Do you ever start to get the feeling that modern life really isn’t people-friendly anymore?
I know a lot of it probably has to do with stress right now… but I’m finding myself more and more frustrated with a world that seems almost intentionally to make itself as complicated and difficult as possible for the average person.
Example 1: student loans
I have two groups of loans, one from the first round of college that’s at a fixed rate, and one from the last year, which is at a variable rate.
Both are being managed by the same company. When I pull up my account online, both are listed, and both are included in the total due for each month and the total due period.
So, when I fill out the paperwork to apply for the income based repayment plan when they started coming due (after the grace period following the last school year), why would it only apply to one?
The paperwork arrived for the one that it worked for, sending payment slips for each month for the next year showing a balance due of $0.00, and warning that if I don’t send them in each month, there will be a late charge. A late charge for a payment of nothing being late?
I’m really half tempted to mail them all back at once, and tell them that I’m making my payments for the year in advance… but I’m sure that would totally make everything explode.
The other one I’m having to first file to have them delayed for six months, and then to resubmit the income based payment paperwork and irs statements again for those.
I would explain why, but I never really did get an explanation myself.
Example 2: Childcare subsidy paperwork.
They now have an option to apply online. So I did.
I get a letter telling me that they are need me to call in to do a phone interview to verify information at 8am on a particular day.
However, the letter is both dated and postmarked the day before. Needless to say, it didn’t get here until 2 days after I’d missed the appointment they’d set.
So I call in to tell them this. I get told that I will be placed on a call list to be called by the next availible interviewer, but that this could take up to 48 hours to be called. Ok, fine, no hurry, I don’t even start training until March 1.
No call comes friday, and then its a three day weekend, so I assume they probably actually meant during business days, and expect a call tuesday or wednesday.
I get a letter wednesday afternoon that my application has been rejected because I failed to complete the interview.
So I guess this is going to have to just be done in person, even though it always takes forever that way.
But, then, the entire reason that I have to apply again in the first place is because when I changed from the job program over to working for the seasonal job, they had issues with the paperwork then too.
They needed verification of my hours, so they sent me a form to take to my employer and be back to them within a deadline that gave me 2 days.
I took it to HR, who needed to have someone else fill it out. So when it wasn’t going to make the deadline, I called them to let them know why.
The second HR person told me that they don’t actually do verifications of employment anymore, that they go through a third party company that handles payroll and does the verifications, and so the childcare program needed to contact them at a certain number or by using a certain website.
I had them write the numbers down, and dropped the original paper off with the explanation and the contact info. I’d actually checked the website myself to see if I could just print it out, but they needed to be contacted by the office directly.
And so, this turned into my getting a letter a few days later that I’d had my case cancelled because I’d refused to cooperate with verifying employment.
When I left a voicemail for my worker (who never actually answers the phone), re-explaining that my employer used a system that required them to contact their people directly, I got another letter explaining that I’d refused to comply with returning the letter and hadn’t turned in pay stubs.
They hadn’t asked for pay stubs… nor did I even have any yet at that point.
Examples 3 to 8 billion: Piles of stupid paperwork for everything… from 3 hours or reading and signing things that don’t even have anything to do with my new job… to probably not even being eligible for a lot of apartments even if I wanted to live there from past medical bills on credit report… to all of the phone calls required just to try and return a defective product that’s supposed to have a 1 year warrantee…
to all of the examples of bank issues and mortgage issues and unemployment paperwork issues and.. and.. and…
If our goal as a society is to make things as much of a total pain as possible for each other to manage through… I think we’ve just about declared a victory.