The taxman

Sean Sullivan

Photo By Meredith J. Cooper

Tax season—probably the least favorite of all the seasons—is upon us. And if you don’t want to trust a box to help you with the paperwork, there are plenty of professionals out there who will file it for you. Liberty Tax Services on Mangrove Avenue doesn’t want to let you forget it, either. The company employs people to stand on the street corner dressed in patriotic garb and wave to the masses. Sean Sullivan is one of those people. An 18-year-old linguistics student at Butte College, Sullivan puts in three-hour shifts on the corner of Mangrove and Third avenues. And the closer the calendar inches toward April 15, the more of Sullivan and his co-workers we’ll see. He was waving on the corner on a recent January afternoon—switching off arms so he doesn’t tire out—and considering the chilly weather, he was surprisingly chipper.

How’d you get this job?

A friend of mine worked here last year. He’s a bit of a performer and they really liked him and rehired him again this year. He recommended me.

How many of you are there?

There are six of us right now, but during the peak season they’ll have us in shifts, with two of us out here at a time.

Do you all wear the same outfit?

Well, the guys wear Uncle Sam and the girls have Lady Liberty.

How many cars do you think you’ve pulled in?

I couldn’t tell ya. A lot of cars might see me and come back later. I’ve gotten three cars in today.

Is it fun?

It’s all right. I don’t have to concentrate particularly hard, so it’s not so bad.

Have you done your taxes yet?

No, not yet. I’m not sure I have to this year because I haven’t had a job in a long time and I’m still living with my parents.

Are you saving up for anything in particular?

Dental work—caps.