Thursday, 9 September 2010

When forms are formidable

Recently, it seems to me like everything has to be done on the Internet. The world is no longer old fashioned. We can't simply do some paperwork and send it off in the post, crossing our fingers that there won't be a postal strike.

No sir, everything has gone to the Internet. As if being human wasn't taxing enough, now we have to do our taxes on it, our banking on it... some time soon we will probably have to sit on it all day to do anything.

The Internet is a beautiful thing, don't get me wrong, but after completing my student finance on it I felt like smashing my computer into hundreds of tiny pieces. Not only was it inexplicably hard to follow, but it ended up being filled out wrong and I had to reset the entire account.

In fact, any kind of form on it has me in hysterics. There is nothing easy or quick about a form you do on the Internet, no matter how much they tell you there is.

Today, I had to get a Visa Waiver. That is the last time I EVER try to get one of those. I had already lost it because I was a day late in making sure it was free, so I knew I would have to pay. From the start of the entire process, it felt like I was in a race to the finish line.

I went back to my days of never ending tension when I filled in the form for my driving license, hoping it wouldn't time me out before my instructor got back to me. At least at that point I would have someone to blame.

This time, it was me against the machine. Of course, being me, I didn't think to gather anything I may possibly need beforehand. So I was rushing frantically backwards and forwards to get my passport and a credit card. I must have looked somewhat like a headless chicken.

So yes, whilst they are very good at being to hand when you need them, and kind of quick if you can keep up with the timer so you don't need to start typing in your details for the 45th time, they are entirely impractical if you are slow at typing or a hopeless headcase like me.

Paperwork, however boring it may sound, is much better than a technological form. At least you can take your own sweet time doing it.

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