4 February 2022

Published February 2, 2022 by rochellewisoff
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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit.

PHOTO PROMPT © Na’ama Yehuda

Genre: Hysterical Faction
Word Count: 100


As a small business owner, Missouri sales taxes I’ve collected the prior year are due 31 January. For five years I’ve sent in a paper form and a handwritten check. No problem.  

This year the Department of Revenue introduced the “more efficient” electronic submission.

Determined to master the system, I kept banging my head and phoned for help five times. Call waits took 45 minutes–minimum. Emails were answered with breakneck-turtle-speed.

Storm clouds of frustration mounted

“Look. I’ve got thirty others waiting,” said one DOR representative.

Two days ago, I sent the paper form and a handwritten check. No problem.


I’m pretty amazed at our growing small business. Loving “retirement.”

87 comments on “4 February 2022

    • Got that right, Ain. Whatever happened to “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It took me long enough to figure out the old system. And I think the problem I kept having had more to do with their server than my ineptitude. Thank you for understanding my pain.




  • Dear Rochelle,

    Funny how “old school” often works way better and with a lot less hair-pulling… Makes me think of that tomato seller story that went ’round the Internets..

    Shalom and lotsa problem-solving love,


    Liked by 1 person

  • Yep, easier and more efficient… I am a computer geek who spends his day working with high technology and yet I still use a paper calendar… Perhaps there is no such thing as an old fashioned retirement any more – have fun with your business!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Trent,

      It’s not that I’m adverse to electronic submission. If it worked the way it’s supposed to it would be much simpler. My beef is with the system not working and the level of customer “service.” The old fashion system has worked for me without a hitch for five years. I really think the issue is with the DOR’s server. Ah well, what’s done is done. As for the business…I’m amazed by it. 😀 Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Yep, sounds like me an Fed taxes last year… still waiting on that, too. Watching the news, I saw them speaking of new taxes on paypal, etc. I smiled, looked over at hubby, and said: Cash wins again!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Great story, Rochelle. I recently had to switch to a different pharmacy, and they encouraged me to use their app for more efficient service. So I downloaded it, but I can’t make it work. I finally picked up the phone, called in my script refill, and had it the next day. The app is still on my phone. Maybe someday I’ll figure it out 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Linda,

      I know what you mean about the apps. It’s not that I’m against the electronic submission. In fact, I’d prefer it if it worked. I really believe the problem is with DOR’s server. A couple of reps even admitted that. It was the two who were rude and dismissive I take issue with. All in all it was a very frustrating couple of weeks. Technology is great, until it isn’t. Maybe Zing and Zang could help me next year. 😉 Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Marva the Martian W(T)F,

    Tax evasion is serious business. Not only that but selling pictures of wine servings mean you owe a liquor tax as well. It’s a good thing you counted all 732 dependents and got the child tax credit for every orphan in Missouri. Otherwise you might wind up in a Federal Prison where they only serve Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill.

    Your local auditor
    Adam Up

    Liked by 1 person

  • I feel your frustration with customer service. Two weeks ago, FedEx was supposed to deliver a package I ordered. They held it for a week. The automated online chat gave me the same information the tracking gave me. “Package not delivered/not attempted.” I tried to call. The automated system spun me in circles. I asked for an agent, and it told me the agents don’t have any further information and sent me back to the main menu. I had to contact the company from which I ordered it to have them contact FedEx to get them to finally deliver my package over a week late with a footprint in the middle of the box. That’s only the latest in the long string of what you aptly called customer disservice.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Good to hear ya pays yer taxes, Rochelle.

    I write so few checks these days. I’m still using the same book I started in April of 2021, and I’m only half way through. DMV, Tax Offices, and the cable companies are all evil. It’s not technology’s fault.

    And Customer Service. What a job. No thanks. Anyway,

    Peace without headbanging,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Bill,

      Customer Service, the ultimate oxymoron, no? I don’t write nearly as many checks as I used to but I do still have the technology and the know-how. Not to mention, I still write in cursive. 😉

      As I said to Lisa, “If at first you don’t succeed, write a story about it.” Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

      • High Rochelle,
        I have had the best and the worst of customer service.
        It just occurred to me: Your customers pay tax when they buy from you. You pass that on to the government. They owe your for your time playing tax collector. Send them a bill. 🙂

        Peace with excitement,



  • That resonates with me particularly right now, trying to tidy up my Mum’s business after the death of my Dad a couple of months back. Mum is old school, cheques and letters, and whilst I know she hates to have an online presence she realises that being so far away from her its the only way I can help a lady get back on her feet whilst still looking after my family and holding my job down. Good take Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

  • Ah, the innovation of going slower and getting less done in the name of efficient and (not so) ‘intuitive’ upgrades to things that worked quite well till now … 😉
    Well written, my friend. I think I know those storm clouds well, pun and all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Na’ama Y’karah,

      I really wish they could leave well enough alone. No doubt if the electronic submission worked as well in reality as it does in theory it would be great. However, after two weeks of headbanging and angry tears it just was not to be.
      Now working the bugs out of my “custom fit” Magic5 goggles. It’s always SOMEthing.
      Thank you for the loan of the photo. 😉 Storm clouds definitely fit my mood at the time.



      Liked by 1 person

  • I feel your pain. On line banking has to be just about the most frustrating thing ever. And just when you think you’ve mastered it… hey, it’s been ‘improved’. You must feel so satisfied with the business you’re developing, well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sandra,

      It’s also like Word Press and all of its upgrades. Now they tell me I really need to choose an updated design. WTF. I really like my purple page. Ah one of these days I’ll make the change.
      As for my business, I’m pretty amazed at what it’s become. Last year was my best sales year ever. 😀 Thank you for sticking with FF.




    • Dear Brenda,

      I actually retired in October of 2015. And as you can see it’s been anything but sitting back and watching soaps. 😉
      I’ve had enough of “efficiency.” Sometimes if it ain’t broke don’t fix it works. Thank you.




    • Dear Keith,

      I’m a fan of online banking and shopping. So it’s not technology I’m railing against. It’s this particular government office trying to keep up with the times when they should just leave it be. Thank you for your kind words.




  • The last time I used my cheque book was to send a birthday gift to a grandson! What bugs me as much as the waiting is the repeated message, ‘Thank you for your patience, your call is important to us, please hold the line’. Important? I wish!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Liz,

      I hate that “thank you for your patience, your call is important…” particularly when it repeats for an hour while you wait. With the same moldy background music. I do still write cheques to my kids as gifts. They haven’t had any trouble cashing them. 😉 Thank you.




    • Dear Margaret,

      When I look back at how many pictures I’ve painted over the past five years I’m amazed. I’m even more amazed that prints sell and he commissions come in. I’m a grateful soul. 😀
      Thank you for your kind words and empathy. We’ve all been there and done that, haven’t we?



      Liked by 1 person

  • Digital forms and applications can work wonderfully when everything is well organized. But it should never totally replace the ‘old ways’ – not everyone has the right equipment, not everyone feels comfortable with it. And how great is this that your business goes so well? (I didn’t even know that you had one).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Gabi,

      My “business” started out with just my books. I set up a table at some fairs and hoped for a few sales. Then my publisher suggested the coffee table book, A Stone for the Journey and that got the ball rolling with my painting. Soon I had prints and note cards made of my paintings. The note cards are a best seller for me. As I continue to paint, my hobby has grown into a business.
      I maintain that the DOR is at fault in this whole technology issue. Hopefully next year will be better.
      Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Breakneck turtle speed – love that phrase! Listening to your voice I felt your pain. I got the clear message that at the start you were embracing the new system, happy to use it. So frustrating that the server’s not working correctly – just glad they still accept the paper stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jilly,

      I could have saved myself a lot of grief when the first rep suggested just sending the paper form. But I was determined to learn the new system. We see how well that worked, don’t we. 😉 Thank you for your kind words.




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