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A Paragon of Officialness

Whenever I get something with an official seal on it in the mail, my first thought is always, Oh God I'm being audited. Not that an auditor would be able to find anything hinky in my books. Just that it would take up so much of my time, it would be hideous.

So the latest, Oh God what's that thing with a seal on it? moment came when I got a postcard from the state informing me that I need to file my corporation's annual report.

Oh God what the hell is that?

I went and cried on Josh Lanyon's shoulder a bit--because, really, must everything be full of strange forms that freak me out?--and then I put it on my to-do list to handle. And this morning I handled it. It involved things like "name" and "address" and "type of business" and a $25 fee. It wasn't rocket science to figure out the answers to these questions. Now it's done. Whew.

I suspect part of the problem is that I tried to start an illustration business at the tender age of 19, back in the days before you could do any of this stuff online, in Chicago. To do municipal stuff in Chicago you have to visit a creepy warren of underground offices downtown. (There was the time a stray gerbil bit my friend on the thumb and then died, and we had to take its body in to be tested for rabies. That office was waaaay underground.) With my fragile fledgling business, I remember trying to figure out what paperwork needed to be filed and what fees needed to be paid, standing in a long line, and getting barked at by very mean municipal employee and coming out intimidated and confused.

I really need to get over that. I'm sure she's retired by now.

To this day, whenever my characters are dealing with bureaucracy, in my mind, they're somewhere in those underground downtown Chicago warrens.



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 2nd, 2011 10:49 am (UTC)
Things have improved with the advent of the internet, but sometimes I still like to see a human to make sure I'm doing it right. LOL Those municipal employees can project an attitude though. Glad your solution was easy peasy.
May. 2nd, 2011 11:26 am (UTC)
It seemed to me I had to jump through so many hoops to get my business going back then. I had to publish something in a newspaper to establish a DBA...I don't think I ever got a proper tax number. I was just so overwhelmed, and there was nowhere to go to ensure you had it all correct, between the state and the county and the IRS.

I think I don't trust a human to tell me if I'm doing it right. Just don't trust 'em. So many people answer the question they assume you're asking rather than the question you're actually asking, regardless of how clear and specific you're being, because they're too lazy to actually listen to you :(
May. 2nd, 2011 10:52 am (UTC)
Ah the wonders of owning a business. The corporation fee is yearly, I think. My mind boggles when I have to do the federal deposit - really could they make it any more confusing? I try to limit my meltdowns between you and Josh to once a month. I met my quota yesterday ;o)
May. 2nd, 2011 11:28 am (UTC)
Yes, it looks like it's a yearly fee, and also that all my info will still be in the computer so I'll just have to push the "yes" button four or five times and pay my 25 bucks.

(That seems like such a paltry fee...not that I'm complaining.)

We can count yesterday's meltdown as April. It was right on the cusp ;-)
May. 2nd, 2011 01:19 pm (UTC)
Yes it's not a large fee - surprisingly.

Yay! I still get to have a meltdown this month! Woohoo!
May. 2nd, 2011 02:47 pm (UTC)
Your rants are a guilty pleasure of mine.

Sort of guilty.

Eh, not really guilty at all :D
May. 2nd, 2011 03:13 pm (UTC)
Glad I amuse you ;o)
Oddly, that's not the first time I've heard that.
May. 2nd, 2011 12:02 pm (UTC)
Whenever I get something with an official seal on it in the mail, my first thought is always, Oh God I'm being audited.

This is what happens to me whenever a police cruiser pulls in line behind me. I'm not speeding and registration is up to date, insurance is current, I have no wants or warrants, but still... I get nervous and worried. Then I get mad at myself... getting all worried about some poor guy (or gal); I can't imagine how that'd feel to know they inspire such dread in the average, law-abiding citizen.
May. 2nd, 2011 02:41 pm (UTC)
Me too! I won't even look at a cop while I'm driving for fear of looking somehow suspicious.
May. 2nd, 2011 01:00 pm (UTC)
I get anxious dealing with the official things, too... which reminds me that my vehicle registration is due... and it was different color than normal, so I'm terrified of opening the envelope!
May. 2nd, 2011 02:43 pm (UTC)
Oh, this year my DMV "helpfully" sent my vehicle sticker to my ex's apartment since his name was on the car, too. Even though I didn't change the address on my form. I'll bet they felt like they were really on top of their game!

Of course he didn't understand what it was because he'd never dealt with any adult responsibilities like car stickers while we were together. Or ever.
May. 2nd, 2011 01:51 pm (UTC)
On the other hand, one year I got some very official mail that just didn't look official so I simply tossed it. Turns out it was my tax refund check. Oops.

May. 2nd, 2011 02:45 pm (UTC)
I wonder if that's because they don't want it to scream out, "I'm a check--steal me!" The same thing happened to me with a royalty check. Much later after I'd had it reissued, I found it in my shredding pile because it looked like credit card junk mail.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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