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    Taxing Taxing, Part 2

    | CA, USA | Employees, Ignoring/Inattentive, Money, Top

    (I’m a graduate student from New Mexico attending San Diego State University in California. It’s my second year in state when I get a call from the California equivalent of the IRS.)

    Tax Board: “We are calling because you didn’t pay your taxes for the previous year.”

    Me: “For which year?”

    Tax Board: “[Year I first arrived in California].”

    Me: “Yes. I was not a California resident that year.”

    Tax Board: “Yes, but you were living in California.”

    Me: “True, but I was maintaining my New Mexico residency. I paid New Mexico state income taxes for that year. I’m a graduate student and since I could not guarantee that I would be staying past the first year, I was maintaining my New Mexico residency in case I didn’t pass through the first year.”

    Tax Board: “But you were still living in California.”

    Me: “But I was not a California resident. What money is this about?”

    Tax Board: “We have a record of interest on [bank account] of $800.”

    Me: “That account is drawn on a bank in New Mexico.”

    Tax Board: “But you were living in California.”

    Me: “But I was maintaining my New Mexico residency. I specifically did not move my accounts over nor did I register my car nor get a driver’s license in California until this year. My voter registration was for New Mexico. I was not a California resident.”

    Tax Board: “But you were living in California when you earned the money.”

    Me: “But I was maintaining my New Mexico residency. I was not a resident of California.”

    Tax Board: “But if you are living in California when you earn money, you must pay California taxes on it.”

    Me: “That makes no sense. That means anybody who is physically in California whenever any interest is earned means they owe California income tax and that clearly isn’t true.”

    Tax Board: “But as soon as you started living in California, you owed California income tax on any money you earned. You weren’t just visiting. You were living here.”

    Me: “Wait a minute. It seems every government agency here in California has a different idea of ‘residency.’ The DMV seems to think I needed to register my car as soon as I drove over the border from Arizona. The university says I’m not a resident until I’ve lived here a year. And now you’re telling me that I’m a resident as soon as I earned any money.”

    Tax Board: “Yes, you owe California income tax on money you earned while living in California.”

    Me: “You say I owe taxes on $800 of interest income? That’s what, eight dollars of taxes I owe?”

    Tax Board: “That’s right.”

    Me: “I’ll be happy to write you a check for $8 in exchange for a refund of the $10,000 in out-of-state tuition I had to pay.”

    Tax Board: “Excuse me?”

    Me: “If I’m liable for taxes, then I demand the services that those taxes paid for. San Diego State is a state-run institution. It is funded by my tax revenues. I was charged out-of-state tuition. But you, the tax franchise board, are saying that I am a resident of California. Refund me my out-of-state tuition. You can take the eight bucks out of that.”

    Tax Board: “… I think we might be able to overlook this.”

    Taxing Taxing

    What Is French For Bigot?

    | USA | Bigotry, Employees, Language & Words, Top

    (My wife and I are shopping for a gift for her best friend’s baby shower, in an area where French is commonly spoken. She is mixed race, but looks South Asian like her mother. We both have large, visible tattoos and a lot of piercings. My wife approaches one of the employees, who is chatting with another employee in French.)

    Wife: “Excuse me. Where would I find [Brand]?”

    Employee #1: *irritated, in English* “In aisle [number].”

    Wife: “Thank you.”

    (The aisle isn’t very far from where the employees are standing, so we can hear everything they’re saying. I don’t speak French, but my wife’s father is from France and therefore she speaks it fluently. She relays their conversation to me after we leave.)

    Employee #1: *in French, to Employee #2* “Ugh, what’s a whore like her doing in here! They shouldn’t even be allowed to have kids.”

    Employee #2: *in French* “A white man with an [ethnic slur] like her. It’s a disgrace.”

    Employee #1: *in French* “We should charge them double for everything. That’ll teach them.”

    (My wife finds the product she is looking for and takes it up to the counter. Employee #1 starts to ring her up.)

    Employee #1: *in English* “Did you find everything alright?”

    Wife: *in French* “I did, thank you. [Brand] is my favorite. I hope my best friend will get as much use out of this as I got out of mine.”

    Employee #1: *stunned, speechless*

    Wife: *in French* “Now, make sure you get the proper price on that. Oh, and I’ll be calling your manager.”

    (She did call the manager later, and it turned out that that wasn’t the first time the employees had done something like that. They were fired, and my wife was given a coupon for future visits.)

    Didn’t Manage The Situation Too Well

    | USA | Bosses & Owners, Coworkers, Food & Drink, Ignoring/Inattentive, Top

    (I am the shift manager during the day shift. We are well known for our chips and dip, but it is pretty rare knowledge that if you spend more than $10 for take-out the chips and dip are free. My friends and I are having a girls’ night in and decide to get take-out from the restaurant. I stop into the branch I work in on my way home. I approach a coworker who I have seen a few times, but since we don’t work the same shift, I don’t really know him.)

    Coworker: “Hi, honey. What can I get for you?”

    Me: “Hi. I’d like two #3′s and a #1 for take-out, please.”

    Coworker: “Oh, I’m sorry, honey.  I can’t take your take-out order here, but if you go stand over by the podium, I’ll be with you in a moment.”

    (I know that this is only policy if and when we are really busy, which wasn’t the case, but I figure that when he was in training they just told him to always send take-out orders to the podium. So, I don’t say anything and head over there. After waiting about five minutes, he finally comes by.)

    Coworker: “Gee, I’m sorry about the wait, missy. What was your order again?”

    Me: *getting a bit annoyed* “No worries. I would like two #3s and a #1, for take-out, please.”

    Coworker: “Alrighty, two #3s and a #1 coming right up. It should be ready in about 10-15.”

    (After about ten minutes of standing around, I decide to go sit at the bar while I wait, since it’s not very crowded. From the bar I can see the kitchen door and the podium.)

    Coworker: *finally comes out of the kitchen after about another 10 minutes, carrying a bag of what I hoped was my food* “Oh, there you are, sweetie. I’ve been looking all over for you these past ten minutes. Here’s your order.” *winking* “I even threw in a bag of chips and dip, on me, for all the trouble.”

    (He hands me the bill, which comes to $25, and I realize that he is trying to scam a large tip from me. I pay by credit card, give him a $0.05 tip, and write him a little note.)

    My Note: “Look up my name on the schedule.”

    (Two days later he is moved to the day shift and, after recognizing me, pales when he sees me in manager’s blue! He didn’t last too long.)

    Party Of Five

    | UK | Awesome Workers, Employees, Food & Drink, Top

    (I am 11 years old and ‘shopping’ (i.e. looking round) with four friends. It’s a very hot day so we decide to pool our money and get a milkshake to share.)

    Me: “Can we have a vanilla milkshake please? And, um, five straws?”

    Barista: “Okay! ”

    (The barista makes our milkshake… then another one… and another… until there are five. My friends and I fidget nervously, thinking she misheard us.)

    Me: “Umm… actually we asked for—”

    Barista: *interrupts* “That’s [price for one milkshake], please!”

    Me: “I- um- oh! Okay! Thank you so much!”

    Barista: “You’re welcome! That’s my good deed for the day!”

    (It was only a small thing but I’ll never forget the day we got five milkshakes for the price of one!)

    Pink Eye Or The Pink Slip

    , | USA | Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Health & Body, Top

    (I have recently come down with pink eye, which is very contagious. Since I work around food and people all day, I decide it’s best to call into work. The lunch manager tells me I’m not allowed to call in or she’ll have me fired, so I decide to wear an eye patch to work instead. About ten minutes after I clock in, the morning manager notices me.)

    Morning Manager: “[My Name], what’s wrong with your eye?”

    Me: “Oh, I have pink eye.”

    (The manager and any nearby employees leap back from me like I have the plague.)

    Morning Manager: “Why didn’t you call in? That’s contagious! You’re not allowed to work in that condition!”

    Me: “But [Lunch Manager] said she’d have me fired if I didn’t show up.”

    Morning Manager: “No. Don’t touch anything and get your things. I will clock you out myself. Go home, get some rest, and don’t you dare step back into this store until you have recovered. I will deal with [Lunch Manager].”

    (When I eventually got back to work I was not in trouble. But as punishment for making me come in, the lunch manager was forced to clean and sanitize everything I had touched that morning. At least she never threatened to fire me for calling in sick again!)

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