I spent most of today at my internship going through old files, separating the very few current ones from the old ones that will be scanned into the computer. Not my favorite kind of job, but it needed to be done, so that’s okay. I’m a little bit leery about that part of the new career I’ve chosen for myself: the paperwork. Throughout social services, and probably medical services and education and a number of other fields, the paperwork is almost overwhelming. Accountability demands documentation, to the point that you almost spend more time documenting the work than you do performing the work. If I could invent one thing for humanity, it would be some way of doing away with paperwork. Technology is still making incredible advances and I hope someone somewhere is working on this problem right now.
Part of what I do at my job is to help people fill out job applications properly. I’ve been on a job-hunt before, and it was depressing to me to have to fill out application after application with essentially the same information on every one. Yes, I know why each place wants an application; but why can’t we standardize the process? Some software company needs to come up with a program to address this. Here’s how I see it working: a job-hunter would fill out one long application that asks just about every question an employer would ever want answered, then saves that application as a file. When he applies for a job, he sends that file to the employer, who runs it through his version of the program, weeding out the information he doesn’t need and leaving him with a completed application. If there are other questions the employer wants to ask, that can be taken care of separately, and the job-seeker has the ability to tailor the application to a specific employer if he wants to.