Coffee heat rising


Wads and wads and wads of paper… Am I the only sheeple who’s sick & tired of having piles of paper inflicted on her? Paper physical and paper virtual, makes no difference: it’s all time-consuming, annoying, goddamn clutter.

Every April, I have to file an annual report with the Arizona Corporation Commission for The Copyeditor’s Desk. What this really is is an excuse to extract $45 from you. To distract you from the reality, they blitz you with pointless paperwork, which you now have to fill out online.

The annual report entails plodding through four pages of pointless questions, all of which are the same pointless questions posed last year. The pointless questions never change.

Their pointlessness aside — there’s really no reason to ask most of the questions in the first place, and there’s certainly no point in posing them over and over and over and over, once every year that your company is in business — because they’re endlessly repetitive and pro forma, all the ACC really needs to do is ask you “has anything changed since last year.” But this would absorb about 20 seconds of your time — as opposed to half an hour or so — and would consume only one line of electronic copy. As opposed to making you click through page after page after pointless page.

Once this exercise is completed, you have to — or rather, if you have a brain in your head you will — download and print a lengthy PDF showing what answers you made and attesting that you filed the document and ponied up 45 bucks. You also will download and print the receipt for the 45 bucks.

Stash this in your already bloated file folder, and then move on to the next exercise in futility: You’re also required to write and keep the minutes of your corporation’s annual meeting. Nevermind that your board of directors consists of one (1) person: you’re still required to meet with yourself and record what you said to yourself.

Interestingly, you’re not required to file this silly document with the state. But you are required to write it and keep it on file…in perpetuity.

Honestly. The amount of paper that comes into this place, whether for business or personal matters, defies belief. You could, in theory, store it to disk… But who wants to trust that a computer will not crash or a hacker will not hack when it comes to documents that the government or some insurance company requires?

Okay, so much for that rant. Now to emit some paperwork of my own…

Image: Depositphotos, © gemenacom

4 thoughts on “Paper!!!”

  1. Hah! I’m with ya! Remember when the “talking heads” were claiming we would become a “paperless society” with the advancements in cell phones, computers, lap tops and the like? What a joke! I’m required to store more paper than ever…..and with the precarious state of electronic security….paper may be the “smart choice”….

    • It seems to me the electronic devices actually proliferate “paper”-work — whether it’s in hard copy or digital, it still represents forms and junk that have to be saved in some way. And whether you keep it on your computer or you stick it in a file, you still have to spend time fiddling with it.

      IMHO it’s pretty risky to keep financial, government, and legal data only in electronic format, given the relative ease of hacking and the inevitability that sooner or later your computer will go down. Unless you’re using a service like Carbonite, you probably should keep at least the most important stuff in hard copy.

  2. Over the last decade the amount of paper in my life has decreased significantly. All of my bills, investment statements, etc. arrive electronically. I drag them into storage where they’re automatically backed up in multiple locations. It’s far less time consuming than having binders, folders, filing cabinets, etc. to store everything. Now if the house catches fire or gets robbed not everything is lost. I get maybe one or two pieces of junk mail a week, and really only receive real mail around my birthday or if I ordered something.

    • Well, I’ll say that I _could_ have routine statements delivered electronically. But doing so would raise the risk that I’d miss a statement and fail to pay a bill on time — the email is SO swamped that messages get lost on a daily basis. Right now there are only 11 more messages to cope with in the mailbox that accepts substantive messages. Eighty-three more reside in the “Sidetrack” mailbox that takes in items that don’t need my immediate attention — those have come in over the past five days.

      Sixteen more are sitting in the box for messages from groups that I belong to and care to hear from. Two other boxes contain 21 statements from vendors. The Linked-In sidetrack contains 35 messages. And the Corgi site where I hang out has emanated another 12.

      Hmmm… That is A HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-EIGHT demands on my attention, each of them waiting for a personal response. And that doesn’t count the various utility bills, insurance bills, and financial statements, which arrive by snail-mail so they won’t get lost in the electronic deluge.

      To my mind, that’s _more_ paperwork, not less. Far, far more paperwork than we ever saw when it cost a few cents to send someone a letter or an advertisement. That’s assuming, o’course, that you consider an electronic demand on your attention to be essentially the same thing as a demand for your attention printed on paper.

      For each one, paper or print, you have to open it; read it; figure out if it needs some action from you; take that action; record the action (especially if it entails money); decide whether you need to store the message or the record of the action you took; store it or throw it away; find a place to keep the stored material; and, sometime in the future, go through all the stored stuff and decide what to discard and what to keep permanently.

      IMHO the zero-cost ease of sending this stuff means we have an awful lot more “paperwork” to have to deal with.

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