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    Now I Know My EBC’s

    , | FL, USA | Awesome Workers, Employees, Language & Words

    (I’m waiting in the Social Security Administration office to obtain a replacement Social Security card. As they call out each waiting person, this happens.)

    Speaker: “Would B43 report to window ‘E’ as in Apple?”

    (I’m confused, but figure she actually said ‘A’ and it was just an accent thing. Some other patrons mutter about it, but I brush it off. Several minutes later…)

    Speaker: “Would C88 report to window ‘D’ as in dog? See? I’m smart!”

    (Everyone in the waiting area burst out laughing. I guess she really did flub up with the “Apple” one and decided to run with it.)

    The Unreality Of The Law

    | Scotland, UK | Coworkers, Language & Words

    (Our department deals mainly with qualified lawyers, but we do get occasional calls from ordinary members of the public.)

    Coworker: “It’s a bit complicated to explain. Are you a lawyer or a real person?”

    Email Fail, Part 2

    , | UK | Coworkers, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I work in a back-office job, where one of my previous tasks was approving staff applications for services. Because we’re office-based, staff in other departments rarely meet us. One day, shortly after we move over to a self-service application system to free us up for other tasks, I receive the following email:)

    Coworker: “Approve the application.”

    (Naturally I’m put out that she didn’t even bother to put a greeting line in, but I grit my teeth and reply.)

    Me: “Hi, [Coworker], I’ll need a bit more information before I can help. Could you tell me which service the application is for and if there’s a problem with the automatic approval?”

    Her Email: “Dear [My Name], I didn’t realise I was emailing a real person! I thought it was some sort of clever computer system that I just needed to send a quick yes or no to – so sorry for the very short and not at all detailed message!”

    (She then gave me all the details I needed. Although I couldn’t stay offended after that, I do wonder what she was thinking when she typed my email address in; it has my name in it!)

    Email Fail

    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

    He Doesn’t Know What To Down (Under)

    | Fitchburg, MA, USA | Bigotry, Bizarre/Silly, Employees, Theme Of The Month

    (I’m on the phone signing up for unemployment.)

    Worker: “What is your race?”

    Me: “White, Caucasian.”

    Worker: “Are you a US citizen?”

    Me: “No.”

    Worker: “Wait, what? Yes you are!”

    Me: “Um, no. No I’m not a citizen.”

    Worker: “But you said ‘white’ before.”

    Me: “Yeah, I’m definitely white. I’m Australian with British parents.”

    Worker: “You sure?”

    Me: “Pretty sure yeah. You should see me dance!”

    Worker: *laughing* “Well, I gotta put something for race, because the way they have it, ‘white’ is for US citizen.”

    Me: “That’s… weird.”

    (This is probably my 5th time signing up for unemployment, and I’ve never heard of this. I have no idea what she put for my race. But I’m kind of dying to know now!)

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