Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fatigue

The screening of 'Upaj' on March 18th just happened this weekend. It was a whirlwind of stress & activity for the last two weeks, and now I'm feeling completely burnt out. There's still tons of work to be done on the film ... and the mere thought of it makes me want to go to sleep. Actually, aside from going to sleep, nothing else has sounded appealing to me.

I've told myself that I'm allowed to be completely useless & lazy this week, and then I have to start up normal life again next week. I just don't know if I'll be ready a week from now. Right now I feel like I could sleep day & night for weeks.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

1099, are you outta your mind??

If there's one area where I feel completely clueless, and fearful of the unknown, it's taxes... and by association, accounting for the IRS. You would think this fear would make me extra cautious, and make me watch every step I take. On the contrary, I'm so afraid of it, that I put if off until there is no possible way for me to delay it any more. The last minute has arrived.

February 28th. My 1099's were due today, and, of course, I hadn't done anything about it. I thought about it ... a lot ... but did nothing about it. But, thanks to my good friend Avani, who had already told me this was very simple, and nothing to worry about -- I relaxed a little. In my case, this was bad, because it was further justification to put it off until today. But really, all I had to do was pick up the forms (avail at any Office supply store) and fill out the names of the people who I had paid more than $600 in this business year, and mail them out -- it had to be postmarked by today to make the deadline, and I started working on this at 11am, so I wasn't terribly concerned. Because 'Upaj' had no funds for most of 2010, we hardly did any work, except towards the latter part of the year. I had gotten my individual hires to fill out W9's (unlike the year before where I didn't even know what a W9 is ... not that I know what it is now, but I know I have to make individuals fill it out at least!)

Office Max -- no 1099's.
Office Depot -- no 1099's.

I finally located an Office Max that had one packet of 1099's left. I told them to put it on hold -- I would be there within the hour (I feel like Jack Bauer). The Office Max was right on Market and 3rd -- talk about crappy parking situation. However, I found the associated multi-storied parking garage (which would validate the first 20 mins, so that wasn't so bad), and picked up the package of forms -- a package of 50 ... each page has 2 on it, so 100 forms -- I had three employees for the entire year. Talk about a waste of money. But oh well, it's the IRS, you can't really get around it.

I come back home, and after realizing that one of the guys never sent me his signed W9, track him down and get his info. As I'm on the phone with him, I open the package just to make sure that I don't need any other info from him. BLANK. The pages are blank. ALL OF THEM. WTF?!?!

Apparently this is the electronic version. Where you print the stuff on it? I don't know ... I don't think I have the software for this, and I really don't need anything that fancy. I just need two forms.

Sooooo ... I make the treck BACK to Office Max ... wind up the claustrophobic parking structure to the seventh floor, park, remember to get my parking ticket ... and the Office Max guy looks at me like I'm a moron. 'Yeah, it says blank.' Really helpful dude. 'Well, can I get the pre-printed ones?' He points me to the pile of tax forms, as if I'm a blind idiot, and low and behold, they don't have the pre-printed ones. Of course not.

The only saving  grace was a) I could return the opened package of blank 1099's and b) he recommended a store a couple of blocks away that might have them. So back on the 7th floor of my parking garage, I call the new shop, and make sure to ask for the 'pre-printed 1099's' this time. They have them! And better yet -- they sell them INDIVIDUALLY for $0.80/page, so I can spend $5 on this rather than $35!

That made me feel better ... ok, so what, I wasted an hour, but at least I'm saving money for my production. I park at a parking meter a couple of blocks away, and pick up the papers, and come home to work on filling them out. At this point, I have gotten all the missing info from the other people who I hired for the year (ok, I have to admit, out of the three people, I didn't have info on two of them; I was not on top of my sh--). I sit down to fill them out, and I can't seem to figure out which box to put the amount of money each person was paid. No worries, I leave a message for Avani, she'll call me back and let me know. It's still only 4 pm -- all I have to do is fill three boxes and make it to the post office which is three blocks away (they have parking, so I can even drive it to save time).

Avani calls, and I read out the choices of boxes for where I should be putting in the amount, and she asks me 'You have the 1099 Misc forms, right?' I look at the top right of my forms '1099 Int.'

I have the wrong bloody form.

It's 4:30 at this point. I have resigned to the fact that it's just NOT HAPPENING TODAY. I have no one to blame but myself -- this is what I get for leaving it for the last minute.

I called the other branch of the new stationery story and asked them for the 'pre-printed, 1099 misc forms' and they say they have it. I will be picking them up tomorrow. As a contingency plan, I've asked Avani to pick up a couple for me as well -- worst come to worst, when I go to Redwood City for my car servicing this week, I'll pick them up from her in Palo Alto.

I should take this as a lesson to not wait until April 10th to complete the accounting for my company, and then be going thru this massive stress & confusion & hysteria. I hope that 6 weeks from now, I don't have another post complaining about how badly my day went, because of my own fault.

I should remember this moment, and think of this quote:
"Every duty which is bidden to wait returns with seven fresh duties at its back."  ~Charles Kingsley

Tell me about it.