October 19th, 2011

sprinkler

(no subject)

i am aware of the undesirable effects smoking cigarettes has on both my health and wallet, and though i respect your opinion and appreciate your apparent concern for my well-being, i'd prefer you didn't lecture "stupid" me about my "nasty ass habit" whenever i stop in for a pack of cigarettes. it seems it's not just that you're against the habit of smoking- you're just against ME smoking, since i've witnessed you hand out packs of smokes to customers ahead of me in line and grumble little more than the total at them, only to start running your big mouth as soon as it's my turn.

your's is the only twenty-four hour gas station directly on my way home, and i've always been greatly impressed by your friendly and helpful co-workers, but solely because of your continued rude behavior, i've started going entirely out of my way to obtain my nicotine fix just to avoid dealing with you.

Minor Tax Time suck

I was reminded of this experience by someone else's post about H&R Block.

A few years ago i decided to bite the bullet and get my tax done by a professional - there was an H&R block nearby so i made an appointment with them. I'd decided to pay a professional this year as the previous year i'd received a bill from the tax department when a long forgotten student loan type thing (Austudy Supplement loan for any Aussies out there who were students in the late 90's) reappeared unexpectedly and the $400 bill was extremely unwelcome. I was keen to avoid a repeat of the previous year's bill so I figured speak to a pro who can squeeze every deductiion possible to help me at least break even.

I rocked up to the H&R Block office with all my paperwork and sat down with the lady who was handling my tax return. I handed over my group certificate and other paperwork (basically a group certificate is a record from my employer saying how much I'd earned and how much tax I'd paid for the year). She looked at it and tapped away on her keyboard for three or four minutes. She turned to me and said okay, you owe $512.... crickets..... she just stared at me like that's it, pay my bill now.
Me - I have deductions you know?
Tax lady - OH really?! What deductions?
Me - Umm my Union Fees?
Tax Lady - Oh where are they?
Me - *points to my group certificate sitting right in front of her*
Tax Lady - Oh that's tax deductable! *taps away* Okay you now owe $400
Me - umm I have other deductions
Tax Lady - Oh what are they?
Me - points to the numerous other pieces of paper I've handed to her.
Tax Lady - *taps away on keyboard*

To cut it shortish - I managed to cobble together enough deductions to get a $70 refund which is what I wanted from the start - however I had to pay H&R Block $90 for the privilege of stepping the tax lady through every single deduction, without her suggesting a single one. I even had to point out the sneaky $200 or so you can claim for work expenses that you don't need receipts for - what good is a tax professional if they can't point out the loopholes that might apply to you, isn't that why rich folks employ accountants? I could have done the whole thing myself online for free for all the help she was. Needless to say I've never been back.
Lego Castle Making

(no subject)

So. I, among a million billion people pre-ordered the iPhone 4S. I haven't ever pre-ordered a phone, but wanted to make sure I had this one to upgrade from my old 3GS. I pre-ordered, and was EXCITED.

Except Monday at 4:30pm when I got an "update" email telling me I'd get my phone in 21-28 days. WHAT. Why pre-order when I was waiting that late? Yeah yeah, very popular was the iPhone but that's why I pre-ordered.

I snorked around for better options & found out I could reserve my specific model at an Apple store to pick up Tuesday morning. HECK YES, so I did so and called AT&T to cancel my order. The nice lady I talked to told me that I couldn't cancel because their point-of-sales company AT&T Premier was showing my phone was shipped but NO tracking number - which meant it actually could not be shipped. I'd have to call AT&T Premier the next day since they were closed.

I woke up early the next day so I could get this mess sorted out to get my phone. I called AT&T Premier and was told this: "OH! Good news! Your order has been processed and ready to be put on the truck!" I thought to myself, yay and asked how long THAT would take. OH, getting it from processed to the truck could take 1-2 weeks. What? I then asked to cancel my order. She said she couldn't do that - the only way to do that was to wait until I had a tracking number (in 1-2 weeks) , call Fed-Ex and tell them I was rejecting the order. And added that AT&T said they couldn't cancel iPhone pre-orders. I did ask - aren't I talking to AT&T Premier?? She said yes but they didn't dictate what AT&T told them to do...aagh. You're AT&T, but not really, and my order is processed and ready to ship but not really as well?

In frustration, I called AT&T customer service and finally demanded, insistently and firmly, the could in fact cancel my order since it wasn't even close to shipped. The agent scoffed at my telling him I could get a phone instore that day, but merrily cancellation my order in 10 minutes. At least HE was nice & helpful about it.

Needless to say I got my new iPhone in the Apple store 45 minutes after the end of that phone call. No THANK YOU AT&T.
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