August 5th, 2008


Waiting for the Tax Gal/Guy

Every year I end up filing an extension on taxes because something about the process paralyzes me. I go tharn, like a rabbit from Watership Down, caught in the headlights. This year the wackiness hasn't been entirely on my side - and the fact that I'm waiting now for the tax guy or gal to arrive, so far at the 12 minute late mark, is typical. I do have all our stuff assembled, so if they flake out again, I think I can just do the online filing thing. However, these guys seem to usually save us at least the cost of their fee and then some again, so I'd just as soon they show up.

I'm getting ready for WorldCon and seeing a lot of posts on schmoozing lately. Here are points that I consider worth reiterating.
  • Shower, please.
  • People like being appreciated. Feel free to express sincere admiration for someone's work or accomplishments. Then drop it and go on to something else.
  • Pay your own freaking breakfast/lunch/dinner/bar bill and don't depend on other people. If someone treats you, treat them back if you get the chance. Prepare to get stiffed at least once and figure it's schmooze tax, and thus should be handled graciously.
  • Learn to listen. People like to talk. And they have interesting things to say. Plan on listening more than talking.
  • Give the socially inept the benefit of the doubt and don't be mean to them.
  • If you are shy, do at least one thing that pushes your boundaries, like talking to a stranger or asking a question at a panel.
  • Similarly, expose yourself to at least one viewpoint that radically differs from your own.
  • Introduce yourself to the people who might want to know you: people you have interacted with online, editors who have taken your work, people who share an interest or mentor.
  • And my #1 rule: Don't be a jackass.
And now the tax guy is here. Wish me luck.