Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sign-up woes

I often prefer to be alone, though I want to have friends. The problem is that I do not know how to get friends. I wish that there was a sign-up sheet where I could place my name. Under it, someone would write theirs and that would signify friendship. No worry about introductions. It would be nice, if we had something in common, but is that really necessary. This sign-up sheet would have a way for you to end the friendship. Just scratch your name out. And then sign under someone else’s name.
On second thought. . .
The sign-up sheet! Ubiquitous. Everywhere there is a form, a list, a cause to join. I want to participate, but, do I have to sign? The physical form, hanging on a bulletin board may be ok, but once it was put them online, it has become a complicated, exercise in futility.
At the top you are told to print your last name first, then your first name last. I do not use my first name. So now what? Do I use my first initial, and then my middle name, or do I write in my middle name, as if it were my first name, and just leave the middle initial blank. Does anyone really care?
I cannot imagine that there is someone with nothing better to do than to confirm that the name indicated is, in fact, the correct name!
Some sign-up lists end there. But others go farther. They become intrusive. “List three people who have known you for more than a year”.
Really. I was going to include my friend, Roy, who I just met while standing in this line.
But they do not want just those friends name, but their title, their phone number and address, and their relationship to me. To be honest, I do not have that many friends, nor even acquaintances. Of the friends that I have had, learning their name was one of the last things I did. Sometimes, I found out someone’s name by looking at their mail.
You see, I strike up a conversation, and begin talking. I do not ask their name, even if they ask me. Whenever I meet, I say “hi,” or “Hey” or something like that. I am good at faces, but names. Never really cared, so, when the form asks, I am tempted to make up a name.
Wong Fu. Everyone needs a Chinese friend.
Wong Fu and I go way back, we are close. But, you see, he has no address, nor phone. He works here and there. I could put him as reference, for he would vouch. But, technically since he doesn’t “exist”, the people in charge of the form would not approve.
Some forms go farther; they want you to write in a very small box, why you are interested in this position, or spot, or what your views are on a particular subject. I like to write---on paper, but not in a box. I do not know what to say.
On a computer I can write something somewhere else, then, paste it onto the little box. Yet sometimes it does not fit. Just the facts are all that they want. The box is very limiting. . .
Then there will be a sentence that reads, “ if you have anything else to add, include on a separate sheet of paper.”
Oh, Good; time for more indiscriminate writing. As if anyone will care. Don’t they understand I want to finish this form, not expand it? Are these the same people who yell, “ me first”, when volunteer assignments are sought?
Then finally the end of the sign-up sheet is reached. All that is needed is a signature. But first, you must read this disclaimer. Here is where lawyers have had too much free time.
The disclaimer, usually at least a paragraph long, and written in obtuse legalities, reminds you to be truthful in all your previous answers. If you are found to be in error, then the terms of this sign-up are voided, and so on. Now, they want you to sign your name.
Shouldn’t this disclaimer had come first, before I spent my time filling out this form? That now seems like a lot of pressure. I wanted to join this club, and now, because, my friend Roy, who I have known for only five minutes, gave me the number to the local beer joint instead of his home phone, I may be ineligible. Often you do not know that you have something wrong, or omitted, until you hit the “submit” button. Then it is too late!
I do not want to re-type everything because I got one thing wrong.
So once again the sign up has left me vanquished. It won. I slink away. . . Perhaps I’ll play Text Twist—at least I do not need a form. . .