Human Condition 091717 (do not intellitune)

Does anyone remember when finding out what you needed to know was a fairly simple process? I am fairly old, I grant you; but I remember a day when you could pick up the telephone and you didn’t get put on hold, and transferred to a dozen persons, or given a couple of wrong extension numbers.

Recently, I took on what I thought was going to be a simple job of filling out some tax forms for a nonprofit organization.

Rather quickly, I found out that I was not qualified to make sense of the forms nonprofit organizations are required to file.

So I did what any sensible person would do.

I picked up the phone and called the local IRS office.

Before I was through, I talked to so many people you wouldn’t believe. Finally, I got a person who said, “Oh my, I’ve never seen one of those forms.”

Right there I knew, we were in trouble. Our conversation consisted of me saying, “Does this mean …?” and her saying, “I guess.”

I decided my guess was as good as hers, so I hung up, guessed, mailed the forms off; and you know what happened next.

You’re right. It came back.

This time, I got on the telephone to North Carolina and asked for someone who would know something about that specific form.

I got connected to someone who listened to my problem all the way through and then said I’d have to talk to someone else. He transferred me to another gentleman who said, “Just a minute. What form do you have?” and went off to look for one.

He couldn’t locate it but suggested I go ahead and tell my problem anyway. I did, and he said he’d better transfer me to someone else and did.

I would tell you how it went from there, but I really don’t want to waste your time.

The world isn’t simple any more. Attempting to get information, particularly from the federal government, can be hazardous to your health.

That’s why I’m fairly certain the people into manufacturing blood pressure pills and tranquilizers all live on millionaire’s row somewhere.

— Hinojosa lives in Baton Rouge


Advocate readers may submit stories of about 500 words to The Human Condition at features@theadvocate.com or The Advocate, EatPlayLive, 10705 Rieger Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70809. There is no payment, and stories will be edited. Authors should include their city of residence.