It's tax season, everyone's favorite time of year! Income taxes must be filed by the 17th of April this year here in the United States. And I still owe some back taxes from an audit on self-employment income I had a few years back that I've been paying off.
It's not a lot of money that I owe and I have done my best to make it right, calling them when I'm unsure of my balance, etc. but the IRS has been less than diligent in helping me keep track of or making it easy to keep on top of my account (ie. in phone calls they rarely ever give me the correct balance or information, they give erroneous advice, they never send me statements or update account information consistently, which should be every time I call or in monthly mailed statements with an envelope and invoice provided to send the next payment).
So here was my 50 minutes of misery, debauchery, and glee with the Internal Revenue Service by phone recently, which included only a few minutes of brief conversation that possibly ruined someone else's day... for a change.
The first 47 minutes of the call are a barrage of pre-recorded phone system wisdoms by an annoying female voice stating, "Please hang on, your call is very important to us. If you hang up now you only increase your wait time. Thank you for you patience."
Of course in between the obvious 'tardisms meant to pacify the insidiously ignorant, to the down right stupid folk who probably can't even figure out how a phone works are easy to shirk off, but when combined with 'the Nutcracker' theme song (which is a very pronounced and dynamic classical piece, violins, piccolos & nose flute cacophony which isn't even fit for elevators, a night at the theater or during the holidays) AND it's bellowing at ear bleeding volumes, no.
I swear I turned down the volume on the phone three separate times to avoid my ear drum blowing out the other side of my head! It's just a little annoying after 47 minutes.
Now I half expected some weak voice to answer the phone at any moment to which I wouldn't hear because I was deafened by a numb-Nutcracker-noisefest, to which I would immediately be hung up on because I was too dulled by the offensive swill they call muzak to respond to the representative in time, just to start all over again.
But noooo, just more of the same, "Please hang on, or not, we don't give a rat's ass you idiot, your call doesn't really matter to us. If you hang up now,
citizen #:74605-619641312-5200-465413-2165465 you only increase your wait time.
Thank you for you patience, when you owe us and we should be more attentive of that fact if we want to get our money from you voluntarily, sucker", of course followed by more ear piercing 'Skullcracker' devil music at uneven volumes getting ever louder by the minute as I am kept on hold...
Finally the line rings through and a voice on the other end straight out of 'Mr. Roger's "Creepy" Neighborhood' answers the phone.
"Good afternoon, this is Mrs. Kinkle, agent #:5555543626626261291...(can't be fookin arsed to recant!) How can I help youuuuu?!"
"Hi, Mrs... Kringle?"
"Yes, Kinkle, K-I-N-K-L-E, how are you today?"
At this point I'm bustin' up lauging inside, partly because the voice on the other end sounds more like a man, maybe a man pretending to be a woman or a woman on hormone treatments.... Possibly a pre-op tranny on hormone treatments?
I don't know, not that it really matters, it just was random and unexpected!
Also the persons' voice on the other end is monotonous but partly faked enough to sound animated.
Not to mention the name, ha! Holy sh*t the name! Kinkle.
"Good thanks, how are you? Kringle, I mean Kankle, oops, ha ha sorry Mrs. Kinkle." (Awkward) "Anyway, I filed my taxes recently and I want my refund to be used towards the remaining amount I owe for a prior tax year. Unlike last year when I was told my estimated tax payment would be used for the same but instead it was mailed back to me which I happily spent on a day of drunk and whore binging [sic]..." (figuring that's something a crooked government employee could relate to)
"I see that sir, yes any refunds due this year will be applied to your principal amounts owed. I just need your name, social security number, what you had for dinner last Tuesday, how many times you have urinated this past year and what your favorite color is." (I give her said information, then some including my shoe size)
"Okay, thank you sir. Now I am wondering, have you been making payments because I am showing your account is in... default?"
"Default, Krinkle? No, that isn't possible because I've made a payment every month since I last filed."
"Well I'm showing that you have made three payments this year sir and that one of them was applied to the wrong year. I'm also showing that one payment was late."
"I see, you do realise that this is February and that there've only been two months in the year thus far. What constitutes a payment applied to a "wrong year"? All my payments by check have been notated with my social security # on them and I assumed that they automatically would be applied to the tax year I owed on, does that make sense?"
"Well you should have noted the years your payments were to be applied to on your checks sir, and I still show you are in default because your last payment was received on February 2nd for the month of January. I'd be happy to re-instate a payment plan for you today at a one-time fee of $43.95"
"Hmmm, well I see that I've made more than three payments on the same tax year and if the mail was delayed for my January payment, then I fail to see how I am at fault and should be penalized for that. I also question this formal agreement or payment plan I am entered under with the IRS. Do you have any documentation with my signature stating my acknowledgment of a payment agreement and the fees associated with that?"
"Did you pay by check for all your installments?"
"Yes I always pay by check, paying my taxes which already accrue interest with a credit card that has a much higher interest rate would be financial suicide."
"What I can suggest is that you get a copy of your bank records showing the payments you have made to the IRS."
"Mmmmkay, I suppose I could take some extra time out of my day to prove my position as far as that is concerned. What then?"
"I'd be happy to look at your records for you, in the meantime I can set you up on a payment plan today for $105.00"
"What? I thought you said it was $43.95 a moment ago? If you are looking at my records on your system, can't you tell me what I've paid up to this point then? I prefer not to set up a "payment plan", especially if I'm not in the wrong and may not be reimbursed for entering into a new arrangement that shouldn't be in error in the first place. But unbeknownst to me, I have been duped into a fictional payment agreement I never signed or committed to but all of a sudden I am being penalized for a payment that is less than a week late? I don't understand."
"Sir, (sounding exasperated) what I'm showing is that you have made three payments and you are currently in default, now I'd be happy to pull your records and have a look at them further but without some proof of your claims that you had an arranged agreement prior to January 1st this year and you were making payments on time, then we have to set up a new agreement!"
"What? Ok, sheesh, fine. Whatever we need to do. Sometimes I swear the IRS must be on crack."
"Sir, I definitely do not like your attitude. I will not have you backtalk me in a professional phone call!"
"O-k..What I said wasn't meant personally. And honestly, I'm sure you deal with calls that are 10 times worse. Besides if you were in my shoes what would you be thinking? Something seems amiss here..."
(At this point I'm thinking; "Oh, well I guess a man pretending to be a woman on the phone working at the IRS can have a bad day when their hormones are raging" Honestly, I have no problem with a person's sexuality or sexual identity, only their attitudes, but such is my luck to encounter someone under special circumstances who is experiencing a bit of stress from more than one angle today)
"Mr. (Insert my last name here), I don't have to stand for this, this is a professional phone call. I am twice your age and I will not have anyone tell me that I am on crack! This is a professional phone call!!!!"
"Well my apologies, I didn't say you were on crack. I'm not quite sure how your or my age is relevant to the conversation and I also don't see this as a professional conversation anymore, you are sounding more and more unprofessional by the minute mostly because you haven't given me a straight answer nor have you looked at my records and directly addressed the questions I asked. This is a personal phone call for me, on my personal time and I have been perfectly civil. Your demeanor is unprofessional, your yelling because I remarked that the organization you work for must be on crack seems a bit reactionary and an excuse to get upset with me."
"Mr. (insert last name here) this is a professional phone call and I will hang up on you if you don't change your attitude right now!"
"Ok Mrs. Kinkel, I'm getting that someone is having a bad day and might have a few control issues, what is it about my tone that would illicit or justify the attitude and tone you are projecting at me?"
"Sir, do you want to speak to another representative today?!"
"Yeah, you know what Mrs. KANKLE KRACKLE FACE?! Actually that would be good, y'know someone who isn't waving their knuckle dragging arms in the air, flopping around in a fit of hysterics with veins popping out on their neanderthal-like brow, speaking to someone who also has less body hair than I do would be much preferred than trying to have an intelligent conversation with YOU. I'd rather be thrown naked into a pit full of rabid badgers. Thanks."
That biiiitch. I realised after the fact that Krinkle rhymes with dick wrinkle!
Ha ha, who has the last laugh now, Kinkle?! WHO I say?!
Okay, moral of the story?
When you put your money where your mouth is... Never assume you will be the one who eats it.
FIRE IN THE HOLE!