Thursday mornings, Dave drives the kids to school/preschool/daycare, so I get a little time in the morning to take care of things at home. So I thought it would be a good morning to call the IRS to follow up on my Dad's lost tax rebate check.
Anyone see the problem in this? Calling the IRS on a good morning?
After 40 minutes on hold (I was watching the clock), the lady I talked to said it was actually after 6 weeks that I was supposed to call them back, not 4 weeks as I'd been told. I'd had to wait 35 minutes just to request the trace, and I was incredulous when the guy told me that I had to call them back when they're the ones doing the trace.
But, not so fast -- 6 weeks had gone by. A little more probing -- hmm, seems the trace never went through. WHAT?! Something about a "systemic failure." So, what, I get to sit on hold for 40 minutes in another 6 weeks? No, the trace won't go through, I have to call a different number.
I was so frustrated from the hold time and the runaround that I actually started to yell at her. I knew it wasn't her fault, and said as much, but I also told her that she's the only one I had to push back on. She has to complain to her supervisor that excessive hold times and ridiculous bureaucracy was causing taxpayers to become irrational and making her job unpleasant. She said it wasn't the IRS's fault, write your Congressman. I said no way -- Congress decides tax law, that's another major aggravation. But hold times and lack of information and brick walls -- that's all IRS. (Did you know this is "tax season" and that's adding to the hold times??)
After an hour all told, I was really rattled and couldn't even think about going to work. Why do I let these people get to me? Maybe it's all the other insecurities: the house being torn up, the imminent collapse of the country's financial system, a fire at our jobsite, constant unexpected expenses. Meantime my job continues to be dull and senseless, and it seems crazy that I work barely 20 hours a week, yet my toddler is living a full-time-working-mom life.
Maybe I'm just not satisfied -- again -- with the way I've arranged my life, always feeling so strung out and like I can't do well at anything I do. Didn't we hear this same tired old complaint when I was a full-time mom too?
A new guy at the CDC runs the afternoon activities for the 1-3 graders, and he's been organizing a soccer game every day. And surprise, surprise, he has a most enthusiastic participant! Gabriel looks forward to soccer every day, and insists on wearing socks and sneakers to school every day instead of sandals. The CDC guy tells me Gabriel's even a decent goalie, which tells me he's probably a pretty poor shot. We'd tried Gabriel in soccer a long time ago, and he didn't like the class at all. But he likes the competition and keeping score.
Maybe tomorrow I'll go to the CDC and check out the afternoon soccer game. Then pick up the others, take them home for an early dinner, then back to Gabriel's school for an Ice Cream Social sponsored by the PTA. Serious detox from the morning.