The Hellhole

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Stupidity Is Contagious

Apparently the stupidity which torments me daily is becoming more widespread. Alan (and his boss) had a taste of it this week. The stupidity in question is not Alan's employer, but the company his employer uses to do their payroll /payroll taxes/filing, etc.

The payroll company discovered $3.00 unaccounted for in a 401-K account belonging to Alan's employer, and instead of refunding it to the company, or - I dunno - CALLING THE OWNERS and asking them what they'd prefer to do, the payroll company took it upon themselves to disburse the $3.00 equitably amongst the employees, pro-rating the distribution based on salary and seniority. Therefore, in his latest pay-stub, Alan was informed that a 401-K had been opened on his behalf by the payroll company through a certain brokerage firm - he already has investment/retirement accounts but independently, not through this employer, so this was a totally new 401-K - with the impressive and enviable account balance of THIRTEEN CENTS.

Thirteen cents. These people opened a 401-K in my husband's name with a beginning balance of THIRTEEN CENTS. And Alan is by far the least senior employee at this firm, okay? There are at least a dozen people hired after him, meaning that their accounts were opened with an EVEN SMALLER balance. Alan's boss is livid. He can't believe they didn't just refund the company the $3, or ask them what they wanted done. That's not the worst of it, though.

No, this particular stupidity snafu has caused marital strife. We are a House Divided. Alan is in favour of rolling the thirteen-cent balance into his IRA, regardless of paperwork, bank fees, etc., just on general principle. I disagree. I want him to withdraw that thirteen cents, give it to me and let me spend it wantonly! It's not so much the allure of a wild 13-cent spending spree that attracts me, you understand. I just want to know that someone at the IRS had to fill out a form calculating the penalties and interest incurred in our early, pre-retirement use of that thirteen cents, that the Gub Mint had to spend money on paper, envelope and postage to mail a notice to us informing us of said penalties and interest, and some drone had to investigate our tax return knowing that a 13-cent early withdrawal (plus penalties) HAD to be a mistake. I am completely willing to pay whatever fines and fees might be incurred. Damn the expense, I just want to cause THAT much aggravation for our tax system. I'm pesky that way - but then y'all knew that, didn't you?

Oh, and here's a puppy.


  • I think you should spend those thirteen cents wantonly.

    Does the puppy have a name yet?

    By Blogger Nancy, at 9:13 AM  

  • Go wild, Helly. You can probably get a drop or two of coffee at Starbucks for those 13 cents.

    By Blogger basil, at 12:41 PM  

  • I would put the thirteen cents toward my Jimmy Choo fund!


    By Blogger A Margarita, at 6:51 PM  

  • Puppeh Mr. Fusspot visited his grandmamma yesterday and he is a sweet as he looks! I love my granddogs and my grandcat!

    Helly's mom

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:22 AM  

  • I love, love, love you puppeh!

    And, um? WOW. That is CRAZY on the IRA. WTF were they thinking?!?!

    By Blogger Z, at 8:33 AM  

  • Thanks, Z! He is a wonderful little guy!

    By Blogger Helly, at 8:40 AM  

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