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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A trip down memory lane

Even though this blog is fairly anonymous, I try to avoid too many details about my work. However, I've just spent a ridiculous amount of time on a tedious task and I feel I've earned the right to wallow in self-pity whine share.

See, part of my job duties somehow involve creating and manipulating PDFs. This is mainly because the users here are not so capable of doing it themselves and since the documents are ultimately placed on the website and I am the master of the universe webmaster, I have to turn their documents into nice little fillable PDFs for them.

That's your boring background. And here's what I'd like to gripe about more specifically: the youth activities registration forms.

These forms all require the following information.
  • Mother's Name
  • Mother's Work Phone
  • Father's Name
  • Father's Work Phone
So it seems my employer has evolved as far as, say, the 1950s? Women are allowed to work, yay, we ask for their work phone number!

But, also, all youth will have both a mother and a father to list on their form. I guess we haven't yet heard of single parent households. Children raised by grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings. Same-sex parenting.

Maybe they'll figure that out in another fifty years. All I know is I don't plan on still being here updating their forms at that point.


lailani said...

Lol! Our town was once Divorce Capital of the world - now there is an award worth touting!! -of course it was followed by Murder Capital a few years later. But I digress, Having the first envious award has allowed our area to have Mother/guardian; Father/Guardian. Of course some forms list the dad first, and as a divorcee (not during the titled award time) and the sole caretaker and the only parent truly interested in their time in school(he does pay child support and does every other weekend, but no involvement in school and church activities) - I don't think I should have to list his name period. hehe

BUT. . . they definitely do consider the fact that the children/youth may be being raised in a "non-traditional" setting.

Hang in there you goddess of the web!

Sass said...

I fill these forms out, all the time, for various things. And you know...I've NEVER thought about it like that.

Very true.

The Wife O Riley said...

It's nice that your company has it's head in the sand, I mean lives in such a euphoric society. I'm just glad the working mother actually has a phone line.

We had to fill out a form for school one time and they only gave us 2 lines for grandparents. I had to turn the page over and list all of them.

Tova Darling said...

I'm also in charge of making pdfs at my job!! We are so important! :)

blognut said...

I love to screw with forms like that. I'll reverse my name with Mr. Blognut's name on purpose just to mess with some poor schmoe's OCD's.

It's lame, but it keeps me smiling.

C. Beth said...

This is good stuff! I'd like to see some creative kid with one parent, same-sex parents, etc. figure out a snarky way to fill it out.

Call Me Cate said...

lailani - There are certainly situations like yours where the other "parent" shouldn't be listed. And I do so wish we could go with "guardian" here. Even if they just listed one guardian and then had a section for a couple of emergency contacts/numbers.

Sass - I'm not sure why it struck me as so odd. Being that I'm married to a man, my folks are still married, etc. But it just really rubbed me the wrong way.

Wife O Riley - Isn't it nice that my employer believes in womens' right to work? Maybe you were supposed to pick your favorite grandparents only. Choose two!

Tova - They don't realize that she who creates the PDFs holds all the power.

blognut - It does make me crazy when people screw with my forms. But I try hard not to set myself up for such things. These people have it coming...

C Beth - I'm tempted to fill out the form a time or twelve to register my pretend-children just for that purpose!

Juliet Colors said...

Ah, government bureaucracy. Good luck escaping its grip.

mo.stoneskin said...

Gosh that's helpful to know, I'll be sending some notes over, I need some PDFs creating...

andy said...

i usually just make up a name for "father" on those forms.

sometimes it's "poo poo Magoo", others it's "random guy i slept with for 12 years".

really it kind of depends what mood i'm in.


p.s. my hold music is so NOT boring. i happen to like neil diamond.

p.p.s. i love you.

Sassy Britches said...

I hate those forms too. Seriously, how hard is it to say, "Parent/Guardian 1" and "Parent/Guardian 2" with the option of not filling out one of them if necessary? Or maybe even just "Emergency Contact." Sheesh.

Grand Pooba said...

So if the mom is a SAHM does she put her home phone number?

Ryan Ashley Scott said...

Wow. Required fields, eh? There are SOOO many variations of a "typical" family, how is it even possible someone hasn't updated it?

Veggie Mom said...

Bureaucracies certainly are slow to change, aren't they? At least the form doesn't ask those filling it out to list "religion." I've seen that on forms at the DMV on occasion. Must be relics of the 50s, for sure!

Call Me Cate said...

Juliet Colors - I feel guilty fr the part I play. But they pay well!

Mo - I think you'll find my rates to be very reasonable for creating your PDFs.

Andy - I can only imagine some of the more creative answers. Yours especially.

Sassy Britches - So many ways it could be improved. But "it's always been done this way!" seems to be the battle cry around here.

Pooba - If she's a SAHM, she better go get a job outside the home since that work # is required.

RAS - That's the worst part - they update the form EVERY YEAR for things like dates and fees. But not the data collected.

Veggie Mom - Sometimes I love looking at old forms to see what was required. My FILs birth certificate was a real trip.