An employee of a small town "liberry" chronicles his quest to remain sane while dealing with patrons who could star in a short-lived David Lynch television series.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Actual Semi-Paraphrased Conversations Heard in Actual Libraries LAST Week #15

SETTING:  My "liberry," this week.
 
-------------------------
 PATRON 1: Do you have tax forms?

ME: We have state forms. We do not have any federal forms. We ordered federal forms late and when we called to find out why they hadn't arrived when they were supposed to we were told by the IRS that the order had not been processed AT ALL. We're now expecting them sometime in early February.

PATRON 1: Do you know where I can get federal forms?

ME: I've heard the post office has them.


-------------------------
PATRON 2: Do you have 1099 forms?

ME: No, we don't have 1099 forms. Nor can we print them from the internet.

PATRON 2: Why not?

ME: Because it's a carbon copy form and when we bring them up from the website the form itself has "Info Copy Only" written across it.

PATRON 2: Do you know where I could get one?

ME: I've heard you can get them from LOCALLY OWNED OFFICE EQUIPMENT STORE, but I don't know that for sure. In fact, last year a man from LOCALLY OWNED OFFICE EQUIPMENT STORE came in here looking for 1099's himself, so maybe they don't. H&R Block used to carry them too, but I've now heard they aren't either.

PATRON 2: Well poop.


-------------------------
PATRON 3: Do you have W-2 forms?

ME: No, we do not have W-2 forms. You're supposed to receive W-2 forms from your employer, not from the library.

PATRON 3: But THEY told me you would have W-2 forms.

ME: I'm sorry, but we don't. We don't even have federal forms at the moment.


-------------------------
PATRON 4: Do you have tax forms?

ME: We have state forms. We do not have any federal forms.

PATRON 4: Do you know where I can get federal forms?

ME: I've heard the post office has them.

PATRON 4: I just came from the post office. They only have the booklets.

ME: Then, I believe Town-C's library has some. They're closed already, though, so you might try them tomorrow.

-------------------------
PATRON 5: Do you have 1099 forms?

ME: No, we don't have 1099 forms. Nor can we print them from the internet.

PATRON 5: Do you know where I could get one?

ME: I've heard you can get them from LOCALLY OWNED OFFICE EQUIPMENT STORE.


(LATER)

ME: No one will leave me alone about these frickin' 1099 forms!

MRS. A: That's the one we can't print from the internet, right?

ME: Yeah. I hear the Locally Owned Office place has them, but I don't know for sure. Maybe I ought to call them.

(PHONES LOCALLY OWNED OFFICE EQUIPMENT STORE)

ME: Hi, this is JUICE from TRI-METRO library. We've had loads and loads of patrons in here looking for 1099 forms and I've heard that you guys have them. I just wanted to call and find out if that's actually true or if we're just irritating you by sending these folks your way.

LOOES RECEPTIONIST: We used to carry them individually, but we wound up getting stuck with so many of them after tax season that we don't any more. But we can order 1099 forms in 24-form packages for $7 and have them by the next day.

ME: Ah. So we're not irritating you.

LOOES RECEPTIONIST: Oh, no. We have had a lot of calls about 1099s today, though.

ME: Thanks. Bye.

(*CLICK*)

MRS. A: So?

ME: They don't have them on hand but can get a pack of 24 for $7.

(MRS A AND I STARE AT EACH OTHER, THE SAME THOUGHT DAWNING ON US BOTH)

ME: Want to make some money for the library?

MRS. A: You mean buy a box and sell em for $1 each.

ME: Exactly.

MRS. A: Go for it. Call `em back.


-------------------------
PATRON 6: Do you have W-2 forms?

ME: (Trying to remain calm) No, we do NOT have W-2 forms. You're supposed to get those from your employer.

PATRON 6: No. I am an employer. I need blank W-2 forms for my employees.

(Gives patron an eyes at half-mast-long-slow-burn look designed to convey exactly how magnificent they are as an employer that they not only have no clue where to get W-2 forms but are actively trying to get free ones from us)

ME:  I'm sorry, but we don't have any.


-------------------------
*RING*

ME: Tri-Metro Public Library.

AMATEUR ACCOUNTANT TAX FORM LADY WHO PLAGUES US EVERY YEAR: Hi, do you have federal forms yet?

ME: Nope. Looks like early February.

AATFLWPUEY: Well do you even have your tax form photocopy binder?

ME: No. We don't have the forms and we don't have the binder.

AATFLWPUEY: Poop. I need lots of copies of really obscure forms.

ME: Well, I could probably find them and print them from the IRS website for you. We do charge ten cents per page.

AATFLWPUEY: You mean, I could give you a list of them and you could print them and I could come pick them up?

ME: And pay for them, yes.

AATFLWPUEY: You'd do that for me?

ME: Sure. It's really slow in here.

AATFLWPUEY: Oh, you're so sweet. I'll need forms 1045, 1045-A, 1174, 1174 SCHEDULE S, 1174-K SCHEDULE HR24, 1040, 1040-A, 1040 H SCHEDULE-SOL, 1048-KNIGHT 2000, 8057, 8057-FU, 8057-YA MOMMA and 2099-DEEZ-NUTZ.

(*CLICK*)

(LIBRARY IMMEDIATELY BECOMES PHENOMENALLY BUSY)


-------------------------
PATRON 7: You got federal forms?

ME: No. February.

PATRON 7: What about the deduction book?

ME: The what?

PATRON 7: The deduction book. The book that lists all the deductions?

ME: You mean the form instruction book?

PATRON 7: No. I want the book that lists all the deductions you're allowed to take.

ME: Ma'am, while I'm sure such a book might exist somewhere, I don't think we've ever had one here. It doesn't sound familiar at all and this is the fourth year I've had to go through all this.

PATRON 7: No, see, it's the deduction book. It lists all the things you can deduct from your taxes.

ME: I understand what you're talking about, ma'am. I'm saying, I don't believe we've ever had one. That sounds like the sort of book accountants and tax preparation agencies would have access to and the library is in NO. WAY. SHAPE. OR. FORM. a tax preparation agency.

(After patron leaves, I rush up to ask Mrs. A about the deduction book, just to find out whether or not I was talking out of my ass. She assures me that I was correct and while such books do exist we do not carry them because doing so tends to reinforce the public's mistaken perception that we are, in fact, some kind of tax preparation and financial advice giving agency.  Whew!)

No comments: