Friday, November 05, 2010

Who is the employer here?

Last week, we received a surprise fire inspection from our local fire department to check to make sure our building meets existing fire code.

Now my building is a 110 year old residence converted to office. So I'm sure that this place would never meet current fire code requirements and has been grandfathered for many requirements.

None the less, this particular inspector told me that my EXIT signs needed to be lit even though a former inspector told me (and I showed the guy the form) that they did not need to be lit. The fire fighter told me that he'd look into it and get back to me.

Yesterday, this fire fighter came into my office to tell me that they were "going to let me" keep the signs as is.

So I asked the guy if, in fact, the code required it or not. He didn't give me a straight answer. I was in no mood to bicker with the guy because I needed to get out of the office. None the less, his attitude of "we're going to let you" continued to grate on me all day.

This illustrates my problem with government employees. Who the hell works for whom? This guy basically came off like I work for his ass. In reality, it's my property taxes that pays his salary and benefits.

I'm just guessing that if this inspection had occurred a week after a fire levy was defeated, these guys would probably not "let me" keep my exit signs as is.

I run into this all the time. Once the city of Cincinnati required my client to submit payroll withholdings on subcontract workers. I asked the auditor to show me where in the code it required withholding on subs and they sent me a withholding instructions on payrolled employees. My client paid the amount because it was less than the time and effort to fight it but he repaid them by locating out of the city. I bet that bully auditor still believes he got one over on my client.

I had another instance where the city of Cincinnati told my client that the wages reported to them on the W-2's form didn't agree with the wages on their corporate tax return. I could never get this guy to realize that the corporate tax return represented a different period of time than the W-2's (of course the payroll #'s wouldn't match). It wasn't until I threatened to not withhold city taxes on work performed outside the city (which was nearly all of it) that these clowns backed off.

These are the annoyances employers put up with every day. Larger businesses get to deal with OSHA, dept. of Labor and EPA inspectors who "will let you" or not conform to their whims or to their most recent regulations.

And the Obamunists want to assure business that they are pro commerce?

Business people know better.

No comments: