Back when I first met Kent I thought I knew what it was to deal with paperwork and red tape. I was getting a PhD in education; I had to do a lot of writing and reading and I figured it would be the most paperwork intensive time of my life. Well, here are a few things I've done since then that involve way more paperwork:
I've posted previously about the adoption process, but there is almost no way to describe how much paperwork is involved. To start with there's the 40+ page homestudy document you're supposed to complete...just this can be overwhelming, and that's the beginning of the process. Then you have applications, letters of recommendation, forms, more forms, and even more forms and copies of other forms, but not just any copies, certified copies. Once you're ready for the placement of the baby, then you have paperwork for placement, then legal documents for finalizing the adoption, and on and on. After the adoption is finalized, then you have to get a social security number for the child, an amended birth certificate, etc. All in all, adoption is the #1 most paperwork-intensive thing I've ever done.
Anyone who has ever applied for state aid knows how much paperwork and documentation is involved. When Kent and I were both in school, we applied for various kinds of state assistance, and I remember joking with a friend that you had to have a PhD just to get through the application process. And once you have welfare, you have to reapply every 4-6 months. I'm grateful we had the help, but I'm just saying it was a LOT of red tape and paperwork.
Of course, we all get to deal with this one every year. Since I do a lot of the finances in our house, I get to do the taxes. The more money we've made, the more involved the taxes. Just finished this one for 2010, and I'm papered out.
4. Medical Bills & Insurance:
If you're like me and have had health problems, then you know how much red tape is involved in keeping track of medical bills, and possibly even more daunting, keeping track of insurance claims. I am a bit on the anal side on this and I track our medical claims every month or more often. I find AT LEAST one major processing error a month; consequently, I have saved our family hundreds of dollars by being on top of this. It also means lots of phone calls explaining that we should only be responsible for X amount of dollars because of X Y Z. I almost always prevail in having claims reprocessed because the insurance company is usually in the wrong. But, ugh! I get tired of this one.
5. My Kids' School:
OK, this isn't nearly as much paperwork as getting a PhD, but who knew that kindergarten involved so much red tape? It seems like almost every day there's another flyer or handout or worksheet that needs to filled out and returned. Most of it is fun stuff like volunteering to help with activities or field trip permission forms. But, it still surprises me sometimes how much paperwork my kindergartener brings home in a week. I guess it's all part of preparing them for the future...where there's plenty more paperwork awaiting them.