I have two emails that arrive daily: one is from Zara Billings, and, daily, with out fail, I ponder what I might probably have purchased from Zara earlier than remembering that’s the title of a PR individual. The opposite is from HMRC. It communicates with me consistently. Typically, it gives me webinars for furloughing workers I don’t have. Different instances it’s telling me how Brexit will have an effect on my enterprise, when it plainly has no concept; it could as effectively have despatched me the emoji with the woman throwing her arms up. Usually, it’s a catch-all message of assist, reminiscent of you may get from an osteopath – “Can we assist? No time like the current!” – or one thing a bit extra demanding, however nonetheless open-ended and non-committal, within the fashion of a dental surgical procedure’s “is it six months since your final appointment?”, which at all times vaguely irks me. (You’re not allowed to trouble me till you know I’m overdue. These are the foundations.)
HMRC has stepped it up a bit now with accompanying day by day texts, imploring me to not go away my tax return till the deadline – despite the fact that that is presumably a channel for the self-employed. Why does it suppose I don’t have a correct employer anyway? No person needs last-minute retailers clogging up their life.
You at all times suppose you’re alone once you cope with HMRC, trapped in a panicky, Kafkaesque dyad, the tiny incompetent self v the huge state with its pointy edges. Then somebody on Twitter mentioned: “OK, OK, I’ve earned nearly nothing, however you’ll get your cash, alright? Simply go away me alone. Go after a tax-avoiding main company for a change.” I sauntered over to Twitter to precise my gratitude and solidarity to the gentleman, pausing solely to examine my inbox. Ooh, I ponder what I’ve purchased from Zara …
• Zoe Williams is a Guardian columnist