My Thoughts

my thoughts on art, and on life.

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Location: California, United States

I'm an artist, recently moved from B.C. Canada to Sonoma County, California. My art revolves mainly around photography/modeling, sculpting, writing, drawing, and making weird, witchy dolls

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Some Catching Up To Do (part one)

Well it's been a while! I've fallen very behind in posting, as well as writing emails. I'm doing very well though - my job at the music store is great (except for today. grrrrrr! I'll tell you all about it.) My apartment is very cosy even though it's raining monsoons outside these days (salmon were actually leaving the river and crossing the road into the woods! Poor things. As though they need this hardship on top of everything else). My little home business is beginning to limp forward after a disappointing beginning (I'll tell you all about that too.) Well maybe I should just end this introduction and get on with the actual post.

First I need to take out my contacts and put on my glasses.....

...which reminds me of something eye related that happened to me.

I have very poor eyesight, I'm pretty much legally blind without my contacts or glasses. I have astigmatism (how do you spell that) so I really shouldn't be wearing contacts, but I feel unattractive if I have to wear my glasses all the time so.... I also have cataracts in both eyes, but they're not very bad yet, and maybe they never will be. Anyway, I really don't need any more eye problems, so I was very upset to hear, when I went to a recent eye checkup while ordering a new supply of contacts, that I had holes in the skin of my retina! The doctor explained that because I have astigmatism, my eyeballs are shaped like eggs, rather than round, and the skin of my retina has to stretch over the fat part, and has now torn. yuck. (believe me I was in mental agony just thinking about it, I had to keep pressing my eyes with my hands as though that would stop the tearing.....arrgghhhh! The whole thing made me sick.)

The only good part was that since retinas are covered by medicare, I was reembursed the money I'd payed at the start of my eye appointment that day!

I was given an appointment to see a specialist who was going to give me lazor treatments, and also to see if there were any other holes (arrgghh!!!). Well guess what?! The specialist found that I don't have any holes in my retina at all! I don't need lazor surgery. I can stop pressing my eyes now. What a relief! Hopefully medicare won't make me pay back the money they reembursed me.

Today I had a horrible day at work. I really love my job, it's part secretarial, part taking customer's money at the till. I love the secretarial part - I have my own desk and computer, and I have a good understanding of what I'm expected to do, so that's all good. The problem is with the other part where I have to work behind the till. Usually it's fine too, but today it was not.

The day went well until I decided to pop into McDonalds next door for a quick bite to eat. Big mistake. When I came back, the man who is in charge of selling pianos had taken over the till. Of course he had to since there were customers, but the trouble is, he has a bad habit of doing things wrong, and then acting as though he did nothing wrong and I'm just an idiot for being frustrated as I try to understand what he did. Anyway, when I got back from McDonalds, there were a couple of customers at the front desk with a gigantic box filled with some instrument stuff they had bought. I squeezed past the box, and the piano man shoved some money in my hand. "Here" he said "You can finish this now that you're here" (wouldn't it be easier if he had just finished the transaction since he started it?! But no - this is what he does - he messes things up, and then when there's an opening he passes the buck and pretends he just did you a big service as he saunters away. You just know he knows he messed up and has now left you with it, but he doesn't want to own up. So he doesn't) Long story short, he had done three other transactions incorrectly as well, while I was away. I saw the paperwork there beside the till where he'd tried to disguise it by mingling it in with the other invoices of the day.

For the next several hours, I tried to make sense of what he'd done. It took me that long because I was constantly interrupted by the ringing phone (it's my job to answer it), and by customers, so I lost track of what I had already done in fixing his mistakes, and I think I did a couple of them twice. Meanwhile, the piano man noticed that I was getting frustrated, and because it's his way, when he knows he's caused someone's frustration, to try to cover up his tracks, he went out of his way to treat me as though I didn't know my job. He would stand over me and say things like "now you have to punch in that key there ... now you get the customer's information and put it here ..." I wanted to shoot him.

Meanwhile he made more mistakes that he passed on to me. He sold a couple of instruments and since I was busy with other work, he filled out the price and taxes himself (bad bad bad, but there is no way to stop this man). He swiped the customer's credit cards and did all that stuff, leaving me with the paperwork to finish. (this would be fine if he wasn't so BAD AT IT) When I went to finish his latest paperwork, I saw that he'd added incorrectly, and so now I had to use my calculator to fix it. I put these new mistakes on top of the earlier mistakes and got up (AGAIN) from my desk so I could help (shut her up and get her out of the store) the woman who was demanding I give her the address of a rival music store while her kids climbed right up onto the counter.

Meanwhile someone's child had seated himself at the grand piano nearst my desk, and was playing LOUDLY and VERY BADLY. Nobody stopped him. I wanted to smack him off the bench. I know that sounds awful but I don't care.

I finally found a few moments to sit at my desk again and try to organise the growing pile of invoices. I was very obviously busy, with one fist gripping an invoice, and the other digging through my hair, and my eyes bulging as I glared at my computer monitor, and the constant interruptions of the phone (which I miraculously answered with a pleasant voice). But of course, the piano man did not recognise any of this. Nope. He had a customer who had tried to buy a piano with a credit card that did not go through, or something, so he expected me to make a phone call for verification. (WHY could he not do it himself?!) When I hesitated, because I'd never done one of these phone calls before and wasn't sure of the procedure, he said "Surely you've learned this by now." I swear, the more frustrated I got with him, the calmer he became!
So anyway, the day ended, and I still had a pile of unfinished work, including his mistakes that were never corrected completely.

Well I'm not going to worry about it.

Here's some good news - I have a client for my homebased business! My first client turned out to be a bigtime dud. That's another story that I will talk about in my next post, since it's kinda longish. My new client has hired me to build her a website, which is very exciting for me. I'm very inspired, though I ran into a major roadblock right away (of course!) I will tell all about it in my next post.

Also I got a letter from the government, saying I owed them nearly $200.00 because my taxes were filled out incorrectly. I'd had an elderly man do it - he does my mom's taxes (scary scary thought). I phoned the government offices to get to the bottom of the mess, and the woman on the other end would not let me get a word in. She barked at me as though I'd tried to rip off the government. She interrupted me every time I tried to speak, and finally when I blurted "Would you please let me speak!" she said "I'm going to put you on hold until you can get control over your temper!" (as though I was a child who needed a time out!)

Anyway, I called the old man who'd wrecked my taxes, and he came over to go over it. I could tell right away he had no clue. The guy is just too old to be doing anyone's taxes anymore. He mumbled as he moved his finger over the pages. He finally said he didn't understand where he could have made a mistake, and that it was all correct and I should just pay the bill. Now I'm no math whiz, and I certainly don't know much about filling out a tax form, but I was able to see that he'd entered twice as much income as I'd actually made. I pointed this out several times, but he wouldn't listen. He put his calculator away, told me a little anecdote about his youth, assured me that he had made no mistakes, and left.

I knew he'd messed up. I couldn't just leave it, so I phoned long distance to my former employers (remember when I worked as a dishwasher?), and asked what my income had been. Sure enough, the old man had entered twice as much. I asked which form should be used in calculating my taxes, they said the T4 slip - the old man had used my ROA plus the T4, adding them together. So, it turns out, I know something about tax forms after all! So I took my incorrectly filled out forms, and all my other paperwork to a professional, (who couldn't believe the mistakes the old man had made). He corrected everything, and it turns out the government owes me almost the exact amount they were saying I owed them! TaDa! So that cheque should be in my mailbox in a month or so. Unfortunately it will just be swallowed up by my visa bill, but still.....


Blogger Debra Young said...

OMG, Marian, you've got my sympathy regarding your incompetent co-worker. People like that make you want to strangle them with your bare hands. And I had a similar problem with a tax guy too, too old to work anymore. I had him do my taxes one year. Luckily I caught the errors and fixed them but I didn't take my taxes back to him again. Good luck in your home business. Glad to hear it's getting off the ground. d:)

10:23 a.m.  

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