One Couple's Stumblings Through Parenthood and Marriage

Thursday, April 20, 2006

My Own Private Walden

Several months ago I got a speeding ticket. What hurts is that I absolutely wasn't speeding. My indignation was such that I even contested it in court, though to no avail. This injustice has cost me a $128 fine, a morning in court, $24 for traffic school administration, $16.95 for actual traffic school, and the time spent online to do the traffic school.

... bitterness and rancor setting in ...

Last night almost killed me. I was finishing up with traffic school when it came to the point that I had to pony up the $24 to the county for the traffic school administration. I was impressed when I found out that I could pay online. I began entering the details when I noticed an asterisk indicating that there would be a 'convenience charge' for the online payment. Guess how much this 'convenience' was going to cost me? $13!

A $13 charge to process my $24 fee? WHAT? This was for an online payment! It's all automated! That isn't a convenience charge, that is extortion. Has the county taken some pages from the Mob handbook? Care to sell me some fire insurance, too, Guido?

Today I spent over 20 minutes on hold to talk to a live person with the county traffic division. She was very pleasant and recommended that I simply mail the check in. There is no charge for that. I can't express how wrong this is! They would charge me 13 bucks to use their automated, electronic, human-less system, yet require no extra charge to have one of their staff sort my mail, open my letter, process my check, and forward it to the bank! COME ON PEOPLE!

That's it. I am going to follow in the footsteps of Henry David Thoreau and retreat to my own Walden Lake (my bedroom), and evade/challenge the government from there. I know it is futile, but there is dignity in it, right?

Oh well. Soon, it will all be behind me. Okay, I feel better now. Thanks for reading.


stina said...

Argh. It cost me $60 to e-file taxes this year. WHY??!! I couldn't handle the thought of waiting in line all day at the post office with two small children, so I just did it, but it still irritates me. Don't get me started on this one.

Raging Wombat said...

Same for me! I don't think I have the strength of will to write about taxes and not end up bashing my computer to pieces.

Ian said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Raging Wombat said...

It wasn't the feds that charged me, it was TurboTax. I love how expensive convenience is.

Ian said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous Tax Guy said...

Okay, I didn't mean to get into a whole thing, so I deleted some comments. At the risk of giving out unasked for Tax advice, here it goes.

Lots of online filing programs like turbo tax charge money at the site, however if you link through from this I.R.S. site, depending on your circumstances it very well could be free for the same service.