I like getting as much money back as possible when I file my taxes, which means I want to get them done for free. And I certainly don’t trust myself to do them.
The one year I did my taxes, I wound up owing money. Clearly, a future at the IRS is not in the cards for me.
Fortunately, volunteers from AARP show up every year to help Mainers file their tax returns. It’s a wonderful service, and I get to hang out at the fancy library that Stephen King keeps afloat with his donations.
I usually go at the end of February, when it’s not so busy. This year, however, my day off fell earlier in the month due to The Nite Show’s shooting schedule, and I was not prepared for what that would mean.
As part of the deal, AARP bumps senior citizens to the front of the line. That has never been a problem for me in the past, but this year, well, it nearly drove me crazy.
Or crazier than I already am.
I got to the library at 10:25, less than half an hour after the doors opened. There were already a lot of people sitting in the cafe, but I didn’t know how many of them were there to have their taxes done.
According to the sign in sheet, I wasn’t too far down the list.
I found a table, got out my book, and waited to hear my name called.
The only problem was that the place kept filling up with senior citizens. Which means I was getting bumped further and further down the list.
After an hour and a half, I checked where I was on that list. The nice lady manning the desk told me there was one senior ahead of me, and then five non-seniors.
I went back to my table to wait.
Mind you, I’m wearing my FitBit and I need to get my 250 steps every hour or the device will explode on my wrist.
I was in a crowded cafe, but I didn’t care. I got up to pace to collect my steps. And if that made me look like I was impatient, then so be it.
And I was getting fed up with waiting.
Plus, I was pissed off with the policy that allowed folks to jump the line.
I understood that AARP wanted to cater to seniors, but it didn’t seem fair that they could stroll in at any time, wait five minutes, and then get an appointment.
Every time an older person wandered in, I groaned.
I hated myself for doing it, but it just meant my day in the library was getting longer.
After three hours, I went up to check my standing again. The nice man at the desk told me I was next. I was confused because four seniors had recently joined the group.
Much to my delight, he told me they’d decided to ditch that rule because so many people under the age of 60 were slowly dying of old age from waiting.
My mood improved considerably.
Of course, when that same nice man called someone else’s name next, I was pissed.
Where the hell was Jerry Maguire when I needed him?
I said SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!
When I very quickly materialized at the check in desk again, the nice man apologized for his mistake.
He put a big arrow next to my name and assured me I would be next.
Twenty minutes later, after having waited for three and a half hours, I was finally ushered into the back room where agents worked furiously to get our money back from Uncle Sam.
The volunteer who helped me was very nice, and as soon as I was seated at her desk, all my negative thoughts vanished.
I was getting my taxes done.
So what if I had to wait longer than the average running time of a James Cameron flick to get into the back room and have my taxes sorted?
Uncle Sam and Governor LePage will be making deposits to my bank account shortly.
Enough to cover a few car payments.
I’m sorry for my temporary rage against those over 60 with tax needs. It was in the heat of the moment, and all that sitting around and wasting my day off was making me anxious.
I’m just glad my taxes are done. Until next year, when I will lie about my age and jump to the front of the line…