Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Dear IRS......

Please have your people consult with their co-workers before writing and mailing letters. I am a believer of too much government in the sense that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. In your case, it is a matter of Austin, TX, not knowing what Memphis, TN, is doing. Below is an abbreviated version of the work your teammates did this week:

Letter sent via USPS dated 8/13/15 and from Memphis, TN: "Thank you for making payment arrangements to resolve your account...." This letter weighed about a pound and must have cost you (or actually us, the taxpayers) a fortune to mail. Why does a thank you note have to weigh a freaking pound? But, I am honored that it meant that much to you.

Letter sent via CERTIFIED mail dated 8/17/15 and from Memphis, TN: "Notice of intent to seize...." (Note that this letter was sent after the "thank you" letter on 8/13/15.)

Letter sent via USPS dated 8/19/15 and from Austin, TX: "Thank you for using the IRS online services. If you did not, contact us at..." This is kind of a thank you and that is taken back. Or like when someone says, "I'm sorry, but.."

So to quickly audit your efforts of the last few days, you spent time, paper, and money...let's say my neighbor's money, to make it simple and real...on three letters, one weighing a pound. The first letter said thanks for the payment, the second one threatened to seize assets if we didn't pay, and the third, which came from the idiot who sent the second one, was a thank you for using your online services.

Wouldn't it had been easier and more economical to just have your online service operate in reverse and send a thank you note or confirmation as soon as the payment was made, thus, eliminating the first two letters, of which, one was an unnecessary, untimely, and unacceptable threat? You know, kind of like Amazon, eBay, PayPal, Sears, Walmart, Target, my little website, and every other e-commerce site does? I would even bet that eHarmony, a dating advertisement I just saw on television, sends an immediate response electronically. And, having transactions with you IS kind of like dating...except you go directly for the screwing.

You sent three letters in less than a week, with the last one being managed by someone who must have been following Donald Trump's fiasco with Megyn Kelly and lost track of time. If the people of this great country cannot trust your office to lick a stamp and mail letters that are significant and timely, how are we to trust your MATH with our money?

Please get your stuff together - maybe create an electronic filing and communications system between your departments (it's called email, the cloud, bestmarking, private messaging, instant message, etc) - before sending me another letter. At the very least, please try to send the applicable letter in the correct chronology. In my former life working in customer service for a Fortune 500 company, this would not be tolerated. Your team, which services every social security number in the country you can acquire, should be held to higher standards than my team, which only services construction companies in the southeast. Right?

I am business savvy enough to realize the response will be that "the system did it, not a person", and I know there are "systems". There is someone in the news every day saying the system is racist, the system failed, the system didn't work. The system should have very low self esteem, and I will do my best to cheer it up if I ever bump into it.

I am also business savvy enough to realize that form letters are used, so your letters were not thoughtful, sincere, nor original. I am also smart enough to realize that someone is responsible for managing "the system" and ensuring it is working properly, including the timeliness of form letters. While the system cannot be held accountable, the person managing it can.

Again, if professionalism is expected and does exist in every small business in America, shouldn't it also exist in a branch of the American government? Shouldn't the IRS, who is never audited but can audit us, want to work as smoothly and efficiently as possible so that people trust you with their money? People have maintained the perception that you screw people for almost as long as you have been in business. That, alone, should make you want to get things right.

But, in reality, nobody in your department is aware of the stupid things you do. I'm not the only one in this 300-million-people land that received letters such as those that week. That means you were an idiot a bunch of times. Probably thousands. But you are unaware because of automation, and because you are inaccessible. I tried calling, but you do not provide much telephone support. After finally finding a number, the hold time was 30 minutes every time I called.

I guess you are busy stamping envelopes.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Good For You, Tim Tebow

An NFL quarterback by NFL standards, or not, I admire Tim Tebow's determination, patience, and perseverance in pursuing his dream. Talented and committed to his physical conditioning, Tebow has remained steadfast in his stance in which position he will play on the field, if he plays in the NFL. Even after spending last season in the broadcast booth, he did not change his stance in playing quarterback. Without a doubt, he has the size, speed, and toughness to play fullback for any team, and be a starter. He has the size and hands to play tight-end. Yet, his desire to play quarterback in the NFL is so strong that he is willing to gamble not playing at all by being a third quarterback on a roster, and probably not seeing the field, at best.

In writing this, I am beginning to consider that getting paid millions to stay healthy and on the bench as a number three quarterback might not be a bad move, but a brilliant play call instead. But, Tebow is too much of a competitor to have a plan such this. Or is he? A competitor would be willing to do the difficult and to face the real challenge head on: punching the ball a few yards up the middle against a heavy front seven as a fullback. That challenge of breaking loose for the end zone or knocking a linebacker out of the way would pump up the adrenaline for most. Or what about providing pass protection for the quarterback he wants to be? However, the money and sitting on the bench, being part of something great without being physically and permanently damaged years after a long career, could also be a turn on...in a way...and a smart one. But not for a competitor, such as Tebow.

I was not a fan of Tim Tebow when he played at Florida and this was primarily because I am a University of Alabama fan. It was also because he was constantly receiving all of the air-time attention when there were many, many great players and stories from other schools that deserved equal time and recognition. It continued even after his college career was offer.

Now, however, I am a fan - not because he is Tim Tebow, or the underdog of quarterbacks, or a Christian, or because he did mission work, all of which I support. I am a fan because he is pursuing his dream and not letting the negative comments, the rejections, or even missing a season stand in the way. We need more people like Tim Tebow; people who do not take "no" for an answer. People who live under conviction of pursuing dreams, pursuing God, and not caring what people think.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Freelance Writing

So recently I have been browsing sites such as Elance and Freelance and it is amazing to me the number of people, most of whom are from third-world countries - but, still, many Americans - will write for pennies per word. The disgusting part of this is that the corporations who post these ads EXPECT, DEMAND, DRIVE, PUSH, CHEAT, STEAL, FORCE their way into getting people to do this.

For example, I submitted an offer on a job in which the "employer" specifically stated, "If you disagree with my rates ($10/500+words), tell me in your proposal. Also, tell me how many articles a day you can write."

So, I told her how many I could write, that I would write exclusively for her, and what my rate was. A week later, I received a message, conducted a Skype interview, and began writing a few hours later. In addition, I prompted her attention during the Skype interview that my rate was not the $10 she was seeking. In fact, of 25+ applicants, nobody's rate was that low. They ranged from $20 to over $800. I was in the bottom third.

Now, that I have written four articles and the bill has been delivered, the "employer" read her ad back to me about the $10/500 words. Of course, I read my offer back to her, which had been formally accepted through the Elance platform. Still, she declined my offer. So guess what? Now, I am taking necessary action to either get paid or stop my articles from being used.

To think that someone in this country would research and then write for two hours for $5/hour is crazy. It is also disrespectful to take advantage of the poor in other countries, but they do it, those desperate for money accept it, and that is why it is insulting to us. We have more than we need; do we think we are too good for less?

While pondering over that question, I used the internet to find my posting articles and contact the webmasters, who promptly removed them.

Friday, August 7, 2015


In just a few months, it will be time to visit Mother Nature and enjoy all her beauty. The greatest thing about hunting with a bow is that one gets to spend more time watching and listening than actually shooting. This down time gives us an opportunity to really study nature and how it works. A beautiful place, no elected governing body; yet peace, harmony and freedom still exists.

I know that I have learned more about myself and my God just by sitting there, watching and listening. Give it a try sometime, and bring a camera if you do not wish to hunt. The positions and poses that you might catch in that one moment under that one ray of light, if you are quick enough to do so, will never be the same again.