Mar 23, 2012

Memo to the IRS

Just because you have my address doesn’t mean you should write to me.

Yesterday I received five letters from you: one telling me that I don’t owe you any money, one elaborating on my not owing you money with a list of deposits I have made, one demanding my March 2011 941 form which I have already sent you three times, one telling me that amount of the refund check you sent to me a week ago because you had figured out I did not owe the money which you demanded three weeks prior to that.

My favorite letter was in response to a note I mailed to the you — a copy of my FICA payment for February, made on March 14th on your EFTPS site. I had written to you to say you had better not charge me interest, because I paid on time and your computer program said the payment date was a day late. The response said that in order for you to “consider a payment timely, it must be made by 8 pm EDT the day before it is due”. It is due on the 15th, but if one pays on the 14th, especially from Hawai`i ,the IRS says you’re late and there is nothing you can do about it. Thank you very much.

Once one gets on your radar, your computer believes that you are its penpal. In our Brand Strategy business, you said we owed you $9,000 from 1995. It took me seven years with two tax advocates to get you to admit we did not owe you one thin dime.

If I add up the number of hours I spend answering your letters, I would have to kill myself. When all of this started, I had no idea it would become my primary job.

I think that you should give people like me a break. I have owned two small businesses, and both of them have come under your evil eye. Isn’t there someone who actually owes you money that you can contact?  Like Mitt Romney?

Or is it that when I answer your letters, you feel obligated to write back out of your great concern for customer service?

Mar 17, 2012

When The Pastor’s In the Grave….

Everyone is trouble. Even Wayne Cordeiro himself. Pastor of the Quasi Mega church New Hope, reportedly the biggest church planter in the U.S., Pastor Wayne Cordeiro appeared last year in a commercial speaking to us from a grave.

I am quite sure that the grave was not dug especially for this not-so-tall minister, because there was a pile of dirt behind him. Behind him, people were visiting their dead. It was clear that he had jumped into someone’s ready grave to ask us which way we would go on Judgment Day.

I found it offensive on so many levels. I willed the pile of dirt to fall in on him, but it didn’t. I have spent the better part of this year thinking about how to write to him and tell him not to do it again, but I could be too late.

I am here to warn Hawai`i’s world about the possible appearance of Pastor Wayne in a grave on your television later this month. If that happens, I urge you to call the television station and complain immediately.

I have no idea whose grave that was but he desecrated it. It was disrespectful of the other people at the cemetery, and I hope not representative of what his Church stands for. Rock and roll is not going too far.  Standing in someone else’s grave definitely is.

Mar 9, 2012

The Day My Dad Became a Democrat

My Dad; My Hero

Walter Herbert Etzbach, or Etzy as he was known to his friends, worked his ass off to prove that he was a true blue American. A first generation American, he spoke German and English but stopped speaking German when he was beaten up in school for being German. Growing up in Winnetka, Illinois he went to New Trier and the University of Illinois where he was a champion swimmer.  He was a handsome lifeguard on the shores of Lake Michigan.

He served his country during World War II on an aircraft carrier. Henry Fonda was his bunkmate. He worked for the American Can Company for more than forty years, moving our family from Chicago to Denver then Baltimore and finally Riverside, Connecticut.

He was also a champion sailor, winning the Cuba/Baccardi Cup three years in a row as crew for his best friend Harry Nye. He was the first foreign winner to give an acceptance speech in Spanish. After the third win, they sailed out of Cuba under the cover of darkness. The war had started.

As a salesman for American Can. he kept every known brand of cigarettes in our freezer for guests, even though he deplored smoking, My mother. a wild child from a wealthy Chicago family, held a party for his boss and mistakenly bought all Continental Can products. At the same party, the boss blabbed on and on and my mother looked at his wife and said “How can you stand him.” My straight backed father was long suffering; he had his biggest challenge in my mother, who he loved with his heart and soul.

In our house, everything American was right. The President was always right. Miss America was always beautiful. Teachers were always smart. His rebellious daughter, taking after her mother, did not always agree. We did not discuss politics at the dinner table. We may have been the first American family to adopt TV dinners on TV trays in the TV room.

When my brother and I went to Yale and Smith, we came home with liberal views. My Dad did not understand how this happened.

He was a life long Republican who paid for everything with cash — even paying his American Express card in advance when we took a family vacation. He spent his retirement years yelling at Darryl Strawberry and controlled us by changing the channel any time another person in the room got interested.

I am pretty sure my Dad, super Republican that he was, would be horrified by today’s Republican party. He has been dead more than fifteen years.

If the Mormons can do it, so can I. Today, I baptize my father a Democrat, from now until the end of time.

Mar 6, 2012

You Didn’t Invent The Universe

2004 37 cent stamp honoring Bucky Fuller

And you aren’t running it. That phrase was repeated over and over to one of my fly-by mentors, Marshall Thurber, by American genius Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller.

I find it important to remember this when I am looking out at our world, stupified, gobsmacked by the hideous things people everywhere are still doing to one another.

After Bucky’s 1930′s calculation of the Earth’s resources, he said that by 1976 we would be able to feed every single human being on the planet. In 1976, while Bucky’s prediction was true, more than 50,000 people died of hunger every day.

Bucky said at the time “”It is now highly feasible to take care of everybody on Earth at a higher standard of living than any have ever known. It no longer has to be you or me. Selfishness is unnecessary. War is obsolete. It is a mater of converting the high technology from weaponry to livingry.”

Things have only gotten worse in the last 35+ years, and humanity-at-large has proved itself not to be very humane.

It is particularly depressing to me that our nation, with all of its resources, spends most of its time devoted to matters that do more harm than good.

Then again, I didn’t invent the Universe and I ain’t running it. Who the hell is?

Mar 1, 2012

Corporations Are People; Credit Cards Are Employee of the Month

Is there anyone else out there who hates the commercial about the Capitol One card called “Spark” … It is filmed on a construction site, with the boss calling the credit card “Employee of the Month.”
Not his employees, who are working their butts off so he can get 2% cash back, but the G-D credit card.

This country has gone completely bonkers, and this credit card ad is an
insult to employees in an economy barely recovering from a terrible decline. And probably those “construction workers” are actors.
Go F-yourself, Capitol One.

“Employee of the Month”

Gloria. Circa 1955.

Gloria. Circa 2012.

Other than working for the American Red Cross in Korea for two years, Gloria Garvey has lived in Hawai`i since 1971. Her opinion and other writing has appeared in: The American Philatelist. Honolulu Weekly, The Honolulu Advertiser, The Honolulu Star Bulletin, The Star Advertiser, Hawai`i Reporter, Pacific Business News, Island Scene, The Design Management Journal.

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