Wednesday, January 25, 2012

1099 = The Bane of My Existence

I have to get the 1099s out the door by the 31st of January. I started this project way later than I should have. And discovered today that the project will take 3 days longer than I have. No, we can't call a temp to help. I will have to put in some extra long hours and suck it up because I thought I had a file and it turns out that the file is corrupted and is 2 days worth of heavy duty work to recreate. I am less than happy.

So, tomorrow I will get done what I can get done. Friday I have a class all day (Ironically, the class is on Project Management, which I apparently needed to take a couple of Fridays ago to manage the project that is now the monkey on my back!).

I do not like "year end" stuff. And I should have known better about the 1099 project. I should have known to start it weeks ago. But I had other things that were a priority then.

Best get to bed so I can tackle the project tomorrow with a (relatively) clear head.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Money to Burn

I am not a religious person. I am vaguely spiritual. This pretty much never comes up in the workplace but when I work from home I tend to do so in the glow of a candle. Oh, I have electricity, but I tend to light the candle when I work from home and burn a stick of incense and they are both "Money Drawing" candles which I stop and think about/meditate on now and then as I work both because there are a number of people on my mental list that I pray for and the candle is a really visual reminder for me to do that and the other is to stop and analyze if what I am doing is something that has the potential to bring in some money.

This process doesn't replace the need to have a "day job" where I work for someone else, but all of the work I do at home that is actually "work" (as opposed to time spent on the internet for leisure, housework, etc.) is something I hope I can eventually do to replace the necessity of working for someone else.

I am going to try to get to bed early tonight. I have had a series of late nights lately and have another planned for tomorrow and don't want to be too tired to enjoy it.

Also, when I was going out tonight, a young man (preteen) asked if he could carry my trash out for a dollar. I didn't have a dollar but I had a $5 bill and I have been doing some cleaning so gave him a couple of heavy bags to carry. And he did the job, got his money and seemed happy. Sortve nice to see a young person with some ambition. And I realize that saying that makes me sound about 100 years old.

So, I guess I do have a bit of faith, burning money candles and all. If nothing else, they assist me in remembering all of the people that I say a little prayer for.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Order your Chaos

I've always been a very organized person at the office. This penchant for "a place for everything and everything in its place" falls apart at home, though. I TRY to keep things neat, organized and under control at home but it always ends up falling apart and I find myself scrambling to find things, keep things in order and have actual work surfaces that are not piled high with "stuff".

My current desk at the office is far less than optimal. I often have multiple projects at any given time and I have things stashed here and there because there just is not enough room on my desk to keep everything "in progress" out and not get into a stack on a stack situation. I have to have room to use my computer and my adding machine (don't judge me, I know there is a calculator on the computer but it doesn't run a tape and sometimes I need to attach the tape to show Bosslady my reason for coming up with a number that I entered somewhere).

I am trying to keep my home office from falling into disarray, as well. I have multiple projects and need more "real estate" but it just isn't practical in the space I have available. Sometimes I end up cleaning things off the desk that I need and then can't find them when I really need them. Case in point, this morning I needed to pay the utility bill. It is one of three bills I pay with a check every month (all of them related to my apartment because they refuse to get with the program and get online!) and the checkbook was not in its place. Fortunately, I did recall a conversation with myself when I moved it which helped me to be able to find it quite quickly, but it would have been nice if I had just put it back where it was supposed to be. Sometimes I am my own worst enemy.

I am working on a big project. I am hoping that the end result is that I am MUCH more organized. Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Same Shit, Different Year

Early last February, I contacted a company that my company buys a product from regarding some bills that we had been charged sales tax on and we are tax exempt so should not have been charged tax.

In April, I was FINALLY contacted by Person A at Very Big Corporate Entity (VBCE) who said "just short-pay the next invoice the amount of the taxes that you should not have been charged".

In May, we got an invoice and I short-paid that invoice per the instructions of Person A.

In June, I got an email from Person B at VBCE saying "Hey! You are past due! You did not pay your invoice in full!" I responded that Person A had instructed me to do so.

In August, I got a fax from Person C at VBCE saying "I'm in the collections division and you are way past due and now you have 2 more invoices.. PAY UP DEADBEATS" to which I responded that Person A at VBCE had told me to do so and that I had informed Person B of that in June. I got a response that indicated that both Person A and Person B no longer worked for VBCE and why was I short-paying invoices? I explained that we were tax exempt. VBCE asked for a copy of our Tax Exempt Certificate, which I faxed.

In September, I got a fax requesting our Tax Exempt Certificate from Person D. 2 days later I go the same request, via email, from Person E. I faxed and emailed copies of the Tax Exempt Certificate to both parties.

In October, I got a harshly worded SECOND REQUEST letter from Person D stating that they still did not have our Tax Exempt Certificate on file. Now, I want to note here that VBCE is about 1500 miles from my office, so I cannot just drive over there. I re-send the Tax Exempt Certificate to Person D. A week later I get yet another invoice where we are being charged sales tax. I contact Person D only to be told that they no longer work for VBCE. I contact Person E and find out it is his last day with VBCE and he can't really help me, but he gives me the contact email for Person F who is taking over his files. I email Person F about the new invoice and that we are not supposed to be charged sales tax and get a request for a copy of our Tax Exempt Certificate, which I sent to Person F. Person F responds that she will get back to me. A week goes by and I've heard nothing from Person F. Then I get an email (at 7AM) requesting our Tax Exempt Certificate. I respond, with Certificate attached at 8:30AM that very same day and get an autoresponse that this is Person F's last day with the company.

At this point I admit I sortve snapped. I fired off an email asking why this was taking months to resolve and I'd sent multiple copies of our Tax Exempt Certificate and had corresponded with now SEVEN different people and pleaded with Person F to fix things. Person F did respond saying she couldn't fix it, I needed to contact Person G.

I contacted Person G who... wait for it... REQUESTED A COPY OF OUR TAX EXEMPT CERTIFICATE. I enumerated to her each person that I had sent it to already but also attached it to the email I sent. (There are apparently no working phones at VBCE because I have BEGGED for a phone number to be able to speak with someone and every single request has been summarily IGNORED).

Person G contacts me at the beginning of November and says that she got a memo from Person H saying that they can't enter our tax exempt status into their system because the Tax Exempt Certificate says "Small Corp, Inc" and they have us in their system as "Small Corp" and since it isn't an exact match, the certificate is meaningless to them.

And so, I get a valid certificate which has "Small Corp" on it and send it off to Person G and Person H. That was 22 November 2011.

This morning I got an email from Person I at VBCE. Person I states that they have the email thread from Person G (who is no longer with VBCE) and did I ever send Person H the Tax Exempt Certificate and, by the way, we have an outstanding balance that needs to be resolved immediately. I refer Person I to the very email thread that she sent to me, specifically the 22 November correspondence in which I state "I have sent a copy of the Tax Exempt Certificate from "Small Corp" to yourself (Person G) and to (Person H)".

I then send Person I a copy of the Tax Exempt Certifcate and request that she acknowledge receipt of the Certificate. Her response? "I will. Send. A email to Person H. And ask whether this was received." (Punctuated in the quotes as it was in her email).

I respond that I would like the receipt of the certificate acknowledged. Response (3 hours later?) "I told you I'd asked Person H. She's out of the office until next week. Harrassing me will not get this resolved overnight. You are very unprofessional and it's YOUR fault that it's taken so long for this to be resolved".

Oh no she didn't....

Yes, she did. She has blamed a failure of THEIR staff on me. I have complied with every single request that they've made of me and somehow this is MY fault? It's my fault that 7 people before her who were sent the certificate by fax, email and US Postal Mail have not received it? It was my fault that it took them from February to November to see that "Oh, this corporation name does not match what we have in our system" even though they've been sending us invoices and we've been paying them? UNBELIEVABLE.

I responded that I have no hope of this being resolved overnight or, quite frankly of it being resolved at all given the history of this whole matter. I told her I did not need a response from her, I will deal with Person H when they come back to the office next week.

Meanwhile, I will begin searching for another source of the product we get from VBCE. Because a year to handle a simple issue is 11 and a half months too long.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year, New Resolve

So, I didn't update much in 2011. I attribute this to having worked all year (yay!) and therefore I did not have large blocks of time in which to blog nor did I have too many catastrophes to blog about. This is both good and bad. Good that I didn't have catastrophes, bad that it caused me to neglect posting to my blog.

So, my resolution for this year is to get a post in at least once a week. I also want to do more connecting with other bloggers and get to reading more blogs. To that end, I will try to visit the blog of anyone who comments on my blog as, really, that is the polite thing to do and I need to be much better about doing it.

I hope that everyone had a Happy and Safe New Year celebration. Are we all ready to get to work now? While I would like a few more days off, I am ready to get back to work, too.

Wish me luck on avoiding career catastrophes for another year! See you soon!