There's a nice listicle up at The Atlantic: "What People Don't Get About My Job."
Most of the entries offer genuinely illuminating peeks into the lives and work of other people—Graphic Designer: "The vast majority of designers make ugly things for incompetent people." Video Producer: "Video is not fast. Video is slooooooooooooooooooow."—but the entry for IRS Employee is dishearteningly predictable:
I have the job to be in between you and the most intimate part of your life: your money. With a tax code that can stretch around the world three times, can anyone really be 100% certain they are in compliance when they get a letter from me? With the populist anti-tax fervor among the nation, now more than ever my job has become one of ridicule and despise.
What people don't understand about my job is that chances are you are not the person I'm examining. I examine doctors who expense three Cadillacs, insurance brokers who claim jet skis for business use only, and real estate agents who haven't paid taxes in eight years. The public doesn't realize that tax auditors are the only people between a balanced effective tax rate among all social classes and the bourgeoisie stealing what isn't bolted down. Don't kid yourself; these people are stealing from you. This money helps pay for schools, roads and with any luck can keep mortgage interest deduction alive for a few more years....
So if you're one of those "Joe the Plumber" people who take time out of work to throw teabags at me on my way into the office in the morning: You are the middle class! I'm helping you!
I'm not sure what to hate the most: The terrible grammar? The factually-dubious claim about the Earth-encircling properties of the tax code? The inappropriate use of the word bourgeoisie? The apparently unselfconscious invocation of the "I'm from the government and I'm here to help" cliche?
Go ahead commenters, choose your own favorite line!
Via Radley Balko.