Diary

Difference between Federal and Local Government in one day.

My kids, who are all grown, ask me why I am not a fan of a large Federal government involved in all of your business. Today illustrates the difference well:

I get up this morning with three errands to complete (prepare to wince): 1) Go to the IRS office to drop off an estimated tax payment, 2) Go to the city auditors office (in a fairly large city) to get paperwork for personal property taxes, and 3) here it comes…… go to the DMV to get a sticker for a vehicle.

Part one (federal): I go to the local IRS office at 1035 am and am told, “We are not giving out numbers to see anyone because we are too backed up.” I look around at the waiting room and there are about 8 people there. I am told to come back in an hour to get a number to get in line.

Part two (city): So, I head off to the city building downtown. I pull into the parking garage, get my ticket, find a space several levels up, walk to the building, go through the metal detectors, see the people in the auditor’s office where they are really pleasant and give me the papers I need, go over to the treasurer’s office, make a payment, get a receipt, and go out to my car. A whopping total of twelve minutes have passed on the parking lot ticket since I pulled in the garage.

Part three (state) : I leave the garage and drive to the Department of Motor Vehicles. As soon as I sit down, “Now serving B215 at window number 1”. Strangely enough, I am B215. They engage in pleasant conversation while they give me the sticker and I am out of the DMV in less than four minutes from when I walked in.

Part four (back to federal): I go back to the IRS because more than an hour had passed. It is now about 1230. “We are not taking any more people today”. (There are about ten people waiting. They don’t close until 4 or 5.) “Can I just drop off a check?” “No”. “Can I get a note that I was here because the check is due today?” “No… the people who can give you a note are the same people who aren’t seeing anyone.” “Can I get a photo to prove I was here?” “No. No photos allowed in the office.” (So I took a selfie outside the building for when they say I was late with the check).

So, in summary, the state and city employees in three separate locations were pleasant, efficient, and provided great service. The federal employees were rude, unhelpful, and apparently stop working four or five hours before they stop getting paid. That, in a nut shell, is the difference between local and federal government and it has been pretty consistent over the years.