Like many spineless and unremarkable pencil pushers who toil in middle management and like any entitled white male who only performs the barest modicum of job duties to collect a paycheck, Charles “Chuck” Skorupski is about as committed to human decency as a barracuda is to hugging some grouper he is about to devour. Skorupski is not in the business of clearing up misunderstandings or helping out the New York residents who pay his salary, but he loves to dictate the terms. He speaks “conversational French,” after all. But based on my phone call with him, it seems to me that the only word he fully understands is merde, despite any dubious Duolingo grinding he has done in the last decade.
I spoke with Skorupski on Friday morning after I learned, to my horror, that New York State had processed a duplicate tax payment mirroring the original. In any other governmental branch or business, the duplicate payment would be recognized as a mistake and swiftly remedied. But when you point out such a truth to Skorupski, who speaks in a voice that somehow sounds as if he has apnea or is breathing partially through a straw, Skorupski possesses nothing in the way of empathy or the ability to help. He instead tells you that taxes are much different than any reasonable analogy you bring up. Really? You wanted my money instantly on May 17th and I gave it to you, but you choose not to honor this covenant in return? I was told that it would take six weeks for the mistake to be corrected. “This happens all the time,” said Skorupski with all the insensitivity of a Sturmabteilung stomping his boots on a child’s skull in the name of “good government.”
Skorupski considers himself something of a tony and elegant fellow, despite the fact that he is somehow almost as hideous-looking as Dr. Evil (who shares similar megalomaniacal and sociopathic qualities) and has been pictured drinking piss-thin Corona at a fancy cocktail party (surely a weak-kneed nightlife solecism if ever there was one) and he doesn’t know how to keep his tie straight or stand with any warmth or bonhomie when a woman is speaking to him. Presumably any beer with a bit of hop would cause this bald tyrant to dissolve instantly into a pungent mist.
If you’re suffering because of some mistake that New York State is responsible for and refuses to correct in a reasonable manner, well then, why are you wasting this former librarian’s time? Don’t you understand that Skorupski is busy “delivering on multiple projects in a fast-paced environment”? Skorpuski possesses dual American and Canadian citizenship and has been working for the Department of Financial Services for nearly nine years. He boasts that he is an INTP, the same personality type as such ruthless capitalists as Adam Smith, George Soros, Larry Page, Paul Allen, and Alan Greenspan. He is, in short, a casual and privileged sociopath, despite the fact that he brags about “Robust People Skills” on his LinkedIn page (why the allcaps? are “Robust People Skills” something you have to mail in for?). And he has the bourgie avatar to prove it: a ridiculous image of a bald man in a tieless getup holding a cup of coffee where the steam is wafting away from him, presumably because Skorupski is one of those all too predictable reptilians fond of casually gorging on human flesh.
“There’s nothing I can do,” said Skorupski repeatedly to me. He had all the timbre of a man who is telling you that there is actually a lot he could do, if only he possessed a human heart rather than some cybernetic implant that prevents him from drinking anything stronger than Corona. And the hell of it is that Skorupski is speaking like this because he was paid so abysmally in the years before he was promoted to supervisor: according to pubic records, Skorupski was paid a mere $41,406 as a taxpayer service representative in 2018. But then that’s the way the State of New York works. Pay the little people nothing. Then promote the hardest hearts to supervisor positions, where they can be more assured of a living wage. And then, if you’re able to land such a not very cushy job, do not rock the boat. Do not stand out. Do not, above all, serve the people. If anything, delight in a taxpayer’s suffering.
I am certain that the six weeks it will take for me to reclaim my duplicate four figure tax payment will be extended until the end of the year. Particularly after Skorupski reads this and lashes back with the vengeance that I am now offering him so that I can peacefully go about the rest of my day. I am certain that the only way I will be able to reclaim this overpayment, an overpayment that I only executed because the New York State website did not recognize my earlier payment and I feared that the payment did not go through and I did not want to pay any late fees and penalties and, after 24 hours, no payment in process had showed up on the NYS website, will be when I file next year’s taxes. But if I am to be punished for being a responsible taxpayer and when I have done nothing wrong, then surely Skorupski deserves to be flayed alive by way of a colorful portrait because he is a callous and intransigent Babbitt who has sold his soul at a deep discount. And who knows? Maybe calling out malicious malingerers like Skorupski is one way to get New York government to properly serve the people.