Something Troubling

Something Troubling-1I’m hoping tomorrow will be a little less dis-jointed than today was.  Seems every time I have a rental posted, the phone never seems to stop ringing.  While someone was sitting across the desk from me yesterday, the phone rang, I excused myself and I picked it up knowing full well it was another rental inquiry.  When I hung up, my client laughed and said, “Isn’t it hilarious when finding people who continue to ask questions, and when you attempt to answer even the first, they’re on to the next one.”  That caller’s voice was so loud, I think the entire office could’ve heard her.  She was being so rude that I finally had to wait until she stopped talking before I gave any sort of answer.  My client certainly had something to talk about after overhearing her conversation with me.  Oh Mercy!

During my lunch hour I had to stop and pick up some supplies at a store, and while turning down an aisle, I noticed a man likely somewhere around 60 years of age in search of something.  When he turned to face me, I was shocked to see him “wearing” a braided goatee that hung down at least eight inches from his chin.  I was shocked to the point of having to turn away.  As I was walking back towards the checkout with items in hand, there he was asking the cashier where something was located. She pointed pointed towards the corner of the store and off he scurried with his shopping cart.

The first thing I said while placing my items on the counter was, “I’m not sure if it’ll be three lives going forward or possibly three alternate-universe past lives where you’ll see me growing and then braiding a goatee like his!”  She giggled a little and whispered, “It sure takes all kinds.”  I then replied, “I know God loves us all great and small, but why don’t people try to look their best anymore–especially when out in public?”  She just shrugged her shoulders and nodded an acknowledgement.

While driving back to the office I couldn’t stop thinking about how ragged looking our population has become.  I’m sure many of you remember a generation or so ago how rarely you’d ever see someone dressed in a “trampish” style.  I remember once when very young and seated in the back seat of our Mercury station wagon and hearing my mother while driving calling out, “Just look at that tramp!”  Having heard what a tramp looked like but never before seeing one, I jumped in my seat to get a good look at one.  There he was, wearing sagging clothes that looked like they’d not been washed in weeks, disheveled long hair, and a face long unshaved.  Now speed dial my visual forward and you likely see one or two a day without even looking for one.  It’s sad but true, and I’m still wondering when the pendulum is going to swing back.

One of my dear clients whom I’ve known for many years stopped today to share her frustration after coming from the Courthouse to pay her real estate taxes.  “My tax bill was 10% higher this year than it was the last!” she exclaimed.  She then said something that really got me to thinking by saying, “You know I take very good care of my home and I’m now beginning to think I’m being punished for keeping it in such good shape.  I think the people who really need to be heavily taxed are those who allow their homes to deteriorate so their taxes go down.  If our taxing structure would be reversed, then maybe people would take better care of their homes so to be afforded property tax relief.”  All I could say was, “It’s just another example of how our system becomes punitive towards those who take care of what they own, and benevolent towards those who don’t.”    I think she felt better when leaving by knowing I also agree there’s something troubling about our tax system.  I’m also wondering how some of our European neighbors across the big pond assess and calculate their property taxation.  If I have time, I’ll certainly investigate.

Joe Chodur

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