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Day 68 — When the Tax Man Calls

Often, you can do today what you could put off until tomorrow. Like last week I dreaded calling the DC tax office to see whether I could convince one of its customer service representatives to extend the deadline for paying my property taxes. They come due twice a year, in the spring and fall, and total about $4,000.

Again, it’s that fear of rejection that haunts you.

While not unforeseen, the upcoming big expense wasn’t something I could save for. What to do at12:04 PM. Friday—the last day to call before the weekend set in. I didn’t call then because if I worked in the tax office I’d want to skedaddle out the front door at lunchtime for some fresh air.  People are more merciful when they’re not in a hurry to get somewhere else.

But at 1:30 PM, I finally called. The recording said I needed to wait 15 minutes to talk to a rep, or I could leave a message—someone would allegedly get back to me with 24 hours or the next business day. That meant Monday. I left a message.

Shame on me for believing in miracles.  No such luck on a tax clerk calling me back.  I let a week go by without calling again.

On Tuesday I called and faced a 2-minute wait time. I hung on. When I got put through I asked the customer service representative if I could get an extension on paying my property taxes because both my ex and I were unemployed, but she politely, and that was nice of her, said, “No.”

I asked her if she was sure and whether there was anyone else to talk to but she still said no, leaving me no other choice but to say goodbye and deal with it.

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