Friday, February 14, 2014

happy valentine's day

Such as it is. Two pieces of frustrating news these past couple days:

1. A group I belong to, which is part of a larger national group, which has non-profit status (and we are definitely non-profit; all the money we raise goes to scholarships or other donations, like to United Way) has LOST its non-profit status. This is because the National Leadership of the other group assured us all along that if we sent the forms and documents to them first, they'd then pass it along to the IRS.

Apparently, someone at that organization dropped the ball on that. (Seriously: HOW CAN YOU DROP THE BALL ON SOMETHING LIKE THAT? HOW CAN YOU SAY SOMETHING LIKE THAT AND NOT DO IT? And we're not the only ones that got screwed - apparently many branches and even some state leaderships are in the same boat)

As I was involved, several years ago, in filling out, gathering records for, and filing these forms, I'm both embarrassed (I guess I really should have foreseen their lackadaisicalness and made copies and sent them direct to the IRS -  after all, the National Office has screwed up other things) and furious, because those documents took a lot of work. And it was ALL FOR NOTHING.

Also, it's going to cost us to regain non-profit status. And it's going to cost us to hire someone (we voted to - because no one wants to mess with it themselves) to fill out the forms and wrangle red tape.

THIS is why I don't trust people. THIS is why I have a hard time delegating. Because the one time I do trust someone (granted, a large organization with a lot of money and employees) and they screw it up.

2. They're changing the retirement plan on my campus and shoving everyone over to ING instead of letting us choose our provider. (I've used TIAA CREF for years, my dad has used them, he's been very happy with how they've treated him). While it's unclear (and I have a question in to HR) whether it's JUST 403(b) accounts or all accounts (I have a 457), still, this is annoying. This kind of stuff is like flies buzzing around your head - probably not major but distracting and annoying.

I'm going to be really unhappy - and maybe pull out of the plan and cobble something together with the help of an independent advisor - if I HAVE to set up an ING account in addition to the TIAA one I already have. I don't WANT a dozen accounts all over the place to pay attention to! I already have a separate IRA (with Vanguard) and the account that has some stocks (mostly inherited from grandparents, though they've done well enough over the years to have some others added in from the proceeds). And of course my savings and checking account here, and another, emergency-only-so-I-forget-about-it-and-am-not-tempted-to-spend-it account elsewhere.

Yeah, yeah, I know: a first world problem and I should be happy I have money to invest for retirement. But it annoys me that my university seems to change how they do stuff every five years, without considering that most faculty who come here, stay here, and get annoyed at all the changes. (It may not be their doing; this could be statewide shenanigans)

ETA: Apparently I am "grandfathered in" (well, we'll see how long that lasts) and won't have to change as long as I continue to contribute to my TIAA CREF account. (Well, seeing as I've been doing that for nearly 15 years....) But still: annoyance.

I'm probably extra easily annoyed today because I had two nights in a row with long evening meetings (after a full day of teaching) and have had virtually no time to myself. And my hives have come back in force - I'm blaming pollen; a colleague said he noticed the elm trees on the route he walks in to school on are starting to bloom.

Tomorrow is Honors' Day so I'm giving up half my day (and not getting to see the new MLP episode) for that. I get that it's important "service" and I'm a logical person to do it (I've done it before, and I'm technically the Honors Liaison for my department), but it's kind of hard not to feel resentful when I realize I'm going to be having to set my alarm clock on a Saturday.

So whatever, ugh.

I will say, something occurred to me this morning when the radio news did the obligatory "Valentine's Day Story" and the announcer remarked at the end "Be sure you don't go home empty-handed tonight" (meaning: get something for the person you live with) and instead of being annoyed, I kind of laughed and said, "Coupled people's problems."

I totally think that should be a thing on Twitter - #coupledpeoplesproblems.

"Post office late in getting the card to her" #coupledpeoplesproblems
"No good stereotypically Valentiney gifts for men" #coupledpeoplesproblems
"They're out of roses" #coupledpeoplesproblems.

Really, when you think about it, what a day originally set aside to celebrate love has mutated into something weird, where people feel bad if they don't one-up their friends or neighbors with a gift, or where someone who forgot or can't come up with a "good" gift feels guilty. (And there are even some ads that imply that person should be broken up with). And I won't even begin to expound on how people who are "single and seeking" (I am the first but pretty much gave up on the second a few years ago) feel on this day.

(Also, the places promoting Romeo and Juliet as a "romantic" thing to read or see on this day? Baroo? Did they forget that they died, and also other people died, and that R and J barely even SPOKE to each other and might have wound up not even liking each other all that well if they spent a lot of time together?)

1 comment:

CGHill said...

I hate to throw in Facebook links, but I figured you might like this, assuming you can read it from a non-FB environment. Gives R&J their due, it does.