It’s been a hellish 48 hours in the Vegemitevix household, for we have been afflicted with that scourge of modern life, bureaucratic administration, and for dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s we just don’t have good form.
Mum’s the one who usually has to lead the charge on the admin from hell, a custom which is a problem in our family, as this Mum is absolutely stressed out by forms. It’s not unusual for me to spend hours going over and over the same question, trying to define the actual meaning.
For example – When they ask: ‘Any other given names?’ What are they referring to? My maiden name, my first married name? My first married and maiden hyphenated name? Or all those other (unmentionable) names I’m frequently called?
Perhaps I should have just answered. ‘Mistress of all things.’
Not only do I stress over the implication, intonation and underlying meaning of each and every question, but I also get incredibly tense about making any kind of mistake. I have been known to actually screw up a 40 page form and start again because I had to cross out something. And then there’s the curse of the rebellious nature that wilfully drives me to flout the rule, just a little bit.
You say fill out in ‘black pen in capital letters’?
Ah ha! I brandish my blue biro like the sword of rebellion that it truly is.
Meh! I’ll do an interesting combination of both lower-case and upper-case.
You can see how filling forms can take some time.
In the past 48 hours I’ve been helping Son fill out his forms for admission to Uni Down Under. It took three checks to work out what his results actually translate into when they migrate Down Under to the land of Oz. Every reference page had a different answer to the question – how to change GCE A Levels to ATAR scores. At first glance it appeared that Son had received such good marks it caused ructures on the other side of the world as his Aunt spluttered over Facebook chat – ‘You didn’t tell me he’d done so well! 98? 100 is the highest’.
Erm, no. That can’t be right.
Finally I managed to get the right score (I’m 99.8% sure) and fill in the gaps on the form for him. Why was I doing this I can hear you ask? Well, if you have an 18 year old Son you’ll know why. In our case Son is as laid back as a lizard drinking, so it was up to Mum and her superior form filling out abilities.
But I did get my own back when it came to filling out the form for Student College Accommodation. The form pretty much required a degree as prerequisite to being able to fill it out. A philosophy degree!
It asked for all the good bits – Name, address, credit card number etc, but also also some ponderous questions -
‘Why do you want to live in a Student College’?
It would seem obvious, so I toyed with writing in ‘Because it’s preferable to living on the street corner with the winos’.
And then it asked
‘What do you hope to get out of living in Student Accommodation?’
Ah. The possibilities.
I thought back to my own student days and played with the idea of filling it out thus:
Sex, sleep, somewhere to hide from finishing assignments, and access to food that isn’t cold pizza and 2 minute noodles.
Luckily – for him – I didn’t answer on his behalf. But there were some other choice questions which I thought I might do the honour of answering for him. I don’t think he’ll mind, and the Aussies are re-known for their sense of humour…aren’t they?
Student Accommodation form
Name: Vegemitevix’s Son. (Mum, what’s my middle name? Doh!)
Address: 29 Central boulevard on Planet to the left of Saturn
Special Dietary requirements: A healthy nutritious diet of Yum Yums, Apple pie, Pizza and dark chocolate. Access to liquids, especially beer.
Any special needs: All his needs are special. See dietary requirements.
They’ll laugh when they read that, won’t they?