Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

Mostly Wasted Day

Just as I was about to get out of bed, Pumpkin jumped up on it, walked across my stomach, and curled up against me. He clawed at the covers by my shoulder until I got my hand out from under the comforter. He used the hand as a pillow and started purring. I stayed for another half hour or so.

Took my time getting started, the plan was to take light rail to SJ and ask the IRS to fix a mistake on the parental trust's paperwork which said it owed back taxes clear back to 1996.

Two stops after I got on, an elderly Chinese woman boarded, along with a verbose American woman who was trying to tell her that help was on its way. The Chinese woman had a severe black eye and a cut lip. A transit worker on the platform was on his radio, calling for medical help, but between his and the American woman's noises and the fact that the Chinese woman spoke no English, there was no way to let the Chinese woman know to stay on the platform till help arrived. After 5 minutes of this futility, the driver ran out of patience, closed the doors and continued driving. The Chinese woman had shooed off all the "helpful" people, she clearly wanted to just go home in the train.

Several stops later, a sheriff's deputy gets on board, stopping the train again, takes way too long to find the Chinese woman, and starts speaking at her in rapid English, offering to drive her home. She has no ID, just a bus pass, so there is no way he would be able to figure out where home was. He did not use any gestures to help convey the idea - a really bad case of an officer needing communications training. Eventually, a young Chinese woman came back and tried to translate for the officer, but he was all over the place, asking for her birth date (Chinese lady asks him why he needs that, he has no coherent answer). Translator convinces deputy that the old woman is coherent, knows where she lives and just wants to get the eff to her train stop. After a few rounds of this and the driver complaining that he is missing connections, the deputy takes his sorry ass outside and we go on our way, 15 minutes behind schedule.

A slightly inebriated young redneck sitting in front of her asks her what stop she is getting off at, as if he can help, which he can't. She switches seats to one across the aisle which also happens to be closer to the exit. Drunken redneck mistakes this for her wanting to get off at the next stop, and he gets into the doorway to hold the door open for her. She pushes him away, and sends him back to his seat.

She gets off at what may or may not be her stop, the drunk does his Prince Valiant thing again, totally unnecessary because she is out the door faster then he can get to it. As we pull out I see her a few feet down the platform, leaning on the rail, looking across the street away from the train. I'd bet you a dollar that she got on the next train (only a few minutes behind us) and got off at her real stop later.

Most of this could have been avoided if the VTA guy had gotten on his cell phone and called the office for someone who speaks Chinese.

It's a short walk from the convention center stop to the IRS office, which has moved the taxpayer assistance from the main entry up to the 4th floor (they are remodeling) and after a 15 minute wait outside the office, the receptionist/screener heard my tale of woe and gave me a number - 525 - and pointed me to the waiting area which had 1 empty seat up front and about 39 occupied ones. The board showed number 521 was being served in room 3, and 712 was in room 2. Room 1 and 5-8 were not staffed. The man next to me had a bad cold, and no handkerchief. He was very self-conscious about that and after a few minutes of snorting and sniffling he said something to his wife and left the room. Half an hour later he was back with a Starbucks cup. Numbers came up in order, sort of. 15 minutes after 521 came 522 but there were also numbers in the 100s, 200s and 700s, and one in the 900s. Door number 2 was the Spanish speaking agent. People with appointments were called by name to doors 5 and 7, about 15-30 minutes past their appointment times. An hour of this and my number finally came up, door #3.

A woman in her 30's was there, I explained the situation to her, she asked to see my ID, a copy of the notice, the trust, death certificates and the bank statement under the trust's tax ID. Then she told me they didn't handle trusts there, it was out of their scope, they were not trained for it. And she gave me the generic IRS 800 number where she said they had trust experts on hand from 7 am to 10 pm daily.

Sheesh. The screener should have told me that when I first got there.

Back to the light rail station, it was sunny and cold and windy, and the schedule said that at 3 pm on a weekday the next boat to Mountain View was not till 3:29. But surprise surprise, one showed up at 3:05. No adventures this time, but several men got on board with bicycles at various points, ignored the bike racks and blocked the aisles with their bikes.

From MV I drove to Starbucks, had coffee with a friend, caught her up on yesterday's foo, and then went home.

It was dark, so got the telescope out and took a few more moon photos. I'm very disappointed with the scope, it is not much more than a 300mm lens when directly attached to the camera, and the lenses it comes with are too small to photograph through. And the tripod shakes like mad.

Chicken soup for dinner, then phoned the IRS. It only took about 15 key presses and two humans about 15 minutes to fix the records. The second agent knew exactly what I was talking about, asked a minimum of key questions, and told me there are no back taxes owed. I do have to fill out a form 1041 (and a massive Schedule D) come April.

And now there is some disgustingly healthy dessert waiting for me in the kitchen. And a stove which needs about a pint of spilled soup cleaned out from under the burners.

Plans for later tonight:
Hit all the job sites and update my status.
Finish shortening and right-sizing my resume.

Plans for tomorrow:
Depends on the weather.
Tags: photography, taxes

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