Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Kindness of Strangers by Nannette Croce

It’s sunny and 65 degrees. The next few days promise chilly rain. I want to work in my yard, take the dog for a walk, but, instead, I’ve spent the better (or should I say worst) part of this glorious day wrangling with the IRS.

My husband has a small business for which I do the bookkeeping. To make a painfully long story short, the IRS wants to penalize me for paying my withholding late, when, in reality, I’m paying early. It’s a system glitch. In the past I’ve made a call. The person on the other end adds a note to the system. I don’t pay the penalty. All is well. But today I ran up against a brick wall. The fellow I talked to refused to even consider my explanation and insisted I must have missed a payment somewhere.

I’m usually the essence of patience with people who deal with the public. I once paid medical claims. I know what a bad day feels like. But this fellow frustrated me nearly to tears until I ended up agreeing to pay both the penalty and an extra tax payment just to end the ordeal.

After several deep breaths and some lunch, I decided to take another crack at it. This time I got a lovely woman who went through my payments month by month for three years and cleaned up the problem once and for all.

Too late for yard work or even to walk the pooch, I settled for opening a window and reading a magazine. That poor woman had another hour ahead of her answering angry taxpayers and cleaning up someone else’s mistakes.

She kept her good humor though I bet few people take the time to thank her.

I’m glad I did.


Kathryn Magendie said...

I was amazed when I got a Dell customer service person on the first ring with no waiting AND she spent over an hour with me on the phone to try to correct my problem...! WOW!

Our sunshine went away and rain is here...cold again and then warm again soon....spring in the mountains!

Barbara Quinn said...

It's really frustrating when you hit ignorant roadblocks and annoying to have to call in again to find a competent person to deal with the issue. But you're smart enough to know to call back. The aged and infirm get taken advantage of in these unconsionable situations. I'm glad you perservered.Dealing with my 87 year old Mom's insurance issues is often frustrating since the game of delay payment, deny payment does get rather obvious and there are only so many hours in a day to devote to these issues. Thank heavens for your stamina and brains!

Angie Ledbetter said...

I am always thankful to nice, kind, reasonable public servants. Glad you finally got one on the line!

Listen to our Podcasts