Monday, April 19, 2010

Laziness is my tragic flaw

So as tax season comes to an end, I have a story to share with you about my taxes this year. Let me just begin with a disclaimer about how much I hate numbers and I shall begin.

Disclaimer: I hate numbers.

Ok, so, being the lazy butt I am, I didn't want to do my taxes on my own, especially having to figure out the laws on filing taxes as a Canadian working in the U.S., so I tried searching for accounts to help me. First I went to H&R Block, who told me I was unable to claim anything as a non-resident alien and was highly unhelpful to me. Then I went to an accounting firm who told me they were going to charge me $1300 to file my Canadian and U.S. taxes. On the weekend before the American taxes were due (April 15th), just when I was about to go to H&R taxes to get taxes filed and conceded to the fact that I wasn't going to get a return, Adam offered to do my American taxes, and I'd get Mike, Adam's best friend who is an accountant, to file my Canadian. (Thank you Adam and Mike!)

Adam spent all day reading up on taxes and did the rough draft on my State and Federal taxes. I copied the content to a final draft and mailed it on three days before it was due. YAY!

Today, I sent in the American forms to Mike so he can help me claim foreign tax credit. However, when he received my State income tax, he couldn't figure out where all the numbers came from. Apparently:
  1. When I copied the numbers over, I copied some of them on the WRONG lines.
  2. When Adam did his rough draft and made mistakes, he forgot to fix all of them, so I copied the mistakes.
  3. Adam mistakened one of his 4's for a 9, so, for example, $___4 was on the first two pages, but when transferred on the last two pages, it became $___9.

Yup. So if any State government tax auditors are reading this, I apologize. On the bright side for the government, I paid $5 more in taxes than I was really supposed to have. That counts for something, right?......

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


A lot of people look for change. After graduating, after settling into a comfortable job, they start to wonder what's next. Me? I'm wondering what's next too, except not rhetorically.

The past couple of months...well I guess almost a year now, my life has been in continuous transitional periods. Life keeps throwing curveballs at me and I just keep telling myself I just gotta get through this transitional period. Eventually, I can get comfortable, to know what I am doing, and continue doing it without worry.

Alas, it has been difficult. To call the period right after I graduated unstable would be unfair. I planned to be in Taiwan and everything worked out perfectly for the two months I was there. Even though it wasn't a perpetual gig, it was stable for the time being. Then I came to Boston, for a little less than a month, my mind was filled with what-ifs. What if I can't find a job? What if I find a job and I can't get my TN? What if I don't like Boston? What if Adam and I get into a fight, where would I go?

And then, miraculously, I found a job. My first interview and bam, a job. I came on board in late October as the only technical writer. The last dude was let go and didn't leave much behind and no one knew much about what he was doing. The team lead I was working with on my first project was extremely helpful though, and gave me step-by-step guidance on where to find my files and gave me training on how to use the product. Right after that, he gave his two-week notice because he decided it was time for a change and got a different job. At that point, it wasn't so bad, I had what I needed for that project already and I was able to do what I wanted to do. But then when I was done with the first project, chaos ensued. In January, the company I was working for got acquired by a larger company, and then the developers at my work started to leave one by one. By the time I started on my second project and a new product, no one knew where the files were, not even the developers who were left, and no one cared enough to teach me stuff. It's okay, right? Once I figure out how CVS, or Concurrent Versions System works, things will get better. Another project and some frustration later, at the end of February, it was announced that the office is shutting down. now what? Chaos, really. People in the office were busy trying to figure out whether or not they are staying, negotiating for severance packages or a new salary, etc., etc., while I...well I was lucky enough to keep my job, unlike those we were given a severance package then later was offered a higher salary to move to Fremont, I haven't been here long enough to even get a raise. Like I said, lucky to keep my job. And now, as the office is closing down, I just have to get through it all.

You know, I know I shouldn't complain. The fact is that not only did I find a job within a month of arriving here, now I get to work with a team of people, rather than alone, and I have a very wonderful boss/mentor. Now I just have to get through this transitional period where I need to figure out the best strategy to find where my files are before the migration of the servers, whether or not I'm going to be working from home or working from the office, my role as a writer working remotely, and whether or not I can live up to the expectation that has been bestowed upon me, the girl with the Master's degree in English.

Just keep pushing. One day, stability will happen and I will be complaining about how empty my life is....right? Right?