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Posts Tagged ‘Government’

Dear Karen, Georgia and furred colleagues, including Steven,

I’ll get right to it:

I was accepted to a leadership conference hosted by my sorority. I haven’t been involved in the organization since I left college many (many) years ago, but it’s been a tough year, and so I applied.

The organizers sent out a list of roommate assignments.

I’m a grown woman; I didn’t want a roommate.

That is until I Googled my assigned roommate. (I’m a journalist. I research.)

She was a Chi Omega.

At Florida State University.

In 1978.

That’s right, y’all.

My roommate was nearly a victim of Ted Bundy.

He killed the sister next door to her, and the one in the room across the hall.

The police took her door because his fingerprints were on the doorknob. He was interrupted from going in because Nita Neary came home.

My roommate was the one who found Lisa Levy — still alive until she got into the ambulance.

She ended up being deposed three times by that monster who served as his own lawyer.

(You know what Lincoln said: He who represents himself has a fool for a client.)

The focus of the conference was resilience. And Diane McCain is the epitome of resilience. Her Bundy experience led to her becoming a crusader for victim’s rights.

She’s also battled some serious health issues.

In sum, Diane is a badass.

Of course, I offered to help her write a book about her life, or write it for her.

Stay sexy, and say yes to roommates.

Love,
Beth

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Dear Industrious Signmakers*:

While I appreciate your enthusiasm, we need to talk about execution. Have you read my earlier posts on the subject (here and here, for example)? I’ll assume you have not.

For two of you, I will allow that maybe the impending arrival of Hurricane Dorian and the subsequent Coastal Georgia mandatory evacuation scared you so much that you couldn’t concentrate.

Perhaps I should say “evaculation” so you understand me.

What’s an “inconveniece?” Your sibling’s daughter is a nun?

And you are close as in proximal to evaculation evacuation?

If so, I’d like you to meet another signmaker who is right there with you.

There’s a third one of you who has no excuse because he/she is nowhere near the hurricane. And this is a semi-permanent sign. And he/she works at a university.

Are the staff deficient in some way? Or is it just the proofing skills that are?

Sigh.

I know you likely are in a hurry, but just take a hot second to review your work.

Yours in appreciation,
Beth

 

* Thanks to Aimee for sharing these while she ignored the governor’s mandate.

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Dear DeKalb County:

I’m intrigued and impressed by your jury processing. I guess with a population of 752,088, you need to have your act together.

On Monday, I arrived at the courthouse as Juror 401 of 1,001 called. That’s a shocking number. In my experience in Chatham County, I had to call every night to see if my number was up the next day.

Not y’all.

You call everyone in.

Judges and attorneys get one day to make a decision to field a jury. And that’s genius because it puts pressure on people to settle.

While I waited to see if I was chosen (and by the way, I am NEVER chosen), I had the pleasure <sarcasm alert> of sitting between two of the kinds of people I hate: A guy watching videos with no headphones and a woman talking loudly on her phone.

Why, Sir? Why must you torture me?

The other people in the room were sitting quietly. But I was sandwiched between these two.

And the guy sat RIGHT NEXT TO ME, even though there were dozens of empty spaces all over the room. He was so close, I could smell his chicken-biscuit breath. I had to move down one chair.

It happens all the time. I can be in an empty movie theater, and the only other person will sit one seat over.

Why don’t people understand personal space?

[Insert deep cleansing breath.]

I’m not sure this is common practice, but it was surprising to me that one of the judges emerged to test out what he thought was a rousing stand-up routine.

It was, predictably, about civic duty and, unpredictably, the importance of driving under the speed limit.

At least my seat neighbors silenced themselves for the occasion.

A little while later, I was dismissed. My case was settled while I was seething.

But that part was not your fault, DeKalb County. You made the process as painless as possible.

See you in two years!
Beth

 

 

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Dear Lottery God:

My chicken sacrifices to you are getting nowhere. (Granted, they are of the grocery cutlet variety — I’m not a monster — but still.)

So I’m making this public plea.

My family and I need your help.

Our savings have been wiped out as fast as the Dothraki horde in the Battle of Winterfell.

Why? Here’s a short list:

1. A replacement retainer for Dominic. Yes, already. He had the new retainer for exactly a week before throwing it away with his lunch trash at school. [HEAVY SIGH]

2. New shoes for Dominic. He now wears a size 11. 11! At the age of 14. You saw the photos from my last post. Puberty, thou art a bitch to the budget.

3. Income taxes. Effing Pat.

4. Truck-repair expenses. Eddie’s truck is 16 years old. That’s about 112 years in our capitalist, material culture. But I’d rather fix it than take on a car payment and higher ad-valorem taxes. Call me old fashioned.

5. A speeding ticket. Don’t yell at me that this is my own fault. I promise I wasn’t speeding — I was on my way to see some important people perform in Athens but I was driving in heavy traffic! (It’s Atlanta, after all.) I disputed the ticket, but the Chamblee Municipal Court judge was not having it. I shouldn’t have even tried. She tacked on $50 extra to the fine because I had the nerve to go to court instead of paying outright. Harumph.

Those who say “money can’t buy happiness” must already have money. I promise I would do good things with the winnings. I’d send some family and friends on well-deserved vacations, fund important initiatives for others, give money to my four alma maters for student scholarships.

Oh yeah, and buy a villa in Spain on the Mediterranean. You know. As you do.

May the odds be ever in my favor.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter (and for helping me stop wasting broilers),
Beth

 

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Dear Pat,

As much as I admire your gumption to keep working long past retirement age, I think it’s time for you to consider calling it quits.

Monday was rough, but I thought our tax-prep nightmare was over.

I was wrong.

Yesterday, you sent this:

Eddie drew the short straw and went to get the new forms to mail.

As it turns out, your words were misleading: We still owe lots, but we now owe less thanks to your fix. Great! Thanks!

But why would you tell him that we should now call the IRS to find out exactly how much we owe? Come on, Pat. Isn’t that your job?

So I’m going to subtract the “refund” from the old amount and send a check for the result.

Pat, this experience has, quite frankly, sucked.

And we had to pay for the sucktitude. At least it wasn’t more:

No charge for your mistake? How generous.

You could have at least tried to make it up to us with another free pen.

Pat, I’m afraid it’s time for you to hang up your spurs. Go enjoy fruity drinks by a pool somewhere. Aren’t there great grandkids somewhere who need you?

Please, think of the children. And my sanity.

All my best,
Beth

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Dear IRS/U.S. Government:

We truly are long overdue for tax reform — if for no other reason than the fact that I wouldn’t even wish my H&R Block experience on my worst enemy. Not even on Mitch McConnell, and you know how I feel about him.

Usually, TurboTax and I hang out together for a few hours. I emerge grumpy but satisfied. And I always complete the process weeks in advance of the April 15 deadline.

This year I felt there were too many variables — selling a house, moving retirement funds, freelance work — for me to feel comfortable on my own.

Friends have used H&R Block, so I decided to take a chance. Let me just say this: With friends like that, who needs enemies?

This experience was beyond awful.

I’ve mentioned before that I am Tracy Flick. I had all my receipts categorized and added up. All my documents orderly. Everything laid out in sections in a folder.

I made an appointment two weeks ago to drop off my stuff.

I was assigned to Pat, someone’s great grandmother. She went through each piece of paper with me at 1/4 the speed of a regular person.

Then she told me she’d call me if she needed more information. Over the next week, she called and sent cryptic emails every day.

Today — FILING DAY — she told Eddie and me to come in at 7 to sign. That’s right in the middle of Gideon’s baseball game. But we went.

We sat in her cubicle and watched her work for TWO HOURS.

We watched her call in backup. Repeatedly.

Eddie was dismayed.

I was dismayed.

And then I took a catnap.

We asked her if we could leave to get Gideon at his game.

She dismissed us with a wave of her grizzled claw.

We returned at 10. On a school night. Y’all, I go to sleep at 10.

The door was locked. No one appeared to be inside.

But then from the back, a person emerged and let us in.

I regret to report that Pat still wasn’t done. She had to call in managerial backup. Again.

It’s now 10:40. We just left. We were the last people there. We are much poorer and completely exhausted, but compliant with your rules.

And Pat gave us a pen as a parting gift. For real.

Please, for the love of all that is holy, fix the system so it is easier for everyone.

I never want to go to here again.

Kthxbye,
Beth

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