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The modernism of state agencies

Just had a good time with my local state's efficiency--

[State Senator Dude] is proud of the website innovations, and how much money he's saving the state.  So  is [Governor Dude],  They both, naturally, intend to be re-elected.

The [State Agency] website is covered with online forms, pdf capabilities.  Surf in an file your clickable web forms right there online, sweet!  Shit works great, no complaints about their many forms, access to, availablility of, etc.

But what they don't advertise?

Our most advanced form of electronic communication, receiving these forms from customers?  That's right, that blast from the past, totally cutting edge modern technology--a fax machine.  1966.  Fifty years old.

You can fax in these clever, handy e-forms.  But it's clear from the employees attitudes, they prefer to work with paper.  Sneakernet.  Hardcopy.  That papermill technology from 795 AD.  And with only 1200 years of lead time, they've almost got paper-shuffling down pat.  They've got the perpetually ringing but never answered telephones down pat, too.

I wanted to see impact typewriters and carbon paper all over the local office, but alas, I was disappointed.  There were stacks of carbonless forms out on the front counter, however.

Why isn't there an email or a file drop I can communicate with, somewhere? So I won't have to kill a tree and have my wife (the last remaining fax machine we have access to is at her hospital)--"We just use what they let us have".

Meanwhile, [this Agency] spent more than 50 million dollars on paper last year.  And I just killed another tree, printing out N forms to hardcopy (argh) so I could FAX (omg) them in to avoid their preference: a drive-it-in sneakernet delivery (STOMP ROWF SNARLE RAGE!!!)

Welcome to the 1960s, already in progress.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.


  • dave6660dave6660 Member UncommonPosts: 2,699

    As annoying as they are, fax machines aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

    I've dealt with a couple law firms and an actuaries office that insisted on using fax machines too.  On a few occasions they actually responded to an email by printing it, writing the response on it and faxed it me.  You can't make this stuff up.

    “There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own.”
    -- Herman Melville

  • EkibiogamiEkibiogami Member UncommonPosts: 2,154
    Paper comes from tree farms... Just like ALL the food you eat... Honestly people DROP the stupid idea that paper kills a tree.

    Honestly though, think about all the poor plants you MURDERED making that nice salad.. image

    If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude; greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
    —Samuel Adams

  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,262
    I don't get it either.  I think in California, they just like wasting money so much they cannot move into the digital age.  Everything must be done by mail or sitting in some line for 3 hours for every state agency except income taxes.  They even need to hire more people to process the mail and have people wait in line then to do partial electronic exchange.
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