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Response to The Daily Post writing prompt: Race the Clock

Here’s the title of your post: “An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse.” Set a timer for ten minutes, and write it. Go!

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taxesSometimes an offer just sounds too good to pass up. That’s what happened to me in December of 2013. A friend of mine who manages an H&R Block office asked if I would come to work for her as a CSP (Client Services Professional) for the tax season. The money was good, six hours per day, and I just had to show up to the interview though I’d already been hired. The best part was the office was only about five miles from my house. Sounds like the perfect set up, right? I couldn’t say no to an extra $7000 for three and a half months’ work. After all, I figured, I can put up with ANYTHING for three and a half months…

I hated that job from day one. Was it hard? No, other than having to learn some new software. Was it physical? No, which meant that after I got my first-thing-in-the-morning reports and calling done I had to just sit there. The problem was I kept nodding off. I found it to be exhausting. I would have done so much better had I been able to keep moving. Were the customers a pain in the arse? For the most part, nope. I’m good with people. Even the ones that hauled their kids in with them to have their taxes done didn’t present a problem. I kept a stash of coloring books and crayons, and I do child-speak very well.

So what, you may ask, was the problem then?

1. Never go to work for a friend (especially one who feels they know you so well you’ll put up with their inappropriate behavior and love ’em anyway). Not to mention tax pros who would utter comments like, “This is as much fun as a barrel of dead babies!”

2. If you’re diabetic, running next door to Taco Time a couple times a week is NOT good for your sugar control.

3. I found out that I’m a real mom and pop business person. I HATED working for a corporation.

The long and short of it? Our office worked like a well-oiled machine. In fact, we were the top office in our district last tax season. Three of us had gone to college together. But the problem was, the later it got in the tax season, the more I saw my friend change. By the last few days she was outright verbally abusive, even though I had taken her aside and spoken with her about how her behavior affected me on two different occasions.

As things ended up, I walked out of there on April 14th and I haven’t spoken to her since then. I called and left a message on her phone suggesting we needed to talk about what happened. I never heard back. The relationship had become so toxic in my life that I had to make a choice about whether I wanted to continue our 40+ year friendship or not. I did not.

The eating lunch out totally screwed up my A1C and I’m still fighting to get things back on track.

And the corporation? OMG! The main office would call and say someone would be there that day to check us out and then NEVER show up. The CSP’s couldn’t sit at their desks and read or check their email or file their nails! But in the three and a half months I worked there, they never once showed up. And I sat there in fight/flight mode day after day. (Which is part of what drove my sugar sky high.)

It sure sounded like an offer I couldn’t refuse, but I will readily admit it was NOT worth the $7000 I made last tax season. When they contacted me in December to make sure I was coming back, I laughed almost hysterically. I guess they got the message. I never heard from them again. I’m sorry about my friend, but sometimes things happen that can’t be overcome if both parties aren’t willing to sort the problem out. So the other thing I learned was how to grieve through the loss of a relationship.

It was all quite the learning experience. The most important thing I learned? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.