Mark’s Musings – Feb. 20, 2013

| February 19, 2013
Mark Fortune

Mark Fortune

Press one for English, press two for Espanol, press three to be sent to never, never land. Who else out there, besides me, has had it up to you know where with the automated phone systems? How about the ones that “attempt” to decipher what you are saying and then route your call to the appropriate – or not so appropriate, place? Ha, ha. No, that’s not what I said! You did not hear me correctly.  I said “lawn tractors”, not the women’s department. Okay, so perhaps they are not that bad. But close. How in the heck do they know how to route a call from Cajun’ country? You ever try listening to one of those folks talk? Or, how about one of those guys from that new Duck Dynasty show? That show is a hoot. Come on, you know you’re watching it and you love it.

The Robertson family became wealthy from their duck calls – now I wonder if they are ever tempted to blast one of those calls on an automated phone system and just see where it takes them, so to speak?

But I digress as usual.

Let’s get back to the point here. Have you tried any of the “free” online tax services? Yes, if your taxes are fairly simple you can use a free online service offered by most of the larger tax filing companies.

There are several available and to avoid any free promotional efforts on my part, I first tried one that I was not familiar with. Got it all done and ready to file electronically and whoolah, (pronounced whoo-lah just like it sounds and not to be confused with whoohooh) a message pops up that their server is just too darn busy to help me at this time. Or something close to that popped up. Okay, strike one.

Next I moved on to a tried and true name brand – for this family member, the free service is an option. Now, mind you, I actually thought that doing this the old fashioned way – using the paper form – could be the easiest. But alas, no forms at the post office as of this past Saturday. I imagine they will be there as soon as I get this done. But again, I somewhat digress.

So, I get the information in the right blocks and presto, after many repeated efforts to get me to upgrade to the paid version, the taxes are ready to file. But wait, you need an electronic “pin” – that’s personal identification number for those that don’t know – and to get that you must call the IRS if you don’t have one. Oh boy. You ever try that on a Saturday?

Well, I did. Press one for English, press two for Espanol. Press one if correct. Tell us your social security number using the numbered keypad on your microwave. Just kidding! Thought you had drifted off.

Put in your date of birth; day, month and year. Press one if correct. Put in your numeric address, press one if correct. We’re sorry, all agents are busy. Please call back during normal business hours which are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. (No time zone mentioned). So I called this morning (Monday) at 7:05 a.m. “We’re sorry, all agents are busy” . . . oh darn, I just remembered, this is President’s Day. No work for the IRS. We’ll try again later – unless those paper forms are at the post office.

Category: Mark's Musings

About the Author ()

I live with my beautiful wife Nancy on a small farm just outside Coshocton. We have been married for thirty two years and have two grown children, Jessica and Jacob. Jessica is married to Aaron Mencer and they are employed with Coshocton City Schools. Jacob is a sophomore at Kent State University. I graduated from River View High School, have a Bachelor’s Degree from North Carolina Wesleyan University and am actively involved with the Roscoe United Methodist Church, serve on several local committees and am a member of the Coshocton Kiwanis Club, having served as Past-President. I love reading, especially military thrillers, the Civil War and history in general. My goal is to write a novel. My wife and I are also AdvoCare distributors and encourage anyone wanting to lose weight, gain energy and better health to explore AdvoCare at our website; www.fortunes4advocare.com. I love the media field, innovative technology and have worked in newspapers for over 30 years – in fact, my first job was delivering newspapers. The Beacon is a dream made possible by the support of this community and a great team. I hope to continue serving Coshocton County for many years.

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