As mentioned in earlier posts, I filed my taxes about two weeks ago, and had, in under a week, already gotten – and spent – my VA refund, and I was eagerly awaiting my Federal refund.
Given that I’ve found that it typically takes a week at most for me to get it, I was anticipating its arrival shortly after the VA refund.
Unfortunately, I got an e-mail informing me that the IRS was reporting a delay in processing of refunds, so it would take slightly longer than usual. When I checked the “Where’s my refund?” page on the IRS site, it informed me that I would get my refund “by the 7th.”
It had been my intention to take a day off from work once I had the money in order to make a Costco run and stock up on those things which Costco is useful to me for stocking up on, which, honestly, isn’t a lot, but still ends up costing considerably more than a standard trip to the grocery store does.
So, in the parlance of the Internet, I was disappoint.
After all, I had hoped to schedule my day off in such a way as to give myself a long weekend by taking either a Friday or a Monday off.
That wouldn’t work, without additional waiting, if I wasn’t going to have the money until Tuesday.
With hope in my heart, I checked the IRS page again yesterday afternoon and found that the date had become more specific, stating that it was scheduled to be deposited in my account on February 6th.
Hooray! I could take Monday off!
However, there still remained a problem in the form of my spending my entire VA refund so long before getting my Federal, which left me with a minimal amount of available funds until then unless I moved some scheduled bill payments around a little. Which isn’t to say that I’d be paying bills late, just later than originally planned, which would give me some breathing room until Monday.
On any other weekend I would have been fine just waiting to do my shopping on Monday, but…well, the Super Bowl is tomorrow, and it’s become something of an annual tradition for me to do my grocery shopping while everyone else in the world is watching the big sweaty mens playing with a ball on their TVs and I can move through the aisles of the stores as though I’m living in a post-Rapture world free of crying children and slow-moving old people.
It is, quite frankly, one of my favorite days of the year. It’s like I’m living in the world of Night of the Comet or I Am Legend, only without the homicidal zombie mutants chasing after me. (The zombie mutants are what I contend with every other day of the year.)
So I couldn’t not go shopping on Sunday night. The whole experience means more to me than Christmas.
So I shuffled things around and had to hope that the IRS was as good as its word and that the money would be there on Monday, or, barring that, no later than Wednesday.
I got up this morning intending to do my usual Saturday stuff, with the nagging question of “What if the money doesn’t come in until, say, Friday? I should just hold off on buying anything until I know for sure that it’s there.”
With that in mind, for the sheer hell of it, I logged into my bank’s mobile site on my phone to check my balance. The tiny text on the screen was hard to read, but it was immediately apparent that the first number in my balance wasn’t the same as it was yesterday, or the number that I was actually expecting. A quick zoom showed that it was, however, the number it would be if my refund had been deposited. Checking recent transactions confirmed that this was the case.
So, unburdened by any financial concerns, I headed out to pick up my comics and a few other things to tide me over until I could do the serious, no hordes of mutant zombies shopping on Sunday and Monday.
Some time back I discovered that, ironically enough, the best price for cigarettes can be found at CVS Pharmacy. Unfortunately, others have discovered that as well, so they’re frequently out of stock of my cigarettes. Today, when I went, as I do every week, to the CVS in the same plaza as the comic shop I found that their cigarette shelves had been heavily raided, so I decided that I’d stop somewhere and get a pack or two and then pick up more tomorrow or Monday.
After that I stopped at Best Buy to look at Bluetooth keyboards for my slate, as I had been mistaken when I read that the slate came with the dock and the keyboard, and to pick up a MicroSD card to add to the slate’s overall storage.
I ended up buying neither, opting instead to just order the actual Samsung keyboard for it online at some point, and finding that they didn’t have any 32 GB MicroSD cards, which is what I was looking for. I did pick up a cheap, low-profile flash drive for it, however.
In any case, I went from Best Buy over to the nearby Giant (a grocery store) and picked up a few things, then stopped at the unattended service counter – I’ve never seen service counters at stores unattended as often as I do in VA in any of the other places I’ve lived – and waited for someone to show up to sell me cigarettes.
While I was waiting, I could hear some woman at the registers very loudly repeating, “How much is the cereal? I want the cereal. How much is the cereal? I want the cereal.”
She was stuck on that loop for a solid two minutes, before moving on to asking how much the Coke was, and stating that she wanted that as well, periodically reiterating that she wanted the cereal.
From what I could gather, based on her loud, undirected rant, her EBT card (the 21st Century version of food stamps) had not been activated/loaded on February 1st, as it was supposed to have been.
”It was supposed to be activated on February 1st! It’s February 4th! That’s terrible! It was supposed to be activated on February 1st! It’s February 4th! Well, I got the cereal. I wanted the cereal. And the Coke. But it was supposed to be activated on February 1st! It’s February 4th!”
I’m not kidding. She went on like this non-stop, to, apparently, no one, or to the uncaring Universe.
Or possibly to all of her fellow shoppers within earshot – which covered a fair distance, honestly – who were equally uncaring, or at the very least were completely incapable of doing anything to resolve her issue. Even if we did care, or were able to do something about it, we pretty much would have gotten the message after the first twenty repetitions.
I will not deny that it must be frustrating to discover that you don’t have the ability to buy the things you need after you’ve walked into a store and made it all the way to the checkout fully expecting to be able to do so – after all, I had been, more or less, in the same boat earlier in the day – and I sympathize, particularly given that she was accompanied by someone in a wheelchair (I assume the EBT card, if that’s what was supposed to have been activated on February 1st – bearing in mind that today is February 4th, in case you forgot – was part of her companion’s disability benefits) but it was pretty seriously annoying, and is a good representative example of why I enjoy my Super Bowl shopping experience so very much.
Still, at least she got the cereal.
I’m just not sure she really wanted it.
Despite the influx of funds, I didn’t really end up spending any more money than usual today. Actually, I spent a bit less, since I didn’t buy a carton of cigarettes. Even the extra purchase of the flash drive for the slate didn’t amount to much, as it was relatively inexpensive.
Monday, however, will be a different matter entirely, since I never walk out of Costco without having spent, at a minimum, $100.
(Note: Our boss refers to my co-worker and I as brothers.)
Boss: I’m worried about your brother.
Boss: He’s getting jaded.
Me: Tell him to join the club.
Boss: I know. That’s the problem. You’re jaded, and I’m jaded…I can’t deal with all of us being jaded.
Boss: So I’m getting one of the high school interns dumped on me.
Me: You mean I’m getting one of the high school interns dumped on me.
Me: I knew that was going to happen as soon as I heard there were going to be interns, because I’m fucking psychic.
Boss: Well, I thought about giving him to your brother…
Me: What’s he going to do with an intern?
Boss: I don’t know. Stop being mean to me. You’re going to make me cry.
Me: No I’m not.
Boss: Yes you are.
Me: No, you’re going to make you cry.
Me: *Sigh* Fine, I’ll try to to think of something for him to do. When does he start.
Boss: He started already, but he’s already working on some other stuff. You probably won’t have to do anything with him until next week, so you’ve got time to come up with some projects for him.
(The next day)
Boss: So here’s the intern. Find something for him to do.
Me: I thought I had time to come up with something for the intern to do, but he got dumped on me this morning. So I spent an hour and a half explaining what our team does and watching him struggle to stay awake.
Scott: Well, he’ll take away one thing from the internship: the knowledge of what he doesn’t want to do with his life.
Me: I didn’t realize I was getting him today.
Boss: Yeah, sorry.
Me: He’s so young.
Boss: I know! It’s crazy.
Me: He’s not even a baby. He’s a…pre-baby. He’s a zygote.
I’m currently reading Criminal: The Last of the Innocent by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. I now understand why it made so many “Best of” lists last year.
Not that this comes as any surprise to me, because Ed Brubaker. And even more to the point, because Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.