I am not sure if today’s topic technically counts as indifferent ignorance, but it’s something I’d like to hear other people’s opinions on, so let’s go. In the last five or so years, I seem to have filled out every type of form – bar, say, births, deaths and marriages – that exists. Exam papers, coursework cover sheets, change of address, passport update, bank information update, job applications, club applications… they nearly all take half an hour, and my gut feeling is that I’ll have spent as much time on form-filling in my lifetime as I will queuing. And I’m British, so to queue is my birthright.
But how come, with all the amazing scientific advances of the last century, do I have to fill out each form individually? Before someone makes a comment about biros, I know that the speed of which you fill out handwritten forms depends on your hands/pen/the quality of the surface on which you are writing, but some email address form is not the object of my irritation. My problem is with online applications, specifically job applications and website sign-ups. Why, in the name of all things simple, aren’t they aren’t standardised?
I know everyone thinks they’re standardised. All site sign-ups ask for an email, a password and maybe one of those prove-you’re-human thinggies, but there isn’t a standard password specification. Some places want letters and numbers. Some want certain symbols. Some want more characters than Twitter, and some just want a word, which is weird and leaves you open to hacking. Once you make a password and, say, forget it or keep confusing it with another, there’s sometimes no way to change it… even though you’re supposed to change all passwords every 72 days or something.
I’m being facetious; if all sites used the same template they’d be wide open to hackers. The same is not true, however, of job applications. They all want qualifications and cover letters and references and previous experience, but instead of attaching your CV, a letter and your reference info, you have to paste it all into an Excel-designed spreadsheet that requires you to include every GCSE you sat but leaves no room for your previous work experience… don’t even get me started on adding two jobs into the current employment bit. No, Mr Magazine Man, I do not plan on leaving my freelance position for your unpaid internship.
Am I being oversensitive? Is this a personal thing rather than a matter of indifferent ignorance? If you’re new to commenting, I do apologise for any issues you have with the sign-up form… but at least WP doesn’t ask you for your mother’s dog’s maiden name.