A memoir of musings, allegories and adventures covering my inspired life...


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stamping out ignorance

Nila, my co-worker, recently began researching the assets for a succession our office is working on this week. Occasionally she asks me questions regarding procedures and protocol, but for the most part, she is on her own in the process. The succession is riddled with various stock certificates and life insurance policies from the 1940s which makes the preliminary work all the more difficult. At one point this morning Nila walks into my office with a furrowed brow and photocopy in hand.

Recreation of the inquiry

Nila: "What are these stamps?"

Me: "What do you mean?"

Nila: "When you copied the Cash Sale Deed, what were these stamps copied on the same page?"

Me: "Let me see that…they’re just stamps on the cover page of the deed. Maybe the clerk’s office mailed it somewhere."

Nila: "No, they aren’t NORMAL stamps, their SPECIAL stamps. You think they are collector’s stamps?"

Me: "No way…collector’s stamps? I think someone just mailed something somewhere."

Nila: "You never know. They could be worth millions. I use to collect stamps. They weren’t worth millions. But these could be!"

Me: "Surely not."

Our boss walks in at this moment and we brief him on the current discovery session and conversation.

Tudor: "Did you figure out what they are?"

Me: "Nila just Googled it. Are they some sort of receipt?"

Tudor: "Not really. Back in the old days you use to have to pay a state tax on real estate transactions, that’s what those stamps are for. It helped keep people in check when declaring the value of their property."

Non-productive history lesson for the day: Not regular mailing stamps, not collector’s items worth millions…just taxes.