Work & Taxes

by jkatejohnston

Yesterday while I was writing my Scalia eulogy, Teresa was cursing Turbo Tax, “I already did that page! We still don’t have a farm!” And it didn’t occur to me at the time that if Scalia’s dissents had been majority opinions, we wouldn’t have been able to file the joint federal return that she was working on. We got what we needed because he lost that battle.


I’ve been working horribly hard at my paid job. It’s funny how a kind of grudging loyalty creeps over you. I’ve been at Social Services for about three years, and I want us to not be stupid. When I’m there on the weekends, I have to sign in with the security guard, and I scan the list to see who my comrades are. Usually no one I know, it’s a huge department. One Sunday evening when I signed out, I saw that I was the last one there. I felt lonely and important.

I’ve been writing about my cases, which I can’t include here, but I will say that at least I finally have some cases worth writing about. (My first case for Social Services involved  a daycare with too much dog shit in the back yard.) A few weeks ago, Karol and I were talking about work. She was about to go to trial on a double homicide. I was about to go to hearing on a mean daycare provider. And we both noticed how much more we disapproved of the mean daycare lady, who never seriously injured anybody. And not just because children were involved. Karol’s defended her share of child-killers, and any parent can at least recognize the feelings that lead to child homicide. It’s just that sustained meanness seems worse than rage. It’s more intentional, more personal. Rage has terrible consequences, that’s all.