Tax Return, Login Math, Service Pack and Prison Stripes
I tend to be clueless every so often. Take this monster called Income Tax Returns. Not to say that I have not been filing the darn things, but I have been fortunate enough to have the nice accounts guy previously file the said animals for me. Now this time round, I happen to be the everything in my new position. That means, filing the Tax Returns alien animals falls squarely on my docket. How did I find out? It was on 29th June, yes, yesterday at 10 o’clock tea that I was told not to forget to file the Returns. You can imagine the look I gave to the person passing this information on. I swear if I had the laser eyes that I have often wished for, I would have melted the skin off her body.
Moving on, since I had no choice, I decided to save the laser eye skin melting procedure for another day and salvage the few remaining hours. Luckily (or so I thought at the time) I do not have to go to the dreaded Times Towers, where the government Returns are filed. Trust me, that building is where nightmares are brewed. The government have done and gone digital and seeing as I count myself as part of the digital era (debatable), my life was nearly saved from the nightmare world (or so I thought).
Back to the online filing. See, we have been priding ourselves, as a country, as being the Silicon Savannah (I need someone to explain this to me). That means that our technology is beating a good number of African countries hands down. I am told that we have even knocked South Africa off the park of technology. Our government is also hot on the heels of technology and since she wants her good citizens to have it easy reporting our earnings, she has gone ahead and gone digital *sigh*. Me and my excitement decided to load the government online portal to fill in the Returns. Enter hurdle one. Having had an account whose password I could not remember (do not even think of judging me you have been here), the first thing I needed was to be reminded of my password. After hitting refresh a total of 30 times and getting the above error (true story) I managed to retrieve my password. Oh and let’s mention here that every time you access the login form, you have to do arithmetic. Math and me were never bestie. Like ever! It seems that all of the Kenyan population minus the line snaking round Times Towers had decided to do a last minute job and hop online. That portal had never seen traffic like that and I am sure when they were testing the system, they did not anticipate a total of 500,000 Kenyans accessing the portal at the same time! Yeah, Kenyans and our last-minute rush, even after we have been reminded since January that this was coming.
Enter hurdle number 2. Figuring out the system. For the averagely savvy Kenyan woman like me, figuring the portal was not difficult at that point. Smoothly I sailed, still refreshing the darn page, till I reached the point where they say “download form this or that”. Let me tell you, with age comes patience because a younger me would have thrown a few stones across the town direct to the said Towers. The download itself, after 7 attempts, took 30 minutes. Let’s chalk this one as well, to all of the 500,000 people trying to download the same form. Now, form downloaded!
Remember I mentioned that I was an averagely savvy woman? My Savvyness does not go past the “download form and activate macros”. No, seriously! How in the world would someone who doesn’t use computers figure this out? Well, I do and I went ahead and tried to activate macros *sigh*. At this point, my machine says that I need to “upgrade to Service Pack 2”. Say what now? Remember, I am on a deadline. This is now 9:00pm. This process started at 12:00 noon. I am nearly having to build a brand new computer in order to file my tax returns! This is where I call on all the friends, frienemies and enemies that I had not talked to since December last year. I will not let some “Service Pack” keep me from being an upstanding citizen! Shaaaaah!!!!! I am this close to plucking out a loc or 2 of my hard hair that took half a decade to grow!
Finally! A service pack this or the other has successfully installed. Back to filing the annual returns. That took all of 15 minutes. I know, right? I should have gone manual! But remember I am on a deadline. Now, back to the Portal Of Death. Upload attempt No.1. Message? Validate your form and submit again. O_O Seriously???? It’s 11:00pm for heaven’s sake! I have one more hour to get this thing online! Back to the microsoft thing and macros. Look for the ‘validate’ button. Press it to kingdom come and hope my machine forgives me tomorrow. Validate and uploaded with 15 minutes to spare Yaay!
Following morning, after wearing my bragging badge over my head, some soul with a death wish declares with an overly loud voice that the deadline, in fact, was not on 29th midnight but on 30th June. Before midnight!
Moral of this story? I hate technology. I should wear a headscarf when dealing with anything government, otherwise my locs are in jeopardy! Also, the government needs to get a better portal thingie, otherwise this one is shot to hell. Also, *repeats to self* I shall never ever ever wait until June to do the blasted returns. Also, I will not let this hell of a system make me a bad citizen. Mostly because I don’t look good in anything stripped and I figure the prison stripes will make my butt look fat.