Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Home Office Fiasco

I am now the mildly concerned owner of a home office.

Do I have a business? In a word, no. Do I have a business idea? In two words, ummmm no.

So now you're wondering why I have a home office. Well, I'll tell you why: because Quicken said I did.

I'm not a businessman nor do I have any aspiration of being one: I wear a helmet to work, pull cats out of trees, and my biggest concern of the workday is what I'm going to make the crew for dinner. It just so happened that as I was doing my taxes this year, Quicken gave me the virtual equivalent of a raised eyebrow and asked me if I would like to "set up my home office?".

I know it's just a computer program and there wasn't a flesh and blood person on the other end of the screen reading my responses, but it felt like someone was asking me if I wanted some help in the same tone one would ask their invalid grandfather if he'd like to go poop in the bathroom instead of on the couch.

I clicked yes, and it went ferociously downhill from there. Quicken started in with it's prying, invasive, no-consideration-for-your-struggles-inquisition that they obviously modeled after the actual Inquisition. A brief excerpt follows:

Q: What is the size of your home office?
A: Medium sized closet. Sliding door style.

Q: ERROR- please give your answer in square footage.
A: 50?

Q: ERROR- "50?" is too small for human habitation
A: Sorry, my bad. 100?

Q: ERROR- "Sorry, my bad" is not acceptable.
A: I know. I'm sorry Quicken. I'm so so sorry...

Ad nauseam. In case you were wondering, the "Q" and "A" stands for "Quicken" and "Asshole", or at least that how I felt after the hour and a half it took me to complete the home office section.

After what seemed like an interminable interrogation period, Quicken relented in it's judgment of my humble Paramedical Consulting business and gave me my deserved deduction for having a home office. However, in much the same way there is no free drink without the purchase of a medium french-fry, Quicken slapped me across the face with it's caveat: the IRS has the final say on whether or not your home office truly is a home office and they have the right to inspect it.

I instantly felt the same way a 16 year-old boy feels when his 15 year-old girlfriend shows him the pink plus sign on a pregnancy test: cold sweat, rectal clench, random thought of what's for dinner later.

The IRS coming to check out my home office? Not only did this mean I would have to clean up my bedroom, but I would also have to have something that amounted to an office in said bedroom and not just a desktop pornography terminal attached to a printer.

It was time for action.

In a whirlwind of moving furniture mumbled curses, I turned my upstairs man-cave into what I hope the IRS will find to be an acceptable home office. The computer in the office has been renamed "OFFCDSKTP"( a sad departure from it's previous name of "NinjaPirateFlagship"), I have a filing box in the corner, and I even bought a plastic floormat for my manager-style rolling chair. To top it all off I purchased a paper shredder and started shredding coupon mailers. I mean, what says "home office" more than a half-full paper shredder?

So now, with my immediate fears allayed, I figured I might as well enjoy my new home office and get started on the only business I've ever really known: the business of writing. That way, when the IRS shows up here to check out my home office I can be justified in my Quicken-like righteous indignation when I start shouting "CAN'T YOU PEOPLE SEE I'M WORKING?!? IN MY NEW HOME OFFICE?!?"

1 comment:

  1. Room is absolutely gorgeous. I am taking over this office NOW.

    oh yea.

    here is my blog. Add it to your favorites.