Author Topic: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime  (Read 2384 times)

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Online EEVblog

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #25 on: July 14, 2019, 09:24:10 am »
Did the instructions state to include all pages? I fail to see how, if one hasn't followed the instructions, it's someone else's fault.

I do the same thing at work, if someone hasn't followed instructions, I'll reject what they send me. I don't have the time to sit there correcting other people's mistakes or second-guessing what they intend.
Even if you can correct a minor omission without issue?

Maybe they mass scan these things and having missing pages screws up the entire automated process?
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2019, 10:43:14 am »
Did the instructions state to include all pages? I fail to see how, if one hasn't followed the instructions, it's someone else's fault.

I do the same thing at work, if someone hasn't followed instructions, I'll reject what they send me. I don't have the time to sit there correcting other people's mistakes or second-guessing what they intend.
Even if you can correct a minor omission without issue?

Maybe they mass scan these things and having missing pages screws up the entire automated process?

This and an omission (depending on context) can be just as important as a deceleration, particularly if the applicant isn't being truthful (not suggesting that this was the case here). Legal arguments can be extremely nit-picky over the smallest detail. I recall one case where legislation (in this case, the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act) could be interpreted two different ways.

The law reads: "A police officer may, without a warrant, stop, search and detain a person, and anything in the possession of or under the control of the person, if the police officer suspects on reasonable grounds that any of the following circumstances exists..."

I can't remember the exact context but basically did the bold part mean stop AND search AND detain or did it mean stop AND/OR, search AND/OR detain.

Silly things like that is why I hate going to court.
 

Offline soldar

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #27 on: July 14, 2019, 11:20:08 am »
The OP's case shows why most people that need to deal with the US immigration service use a lawyer instead of fighting the battle themselves.  Individuals will quickly get frustrated and give up but a lawyer will fight the case until HELL freezes over! At least, as long as someone is paying him.
Immigration lawyers and paralegals have experience dealing with the system and would not make the mistake in the first place.
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Offline soldar

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #28 on: July 14, 2019, 11:44:23 am »
The law reads: "A police officer may, without a warrant, stop, search and detain a person, and anything in the possession of or under the control of the person, if the police officer suspects on reasonable grounds that any of the following circumstances exists..."

I can't remember the exact context but basically did the bold part mean stop AND search AND detain or did it mean stop AND/OR, search AND/OR detain.
There is no doubt as to how a law will be interpreted because there is what they call statutory interpretation.
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Offline joeqsmith

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2019, 12:20:40 pm »
Did the instructions state to include all pages? I fail to see how, if one hasn't followed the instructions, it's someone else's fault.

I do the same thing at work, if someone hasn't followed instructions, I'll reject what they send me. I don't have the time to sit there correcting other people's mistakes or second-guessing what they intend.

I would assume there is a process they are to follow.  I can't imagine not following it because I thought I would save two sheet of paper to save the world, then post about it.
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Offline soldar

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2019, 12:43:22 pm »
I have already explained how these things are processed and why this happened.

I can understand how the OP thought it would not make a difference. He was mistaken. I can see how he is frustrated, I would be too even if it was my mistake.

I do not see why we have to make judgments about who is wrong. Mistakes happen and I don't see how or why we need to pile on the OP for not "following instructions". 
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Offline Stray Electron

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #31 on: July 14, 2019, 12:49:03 pm »
I guess you've never filled out one of those rebate forms.

IRS has been pretty nice to me for the past years. Well, 1040 doesn't have pages to be left out either.

Yea everyone making any money in the U.S. have to fill out a 1040 so they're extremely lenient with all kinds of mistakes and omissions, other than signature and date.

   I purposely made a simple math error on my IRS 1040 form one year just to see if the IRS would catch it. They did and they corrected it and revised the amount that I was owed and sent me the correct refund.  They included a short note about the correction with the refund and that was it, I never heard any more about it.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2019, 12:56:52 pm by Stray Electron »
 

Offline Stray Electron

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #32 on: July 14, 2019, 12:54:43 pm »
The OP's case shows why most people that need to deal with the US immigration service use a lawyer instead of fighting the battle themselves.  Individuals will quickly get frustrated and give up but a lawyer will fight the case until HELL freezes over! At least, as long as someone is paying him.
Immigration lawyers and paralegals have experience dealing with the system and would not make the mistake in the first place.

   Well they make mistakes too but they learn not to repeat that mistake on the next person's forms.  Lawyers and paralegals specialize in things like this and do it over and over and over again and they get very good at it.  You and I on the other hand, have to learn through trial and error and it's a very steep learning curve for something that we will probably only do once.
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #33 on: July 14, 2019, 12:57:30 pm »
Just a couple remarks off the top of my head:

- It may seem silly at first sight, but it actually makes sense. Missing pages/documents/items in any formal setting (being private of public) usually make the whole thing incomplete by nature. It's impossible to formally know that those were omitted for a reason or just because they were forgotten, and it's impossible to know the reason (having to guess is usually not acceptable even if the guess would be obvious). What would have to be done at the very least would be to document which pages/paragraphs were omitted, in an additional document, and the reason why (with date and signature...) Now of course even with that, some heavy administrations may reject the forms because they are non-conforming. But barely omitting stuff without specifying anything about it is asking for trouble.

- If you think the US administration is a dinosaur, you should come to Europe!  :-DD

 

Offline Stray Electron

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #34 on: July 14, 2019, 01:10:07 pm »


The two pages are for signatures of preparers and translators. If I checked boxes in previous pages indicating my form was prepared under help from translators or barred preparers, then I need to get them to sign their pages.

In this case, I clearly indicated on pages before that I prepared this form on my own.

  I have sort of run into a problem like this when preparing building (construction) applications.  Many of the forms that have to be included with those are usually prepared by Profession Engineers, Architects, etc and when they are then you must include copies of their licenses, insurance papers, etc.  We did all of that ourselves and then turned in the whole package to the local county government. The first thing that they looked for were the licenses, etc and they were surprised that they weren't there.  Lucky we had taken the package down to their office and turned it in in person so we explained why the licenses weren't there.  They looked over the rest of the package and signed off on it right on the spot and handed it back to us. They told us that it was the most complete and error free application that they had ever seen.  Normal time to get a building permit in this area is about three days but we had that one in less than 10 minutes. Being there in person instead of having a contractor take it in, and being able to answer their questions on the spot made a huge difference.  FWIW
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #35 on: July 14, 2019, 04:06:18 pm »
I do not see why we have to make judgments about who is wrong. Mistakes happen and I don't see how or why we need to pile on the OP for not "following instructions".

Seems like if you were going out of your country to be educated, you would have more sense.    Their frustration was brought on my themselves.  Rather than manning up, learning from their mistake and moving on, they want to come on a public forum, sucking their thumb.   They are begging for a response, but I doubt mine is providing them with the sympathy they are looking for. 
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Offline ebastler

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #36 on: July 14, 2019, 04:13:37 pm »
Anyway, I shipped out my packet today with all pages printed.

Given that your current authorization has already expired a few days ago -- do you expect problems on that front, or is there a grace period?
 

Offline David Hess

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #37 on: July 14, 2019, 05:43:05 pm »
Maybe they have a valid reason to expect all pages and it broke their system, maybe it's just useless pencil pushing.

They require the blank pages because being blank is part of the submission to demonstrate that no pages are missing.  It is the same reason that a research notebook should have permanently bound sequentially numbered pages.

Like a ballot for voting however, nothing blank should be submitted because someone else could add to it.  So cross out or mark up the blank pages.
 

Offline magic

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #38 on: July 14, 2019, 06:24:43 pm »
They require the blank pages because being blank is part of the submission to demonstrate that no pages are missing.  It is the same reason that a research notebook should have permanently bound sequentially numbered pages.
That's it, they don't want people claiming that something had been lost, or tampered with, or was filled-in differently than it really was, or whatever. There is probably a blanket policy that everything should be complete.

Now, maybe you spent 30 seconds and came up with a solid proof that what you sent is sufficient to deduce the missing pages without any doubt, but the clerk who reads your application and then another 100 applications and then wants to go home and watch TV isn't going to bother figuring it out and taking responsibility for violation of procedure.

There is the risk that you are trying some scam and will later say that those pages had been lost and contained something important and you just forgot to check the box indicating that they contain relevant information. Nobody is going to sit and wonder about possibilities of that and whether you would win in court or not when there is work to be done.

Also, people who work that sort of jobs probably aren't as intelligent as you and either have learned not to break rules lest stupid mistakes happen or their supervisors have learned to punish every disobedience before it leads to disaster.
 

Online blueskull

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #39 on: July 14, 2019, 06:40:55 pm »
Given that your current authorization has already expired a few days ago -- do you expect problems on that front, or is there a grace period?

There is an auto extension for my particular type of application, of 180 days. As long as my application package is sent out, I have no worries.
 

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #40 on: July 14, 2019, 06:49:55 pm »
I forgot to mention the best part.

I also attached a form that gives them consent to contact me in Emails, and of course, my Email address and phone number.

They didn't bother to send me anything before shipping the entire application package back to me :palm:.

To their credit, the regulation does say that they are supposed to send me acceptance notification to my Email address if I filed the consent form, not rejection notice.

But I would be very appreciating if they can deviate a little bit from SOP and actually give me a heads up so I can send them additional pages ASAP.
 

Offline windsmurf

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #41 on: July 14, 2019, 07:16:21 pm »
I guess you've never filled out one of those rebate forms.

IRS has been pretty nice to me for the past years. Well, 1040 doesn't have pages to be left out either.

Yea everyone making any money in the U.S. have to fill out a 1040 so they're extremely lenient with all kinds of mistakes and omissions, other than signature and date.

   I purposely made a simple math error on my IRS 1040 form one year just to see if the IRS would catch it. They did and they corrected it and revised the amount that I was owed and sent me the correct refund.  They included a short note about the correction with the refund and that was it, I never heard any more about it.

Yea, but they did not reject it and send it back to you to redo the whole thing.

 

Offline soldar

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #42 on: July 14, 2019, 07:47:29 pm »
I forgot to mention the best part.

I also attached a form that gives them consent to contact me in Emails, and of course, my Email address and phone number.

They didn't bother to send me anything before shipping the entire application package back to me :palm:.

To their credit, the regulation does say that they are supposed to send me acceptance notification to my Email address if I filed the consent form, not rejection notice.

But I would be very appreciating if they can deviate a little bit from SOP and actually give me a heads up so I can send them additional pages ASAP.
Again, I do not know if I can explain this any clearer. A low paid worker who barely speaks English is checking for file completeness at breakneck speed. Complete files go in a green plastic bin for the next step of evaluation. Incomplete files go in a blue plastic bin to be returned to applicants. This is done faster than they can really go and they are still way behind because they are understaffed. There is no way for someone to put your file aside and keep it there while while you send the missing papers. There are hundreds and thousands of files rejected each day. It is just not possible to do it any other way unless you hire three times the number of workers.

This is like asking why a car factory cannot just make a special model for you with your own requirements. They are not set up for that and it would be a major problem. This is like asking a guy who sells on ebay thousands of items a month why he wont take your check and will only take Paypal. Because he is set up that way and changing the system is just not practical.

You may think you are unique and all important but to the US government you are less than a speck of dust. They really care very little about American citizens and they care nothing about foreigners. They're like the phone company. They don't care. They don't have to.
 
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Online Mr. Scram

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #43 on: July 16, 2019, 12:55:23 pm »
Again, I do not know if I can explain this any clearer. A low paid worker who barely speaks English is checking for file completeness at breakneck speed. Complete files go in a green plastic bin for the next step of evaluation. Incomplete files go in a blue plastic bin to be returned to applicants. This is done faster than they can really go and they are still way behind because they are understaffed. There is no way for someone to put your file aside and keep it there while while you send the missing papers. There are hundreds and thousands of files rejected each day. It is just not possible to do it any other way unless you hire three times the number of workers.

This is like asking why a car factory cannot just make a special model for you with your own requirements. They are not set up for that and it would be a major problem. This is like asking a guy who sells on ebay thousands of items a month why he wont take your check and will only take Paypal. Because he is set up that way and changing the system is just not practical.

You may think you are unique and all important but to the US government you are less than a speck of dust. They really care very little about American citizens and they care nothing about foreigners. They're like the phone company. They don't care. They don't have to.
Do you know this is the actual procedure in the US or are you venting and speculating?
 

Offline Black Phoenix

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #44 on: July 16, 2019, 01:19:30 pm »
Again, I do not know if I can explain this any clearer. A low paid worker who barely speaks English is checking for file completeness at breakneck speed. Complete files go in a green plastic bin for the next step of evaluation. Incomplete files go in a blue plastic bin to be returned to applicants. This is done faster than they can really go and they are still way behind because they are understaffed. There is no way for someone to put your file aside and keep it there while while you send the missing papers. There are hundreds and thousands of files rejected each day. It is just not possible to do it any other way unless you hire three times the number of workers.

This is like asking why a car factory cannot just make a special model for you with your own requirements. They are not set up for that and it would be a major problem. This is like asking a guy who sells on ebay thousands of items a month why he wont take your check and will only take Paypal. Because he is set up that way and changing the system is just not practical.

You may think you are unique and all important but to the US government you are less than a speck of dust. They really care very little about American citizens and they care nothing about foreigners. They're like the phone company. They don't care. They don't have to.

Clearly you don't get what OP means... Just because things are done wrong they should stay wrong just because it's how it has been for the last decade, for example. Let's not optimize things because optimising is bad and makes people work too much or make more with less.

"They are the government! They are always right even when they are not right!!!", right?
 

Offline soldar

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #45 on: July 16, 2019, 01:21:31 pm »
Do you know this is the actual procedure in the US or are you venting and speculating?
I don't know where you see any "venting" but, yes, I know this for a fact. I personally know a non-citizen who was doing that kind of work very few years ago. I remember vaguely the documents are processed in only two or three centers for all of the USA. The files go through a first screening just to verify everything is complete and even in the right order so when the bureaucrat receives the file he can go right into the evaluation and not waste time checking for missing documents, etc. If a document is missing the file does not even get to the bureaucrat.
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Offline soldar

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #46 on: July 16, 2019, 01:32:08 pm »
Clearly you don't get what OP means... Just because things are done wrong they should stay wrong just because it's how it has been for the last decade, for example. Let's not optimize things because optimising is bad and makes people work too much or make more with less.

"They are the government! They are always right even when they are not right!!!", right?
You didn't read the thread did you? You might want to re-read the thread because I don't see that I said anywhere that "the government is always right". Especially if you read the last phrase of my previous post. Read it.

I did not express any opinion on the matter. I just explained why things work the way they do and that it is done that way because it saves money.  If you have a better solution the US Government would like to hear from you.

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« Last Edit: July 16, 2019, 01:33:49 pm by soldar »
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Offline dnwheeler

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #47 on: July 16, 2019, 02:28:20 pm »
I can't speak to this particular situation, but any big company or organization that deals with large quantities of submitted paperwork has processes in place to optimize their throughput. Typically, the first person involved just does a basic verification that the file is complete (e.g., are there 10 pages, is page 3 signed, does the name match in each location it appears, etc.). This is either preceded by or followed by scanning the document into a computer. The scanning process may make assumptions about what data is on each page, so leaving out pages that don't apply could offset all the following pages.

These processes are all about removing the need for workers to think and make decisions. The amount of extra work put on the person submitting the paperwork is not a factor.
 

Offline soldar

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #48 on: July 16, 2019, 03:39:34 pm »
People seem to be more understanding when it is a computer process that rejects something. "Oh, well, it's a computer."

But if it is a human they consider it unforgivable, not realizing the human is doing exactly the same: applying extremely simple rules to the situation.

It would not make sense to put a much higher paid human, with higher capability to make decisions, so that a few applications could save a few sheets of paper. It makes more sense to make the process as simple as possible so that it can be done by the lowest qualified person.

I can understand the motivation and the frustration of the OP but it is just a mistake and nobody is in the wrong.

I have learned to fill forms completely. Leave nothing blank. Write "N/A" or cross out if it does not apply. If the form is seven pages with a total of 75 boxes I will fill out every single one and check and double check each one. And there's a good chance a mistake still crept in so I will check again the next day.

I hate bureaucracy. I believe bureaucracy is a cancer that can be very damaging to a country and it should be kept to a minimum. Spain is awful in this regard. Just awful.

Also, most countries assign insufficient resources to immigration because immigrants can't vote and because many nationals are xenophobic and support giving those furriners a hard time. Immigration bureaucracy is hell pretty much everywhere.

But, having said that, if you are careful, fill and fulfill everything correctly, file it in time, and meet all requirements, generally things work out well.

Of course, you can always come across the asshole who takes pleasure in making others miserable. There's a lot of people like that in the world. And people who support them. It is a sad fact of life.

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Offline rrinker

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Re: [Rant] Since when paper saving has been a crime
« Reply #49 on: July 16, 2019, 05:56:56 pm »
 This is pretty much EVERY government, EVERYWHERE. The rote workers who enter the forms are little more than robots. Then go page by page, if you leave out a blank page, then they are off by one page and they literally can't figure out what went wrong. That deep in the bureaucracy, you are not dealing with anything like the "best and the brightest".

 Even in private industry - although in private industry you can (usually) get rid of the underperformers - years ago we had to get a lot of paper records copied in to an electronic system, and the quickest way was to set up heads down data entry screens and bring in a bunch of temp workers for a few hours each night. Coworker and I wrote and tested the heads down system, which included double blind entry for accuracy and also included performance metrics. After the first night's reports were reviewed, it was nearly a shining example of the 80/20 principal, 20% of the workers did 80% of the data entry, the most reliably. We only had the top 50% come back the second night, and there was no reduction at all in data throughput.
 


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