Wednesday, January 11, 2006

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Tax season is upon us again. Tax season for libraries is like Christmas in the retail world. I look forward to re-meeting those particularly special members of our community who want to know, "Where the 10W-40 forms be?"

"Well, sir . . . here at the "Lie-berry" . . ."

Today a gentleman approached the desk to inquiry this very quandary. We are currently in the process of installing new shelving and moving sections, so the tax forms have been temporarily moved to an inconspicuous spot. While normally I would point and say, "They are over there . . . where it says TAX FORMS." (Light bulb goes off.) Since I'm not even completely sure where exactly the forms are, I offer to take him there.

"Why don't they put the forms at the front of the library so I can just take it and leave?"

In my nicest BITTERLIBRARIAN voice (because I'm feeling particularly generous today) I say, "Well, we want you to come into the library. We hope you'll see something you like and check it out."

I've obviously offended him. He responds, "Well, that ain't happening."

Because he can't read?

"You should just move the tax forms to the front."

You can see what's coming.

I reply (say it with me): "Well, that aint' happening."

5 Comments:

At 1:58 PM, Blogger Lori on the Plains said...

Honestly, the only thing better is when you're expected to know exactly which forms they need! I love telling them I'm not a CPA and am legally prevented from advising them.
I really don't know how some of these folks actually take home *any* forms, fill them out, and get them mailed to the correct address.

 
At 10:32 PM, Blogger NonAnon said...

lori on the plains has a good point...sometimes watching people struggle with both the tax forms and the copier (hey, I struggle with both of those, but at least I try, instead of standing looking helplessly at the copier until someone helps me) makes me wonder how they function in life otherwise.

I don't mind helping someone figure out forms but I love this question: "Yeah, I've got a meeting with an accountant, but I was hoping you could tell me about setting up a tax-free trust for my children before I go. My accountant charges me by the hour!"

I'm with you, bitterlibrarian. It ain't happenin'.

 
At 10:49 AM, Blogger Heather said...

OMG!!!! I hate tax season and all the stupid questions that come with it. I actually had a patron come in and complain to me that we gave him the wrong form last year and that is why he had to pay the IRS! What? Your kidding right? He then proceeded to yell at me for 10 minutes that we needed to give him the correct form so he didn't have to pay the IRS this year and that he wasn't going to watch his tax dollars go to waste by us not doing our jobs. SIGH! I explained in my loudest cheeriest voice that we are librarians and that we expect the public to know hwich forms they need since we are not accountants and do not give tax advice. I also reminded him that he can print the forms out online. which low and behold he couldn't because he owes the library $300 for lost books and he is a renter. His tax dollars at work. Ha! nice try buddy.

 
At 8:20 PM, Blogger Samantha Stephens said...

I hate tax season at my library. Not only do the patrons know nothing about them, neither do my coworkers.

The worst is when the cheapskates who would rather call the reference librarian (me) and ask for a step-by-step guide to the inner workings of the IRS website to print the necessary forms at home, than pay 50 cents for me to do it.

By the way, love your blog.

 
At 4:58 PM, Blogger slslaven said...

Definite pet peeve of mine is when people pronounce library as lie-berry. Whenever my daughter says lie-berry I ask her is that lie-berry as in strawberry? I don't think there is such a thing. She quickly corrects herself but not without smiling. It reminds her of the time we made up a skit about lie-berry season and how to make lie-berry pie.

 

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