IRS Zombies

Bring out your dead!

Tax season is in full swing @ the Library. This means that we’re deep into the annual three months of nightmarish hell that roughly begins in mid January and ends on about April 15th. Yes, tax day is April 15th but you’d be surprised at how many people come in after that date looking for extension forms… Or even last years forms. This year, however we seem to be seeing an even higher percentage of clueless dumbasses than we usually do. It’s almost like these people have never seen a 1040 Form before…

Which brings me to my theory that Bush’s economic stimulus plan, and its promise of free money has prompted people who haven’t paid their taxes in years (or maybe ever) to file this year just to get a refund. Case in point, there was one guy today who inquired as to where we keep the the forms. We directed him to the area, and upon seeing the prodigious stacks of forms and booklets commented, “Do I need all of them?” Yes, you need every last one dumbass, bring your car closer to the building! WTF? I’m certain that this guy has never paid taxes in his life.

Today, we had people asking us everything from, “Is this a 1040A Form?” (No, that’s a Schedule A Form! See, it reads “Schedule A,” not 1040A.), to “Do you have envelopes” to mail the returns back in (NO!!)? to “Does the library have blank tax forms?” … Errr, no we have forms that are already filled in. What’s your name so I can go pull your dumbass file? I’m sure yours is right at the top! About the only thing I didn’t hear today, but I know it’s coming any day now is, “Do you have any stamps?” No, we don’t have any stamps, we’re not an office supply superstore people. We don’t have any envelopes, or stamps, or sell anything whatsoever. If we did, we would have cash on hand, and would probably tempt our clientele to resort to robbery.

What a phenomenal pain in the ass… I’d say that our workload increases about 30% this time of year, and we’re not even allowed to give any tax advice. It’s all dumbass control so that these people don’t aimlessly stagger around the building drooling like zombies.

… Instead of muttering “Brains” though, they would mutter, “Forms!”

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~ by Woeful on February 25, 2008.

23 Responses to “IRS Zombies”

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  3. I’m pretty sure we don’t stock tax forms at our libraries. I think they can normally be picked up at a post office or newsagent.

    the reason I’m not usre is I just stick all my paperwork in an envelope and mail it to my accountant whom I’ve never met in real life. he usually gets me a refund and that’s all I care about

    Tax time? blech!

  4. Here’s an idea, Woe: Put a hold reserve on all library public computers, allowing only the irs.gov web site to be used for the next three months. Your porn surfers would have to go elsewhere and the dumbasses could sit down at the computer and file their taxes electronically.

  5. I had to laugh when I read your title–IRS Zombies… After my regular 8 hr day at the library yesterday, I drove straight over to the IRS where I’ve been working as a part-time seasonal employee, to work ANOTHER 8 hours straight, and got to bed after 2am, only to turn around and get up at 6 for work this morning. I described myself to friends as a zombie this morning, with Ritalin and leaded coffee– breakfast of champions! 😀

    It’s been quite awhile since I’ve worked in a library that had tax forms (or had to deal with telling the public we don’t have them). We had to sign an ethics agreement because we deal with private info, but I think I can safely discuss what I see in general– forms that say very clearly printed in large letters across the page “DO NOT FILE”… people sending in their own copy they should have kept… forms that say “do not detach lower part”–and it is, or, “please detach” and they send the whole thing. I had to laugh when I was working in the mail room one day, cutting envelopes, and there was a large envelope that read, in very large print: DO NOT FOLD! And, it was folded and bent in the worst way. I’ve learned that the envelope cutting machines don’t like the Tyvek envelopes–they EAT them…sending in one sheet in a bubble-wrap envelope sucks…forms sent by Priority or Express mail are supposed to be opened first…(good thing to know). Since this is my first year, I don’t know how many people are just filing this year, like you said, for the stimulus package, but I was surprised (why??!!) at the number of 4-5 year old forms being sent in.

    Ok, I’ll stop there, before I get in trouble. Anyway, it’s an interesting change of pace from the library. Our manager told us during peak time in April, we’re expected to open 5 million pieces of mail. From mostly zombie library patrons no doubt… 😉

  6. Hi DailyTri! Sadly, the people who are zombies are also largely technologically zombified…

  7. […] Read the rest of this great post here […]

  8. Woeful, this post is hilarious. Nursemyra with “farts” and you with “forms”… I’m laughing so hard I don’t have to go to the gym tonight 🙂

  9. Taxes in the public library sound an awful lot like Science Fair in the middle school library. It’s the same questions over and over. The ones that really get you are the supply ones (so similar to forms). “Do you have any boards?” “Are you supplying us with the construction paper and printouts?” Sadly, the questions don’t always come from students. Ugh.

  10. Just minutes ago someone asked me for tax forms from the past 2 years. She was irkingly rude as well.

  11. To be honest, I have never done my taxes. My mom’s accountant does it. While I really want/need to learn how, I am terrified I will screw it up. I am pretty ashamed, but I need someone to walk me through it or give me a “Taxes for Dummies” book. Ah well, I am only 20. Older people really have no excuse. Heh.

  12. Ah, yes! Tax season at the library! I don’t miss it. We had very limited tax forms, but offered to print out any forms we didn’t have from the IRS site. So, you can imagine how much time we spent on IRS.gov looking up obscure IRS documents…trying to find the form AND the instructions…etc. My condolences.

  13. Hi Lisa. Thanks for commenting! My advice is to have someone who knows what s/he’s doing do your taxes. As you get older they don;t get any easier either…

  14. Ugh! Lenurtx, I can’t even imagine working for the IRS… Let along as the second half of a double shift. You must be a real zombie yourself when you’re done. >:P

    Hi lucaskopadt! That middle school gig sounds like a real hoot… Not!

    Thanks for stopping by Hip! You know what they say… Misery loves company. 😉

    Arkham: That is a whole other aspect to the nightmare. People get offended when we tell them that it costs 10 cents to print out a page and then storm away in a huff!

  15. You definitely had me laughing! All I could think was poor thing, he’s reached his very last straw! I do sympathize. I work in a small rural library on the West coast and our population tends to be very, very low tech. So when the IRS doesn’t mail them forms they come to the library. The IRS wants to encourage people to file electronically but that assumes people have a computer, and have used one before. Now if the IRS would just give me more instruction booklets, we’ve been out for three weeks!
    Hmm, I wonder, if all these people are suddenly filing their taxes for the first time, are they going to get the incentive or fines and jail time instead? You did say they weren’t too bright.

  16. This is hilarious, we call them “zombies” at my library too! You should see them gathering at the front doors in the morning and staggering is as soon as they’re unlocked.

  17. Hiya Coastal! After seeing the turnout, I think that it might be the best sting ever.

    Friendlyfried, thanks for visiting!

  18. oh christ. we don’t have tax forms but we have to explain WHY we don’t have tax forms (other branches in our system do) at least 500 times a day. to make it worse, the post office down the street doesn’t have them but they keep telling people that we DO. I am thinking of sitting outside the front door with a bullhorn and repeating over and over “i hope you’re not here for tax forms”…..or “fuck the IRS”…..

  19. I am soooo sick of the IRS Zombies! I am probably even more sick of my boss looking at me & asking, “Are we out of Form XYZ?” Well, I don’t know! It is YOUR job to order the forms! I have enough to do that is my responsibility without having to fulfill yours!

  20. Tis the season….. We get them too:
    “Do you have form 10 w40?”
    “I can’t remember my social security number, can you look it up for me so I can do my taxes?”
    “If I take one of each form my accountant will figure out which one I need, right? Can I take a handful of each one?”
    Gotta love those tax zombies…..

  21. Thanks for commenting Tamstress!

    Hi Excellent: Someone should tell these folks that their accountants have the forms that’s why we pay them… Keep reading!

  22. Oh I HATE tax season! We put the forms outside so people have access 24/7. Two big tables. Lots of boxes. Signs that read the ones we do not get and where to get those. And it’s always the same – they walk right past all this, come up to us “Where are the tax forms?” Then they ask for ones we already said we don’t get – and they don’t believe us and start ripping open the boxes marked 1040 and 1040EZ looking for their 960s and such. *sigh* This year we had a woman who whipped the door open and yelled from the doorway to the desk, “WHERE ARE THE 1099s?!” The branch manager at the time kept asking her to come to the desk – the woman didn’t understand that yelling across a library is a bad thing. Then when she finally did she heard exactly what the sign above the tax forms said – we do NOT stock 1099s, you have to call the IRS for them, then wait 10 business days. “I can’t wait ten business days!” she yelled as she stormed out. Should’ve thought of that nine days ago.

    Oh, and sure enough 90% of the way through MAY a woman comes to me, “Do you have any tax forms?”

    It’s enough to make me want to become a communist.

    Say, you want to turn tax season into hunting season? *evil laughter*

  23. History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.AmbroseBierceAmbrose Bierce

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