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Archive for the ‘formaphobe’ Category

Useless Online Forms

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So tell me, why does the Animal Alliance encourage us to go online to download and print and fill out their forms in advance, then shrug those forms off and require you to fill out the same information all over again from scratch once you finally arrive at their office? Just so we could rehearse? At least I wasn’t the one filling in the blanks.

bumper sticker [] - formaphobe

Written by macheide

4 October 2008 at 7:32 am

Posted in formaphobe

TRAS Is a 4-Letter Word

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OK, so I’m uninformed enough to think that my attendance at the Enrolled Actuaries Meeting two weeks ago was for “training.” Uininformed that “training” is a TRAS accounting code reserved for specific internal government training courses with specific training class codes. I suppose there’s even a specific internal government training course that might have taught me that, if only I were courageous enough to take it (as in, the type of courage that leads men to jump off cliffs).

But TRAS – the recordkeeping system that I have to use for my governmental agency travel expenses – is apparently sufficiently informed about what “training” means, that when I get around to the second major procedure – filling out my expense vouchers – and finally make it to the very final step of that procedure – electronically signing my voucher – the system is smart enough to not let me do so because there ain’t no training class code for the EA Meeting.

So tell me, if the TRAS system designers were bright enough to program that into the voucher procedure, would it have been all that terribly difficult for them to shove a pop-up screen warning of that way way back as one of the very first steps of the first procedure, the expense authorization itself? Instead of making me and my manager unwind what already took me more than 3 hours to fill out, so I could redo everything as “general” instead of as “training”?

So together with the 5 hours spent with SATO, our government travel agency, over their blunder that wiped out my return flight, plus the time I spent in rescheduling a return on April 10th instead of my original flightplan for the 9th, together with all the usual travel arrangements, together with all this time of struggling through TRAS only to have to redo it from scratch because they can’t tell me I’ve did something wrong at the beginning until I’ve made it all the way to the end, not counting time my manager has spent on my forms for this trip, I figure I put in at least 12 hours just on the administrative hassles. For maybe 15 hours of actual hardcore actuarial time spent at the EA Meeting itself.

TRAS hates me. That’s OK, the feeling’s mutual. And very personal. I’ve been known to crash systems. Watch out, TRAS.

bumper sticker [] - formaphobe

Written by macheide

21 April 2008 at 1:59 pm

Posted in formaphobe

Monarch Paper – Not from Covey!

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I’ve been procrastinating ordering 2008 paper for my Covey Monarch notebook for no other reason than that I hate forms so much, no matter how easy, no matter how much I might like what comes from completing the form.Update – And then wouldn’t you know it, Covey would be so prime an example of why I hate forms so much? You’d think that a company that is trying to make “forms for personal and business organization,” so to speak, would have the best in the business when it comes to forms on the internet for someone who’s been a customer for over a decade now. Nope. Aside from the fact that their website took me forever to locate something I might actually decide to purchase for my 2008 pen, their checkout process takes my credit card information, then without any explanation whatsoever merely returns to that same page. If I enter the same info again, have I made a duplicate order? If I leave it as it stands, with no confirmation of my order, have I just wasted my time and made no order at all?

And on top of it all, Covey has this defective shit up 24/7, but only supports their slop during certain hours of weekdays. If and when they manage to make any contact with me on my complaint e-mailed to them, my response will be to cancel any order they might have managed to record. And I will never use Covey products again.

Yep, even after a decade of being a loyal customer, and as much as I’ve loved Covey products in the past, that’s all it takes. If a company supposedly specializing in organization can’t keep better organization themselves, I have much more reliable options easily at hand.

And without having to fill out one of those idiot forms, too!

Further Update: “Thank&nbspYou!” LOL – That was what Covey’s website says when I unsubscribe my e-mail from their stuff.

They couldn’t have said it any better.

Good riddance. (Why’d it take me so long, really?)

Final Update: Upon receiving my complaint about their website taking my credit card information and then quite clearly fouling up the order while – as I very clearly stated in my complaint to them – giving me no indication of the problem, Covey’s idea of customer service is to ask me what error message the website gave me. Uh, which word of “no indication” did they fail to understand? Actually, that’s crediting them with too much intelligence, when the problem was that they never bothered to actually read my complaint before responding. Consistent, that is, with the rest of their service.

But that is the final update from me on this one. I solved the problem by picking up my paper from a competitor, since there are many from whom one need not put up with poor customer service in exchange for what I guess they apparently have the arrogance to think to be the privilege of having their precious paper beneath my pen. Bye, Covey. You just blew away a customer who had loyally splurged on many of your products for over a decade.

bumper sticker [] - umop3pisdn

Written by macheide

29 December 2007 at 9:01 pm

Posted in formaphobe, umop3pisdn