My new job affords me little opportunity to defend the Constitution, or indeed to endanger it. As one of the numerous temporary workers hired by the IRS to handle tax returns during the main tax season, I can expect to spend my days dealing with tax returns that, for various reasons, have been marked by the computer as containing errors.
First, though, we have four weeks of training, which promises to be just as boring as my 10th-grade math class. The first few days were spent tabbing and making corrections to our tax manuals, since they're about 1000 pages long and Congress makes lots of minute changes every month. My tongue is still sore from the tabbing, too; the index tabs the IRS uses are the gummed kind that stick like super-glue if they come into contact with anything damp.
Fortunately, our instructors are likable. The lead instructor even told us about how President Bush, who doesn't much care for the IRS, tried to hold down our pay (the IRS is supposed to use the same pay scale as all the other civilian bureaucracies), but was thwarted by our union. In related news, our official-federal-building portraits of Bush and Cheney apparently had to be moved to places where there are always guards, because they kept getting defaced.