I’ve been dealing with an organization at work for over two weeks now. This Shall-Remain-Anonymous organization has information about my organization on their Web site. I have been asked by my boss’ boss to update the information because the information is inaccurate.

Thus began the fun. Upon going to the organization’s Web site, I was delighted to learn that I wasn’t the first person to want this kind of information changed. In fact, there was a giant flashing button on their Web site that says: “Update Your Nonprofit’s Information.” Wow, a flashing button? This is gonna be the easiest part of my whole week. Click…

Next page says, “You currently do not have permission to update a nonprofit report.” Uh yeah, OK, I mean how would this Web site know who I was? I could be playing one of those classic nonprofit practical jokes where I lower the fiscal year operating revenue by a couple hundred thousand dollars on this Web site, and then everyone has a good chuckle. All right, though, I’ll play your game.

“If you’d like to request permission to update your organization’s report, please enter your EIN here. Then click ‘Request Permission'” These people have thought of everything. After figuring out what our EIN was through a series of internal phone calls, I was given a 9 digit number (our Employer Identification Number). And I entered it. To which, I received an error message: “This EIN does not exist. blah blah.”

After double-checking the number (it was correct), I contacted customer service to inform them of my plight. What do I do if my EIN does not exist in your system? Can I register it with your organization? etc. I received this response ‘Thank you for contacting XX. It appears your EIN does not exist.”

Ah, yes, thank you for repeating the error message I told you I received. I responded, this time copying the error message in the email. To which, I received a snooty reply. “Sir, you need a dash after the second number.” It must be rough having to deal with such idiots who don’t know where to put the dashes in their EINs.

This time, when I entered the number with the correct placement of the dash, I received the following error message: “Jane Doe is already registered as the person responsible for updating your organization’s information. If Jane Doe is no longer with the organization, please contact us at”

An answer, finally. “Dear X, Jane Doe is no longer with our organization, can you change the access so that I can update our information. hugs and kisses, duodecad.”

And the response a few minutes ago? “Dear Duodecad, Jane Doe is already registered as the person responsible for updating your organization’s information. If Jane Doe is no longer with the organization, please contact us at”

This could get ugly.

6 Responses to Formed

  1. Katie L. says:

    I am going to cry.

  2. Pulao says:

    Oh, I remember the fun time I had trying the lowering of the fiscal year operating revenue. It was funny, but I didn’t get nearly the laughs as when I put the dash after the third digit on my EIN number. Now that was super funny.

    I think they’re confused because Jane Doe always said “XOXO” instead of “hugs and kisses”– you know, to make it sound more respectable. Have you tried that?

  3. Kris says:

    Yeah, but have you ever tried to read an EIN where the dash was in the wrong place? Or worse yet, without any dashes?!?

  4. Duodecad says:

    Everyone will be glad to know that it only took 2.5 weeks to get this all resolved…but it did get resolved.

  5. Anirban says:

    Does 2.5 weeks mean two weeks and lunch time Thursday or two weeks and 5 working days… which pushes the count to three weeks?

  6. Matt says:

    I had that exact situation at work yesterday. Fortunately, there was a human being I could talk to. Unfortunately, she really liked talking about databases, and she really didn’t like answering questions.

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