15 Apr Late Night Ruminations: Tax Night
I had to get my tax returns done early this year, back in February. Farc completed my return for me. And as always, he sent them to me via email in a password-protected PDF file.
For three months, my taxes have been done. Waiting. Sitting in my Inbox.
So why, why, WHY, on April 15th at 11:00PM, was I speeding down Route 280, trying to make it to the post office by midnight?
I have no answers. I’m just a loser.
I even posted about tax-time today. Giving my fellow and future freelancers some tips on dealing with Uncle Sam. Knowing full well my own return hadn’t been mailed off. What was I thinking?
Well, I was thinking…how long can it take to print up a return, throw it in an envelope and toss it in a mailbox?
Don’t ask me where the time went. But by the time I sat down to even print the return, it was nine o’clock. And then, I opened the document and realized that the return was 104 pages. Gulp.
And then I realized I had no paper.
I called my mom, who lives a half-mile away. I got some paper from her. Dashed back home to print.
It took an hour to print. An hour! And I had it set to the fastest setting.
And then I realized I had no envelopes. They’re all at my office.
I called my mom, I went back to her house to get an envelope. She didn’t have the size I needed.
I was off to the post office with a tax return in my hand. Looking all kinds of insane.
Only office open was Federal Square, downtown Newark, right near The Prudential Center.
I jumped on 280 and sped down, Twittering all the way. (I mean, you know, I pulled over and Parked, turning off the car before Twittering. You know I wouldn’t break any laws about Twittering and driving. No way!)
I got right to the building and they had some funky detours up with the orange cones and I wanted to cry. Had to take a crazy back road route to get back on track.
Finally, got to the spot. Everyone was double-parked. People were sprinting into the post office. Sprinting!
I felt like such a loser. Who waits until the last minute? Who!?
I went inside. And I have to say, they had things running super smooth. There were cops there, keeping an eye on things. And the Newark Postal Service was not playing. There were gray-haired ladies in skirt-suits directing traffic. They had people lined up to instruct you on where to go. Just dropping off and need a postmark? Stand here. Just need stamps. Stand there. Need a live person, walk over there.
I needed a live person, since my dumb butt had no envelope.
Line only had about five people in it. And it was moving quickly.
I got to the counter at 11:25 PM.
“We don’t have envelopes,” the woman said. “Only regular white business envelopes. That return won’t fit.”
I got out of line to get a Priority Mail envelope. The line immediately got dumb long. I got the envelope but then couldn’t find the sticker to fill out. What to do? Go back to counter and ask? I looked at the people on line. Every one looked angsty and/or angry. I got back on line.
“You didn’t have to wait on line. You coulda just wrote directly on the envelope. Just write on the package and bring it back to me. Don’t wait on line.”
Ugh. I’ve been in this situation before. And you always feel like a heel when you try to get back to the counter and the next person in line is giving you an evil look. You want to tell the person, hey, she told me to just come back up.
I filled out the envelope. And then sidled back over to the window. Guy behind me looked pissed. I was going to say something. But I didn’t. By now, it’s 11:35.
And by 11:40, I was out of there.
All in all, easy as pie.
But can someone please, please tell me how I ended up downtown in the middle of the night when I had my return completed in February.
UPDATE: I left half of the return on my dining room table. I was collating as pages came out of the printer. Somehow managed to leave about 30 pages as I was gathering all pages when I was done printing. I can’t. I just can’t. I AM A LOSER.