscenities and shouts of frustration. But I got 'er done, and whipped out a subtly nasty cover letter to go with it- the easy part, for me.
After I was done- I had been given a week to do this, because of all the research involved, but my Virgoan tenacity and perfectionism caused me to finish it over the course of the weekend- I submitted it to my boss for approval before faxing it off, and she was absolutely floored. After showering me with compliments (me brushing it off like it was nothing but knowing inside I was nowhere near as skilled as she was thinking), she offered me a promotion on the spot. I'm not sure if any significant raise will be included, but doing the bookkeeping and invoicing will be a damn sight better than all those cursed trips to the post office. And, after the training- which I'll have to do at her house, I'll still be able to work out of my own home office, thank God.
Meanwhile, however, little Jameson is getting chased around my boss's office by me or her while we attempt to train me on the Namaste Food accounts receivable and payable. Don't know which one is more challenging, learning all these new data entry and filing methods, or trying to concentrate while corralling my child, too.

Ever been struck by the urge to purge one's house of all the accumulated crap and detritus of day to day life which does nothing but create clutter? Well, I got bit by the spring-cleaning bug (yeah, I know it's the dead of winter) and have been boxing up stuff for St. Vinnie's, tossing out bags upon bags of garbage, going though the overstuffed closets of my son (how could he possibly have more clothes than Tonydaddy and I put together?!) and recklessly ripping out the stuff he doesn't wear or has outgrown and bagging it up for the exchange store (I love those places- kids outgrow their stuff so quick; might as well just swap 'em out. [the clothes, not the kid] My faves are Kidlets in Post Falls next to the Post Falls Press, and Switcheroo in the Spokane Valley). I've rearranged both bathrooms. The office, too- difficult since I have baking mixes which I mail stacked every-dang-where, floor to ceiling, and I'm trying to organize it to the point where I can fit a futon in here for when Tony's girls stay the night, so they won't have to sleep on the couch. The operative word here, however, is "try"- not sure if I'll be able to downsize that much, no matter how creative I get. I did get rid of Fifi the lime-green IMac, which I was babysitting for a friend as collateral for loaning him some much needed money. Since she was just taking up space, unused and unloved (I'm entirely Mac illiterate), I blew off the loan and just gave her back to him.
I've been washing windows, waxing floors, cleaning the bathrooms almost daily now that Jameson likes to stick his hands in the toilet, or throw whatever's handy in there if so inclined. He also loves bathtime so much he'll crawl into the master bathroom, where the taps are facing up vertically, rather than horizontally in toward the tub; he can reach them, so he'll turn them on, wait and see if someone will come in when we hear the water running, and if we do, he'll break into a toothy grin, banging his pudgy little hands excitedly against the wall of the huge oval tub, like, "C'mon, Mommy, let's take a bath! Can we, can we, huh huh huh?" Now, if we happen to not hear the water running, he'll get impatient and look for things to throw into the tub. Like a spare roll of toilet paper (I no longer keep those behind the toilet, that's for sure) or the toilet brush. Yep, it's fun fun fun.
Anyway. Hope this nesting urge doesn't mean I'm preggers again! Nah, actually not possible. But something weird's definitely happening- I'm usually not THAT much of a Suzie Homemaker...


  1. Nice! Congrats on the promotion (here's praying it comes with a raise, too!) It's a nice feeling to have your hard work appreciated; it sounds like all your tedious wading through paperwork really paid off. :D

    Sorry about the taxes thing. We are anxiously waiting for Paul's W-2 to arrive in the mail so we can do the efile thing and get our return. Unfortunately, we won't get to keep any of it for fun stuff--we have to set it aside for student loan payments this year (not that it will make much of a dent in the horrendous amount we owe!) Still, it will be nice to have it.

  2. Kendra--

    Thanks for visiting my blog today. I responded in the comments section regarding the One Year Bible, because I just got one as well, and am LOVING IT!!!

    Look forward to reading more of your blog as well.


Thanks for taking the time to read what I ramble about- I consider it an honor to get feedback from you guys, so please tell me what you think, feel, if you have a similar story... whatever you'd like! Thanks again and God bless.