I mentioned how I got a letter inviting me to apply for a pension.

Now I hate forms and in particular gubmint forms and I had had enough headaches applying for Herself's pension.  The letter told me however that I could apply for the whole thing on-line, and they even gave me a little password.  Fucking sweet.

I fired up my trusty laptop and opened my Firefox.  I went into the website and found the appropriate page and blow me but my little password worked!  They listed two forms for me to fill in.  I clicked on the first one.  It gave me a file to download.  What?

Fortunately I know a little bit about computery shit, and I knew this file wasn't meant to download.  It should have opened in Adobe Acrobat which I don't have as Adobe are an ignorant bunch of fucks and as far as they are concerned Linux doesn't exist.

I sighed, rebooted my machine and went into Windows [which shows why I keep a spare copy of it that I normally never use].

I downloaded and installed Adobe Acrobat, fired up my Firefox and went back into the website. 

At last, when I clicked on the form link there it was in all its glory.  I could now see all the items I had to fill in.  The only trouble was that I couldn't.  I couldn't type in any of the fields.  Then I noticed a tiny warning saying that the form wouldn't work in Chrome, Opera or Firefox and that I had to use Internet Explorer!  Fucking Hell!  What kind of technical gobshites are these people?

Anyhows, I fired up Internet Explorer, went into the site, opened the form and it actually worked.  I was able to fill in all the details.

I worked away for a good while filling in tedious details like my grandmother's maiden name, what I had for breakfast and where I went on my holidays last year.  I was nearly finished when I realised I had to leave it and go out and collect Puppychild from school.  No problem.  The site said that all I had to do was click "Save" and I could go back to it any time.  I clicked "Save" but didn't bother switching off as I intended to return to it in an hour or so.

I returned.

The site had timed out. 

No problem, thinks I, as I have the form saved.

How could I be so gullible?

I logged back into the site and went into the form.  All blank.  All my previous work down the toilet.  All those details of where I worked and what years were gone, not that it made much difference as I hadn't a clue what dates I started and finished with previous employers.  Fuckit, I couldn't even remember the years, let alone the months or days.

Today I sat down.  I had a fresh mug of tea, a bottle of Valium to my left and a bottle of Prozac to my right.  I took the phone off the hook and told Herself to expect dire retribution if she interrupted me.  I fired up my pipe and my laptop and set to work on the on-line forms.

I filled in the form in its entirety and clicked "Save".  Previously whenever I had click that button it whinged about mandatory fields not being filled and how they were highlighted in red, even though there were no red fields that I could find.  This was a good sign.  No warnings, and no errors.  I went to submit the form.  The submit button wouldn't work and my form was now empty again.  FUCK!

I checked all the settings in the Adobe thing again.  I removed all restrictions and basically gave it a free pass to download any virus it wished and to ravage the grandkids into the bargain.

I filled in the form again.

It still saved but still vanished.  The only field I hadn't been able to fill in was the very first one – my identity number which was a tad strange.  I tried everything under the sun to type into that field but it was having none of it even though it was the most important item on the sheet.

I don't know how many times I filled in that fucking form, trying different moves each time and each time all I ended up with was a blank form, an empty Valium bottle and an empty Prozac bottle.

I went through all the settings again.  This was tricky as their instructions were all out of date [naturally] as I think they were giving instructions for Internet Explorer V1 or something.  Then I went through all the settings for Adobe Reader [and there is one moxy load of them].  I found one little area where I had given Reader permission to ravage the grandkids and discovered a half hidden little area where I could name the grandkids.  I filled that in.

"What are ye fucking at?" asks Herself.  [She has a tendency to use foul language these days]

"Trying to fill in this form" I replied in a very calm voice which belied the seething hatred in my head towards cunts who can't set up a web site properly.

"But you've been at that for hours!"

"Just one more try and then I'm giving up."

I gave it one more try.

It fucking worked.  The first thing I noticed when I opened the form was that my identity number had automatically filled in.  I spent the next while filling in all the fields which at this stage I knew by heart.  I got to the end at last and pressed "Save".  It refused to save because it claimed I hadn't put a zero in some areas.  I went back and filled each of those areas with zeros – 000000.00 and for some reason it was happy with that instead of just plain 0.  Apparently zero doesn't equal zero in the surreal world of gubmint mathematics?

I clicked the "Save" button and it saved at last.  I submitted it and it vanished off into the ether leaving a pathetic little message – "Your form has been submitted".  The least I would expect after all that hassle was a fucking drumroll and trumpet fanfare.

We have a budget looming in the next couple of weeks.

It wouldn't surprise me in the least if they cut or abolished the pension I have just applied for.



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The Screwing Game Part 2 — 9 Comments

  1. I'm a bit old-fashioned and fill in paper instead of online forms. I hate forms whether hard copy or online because they generally seem to be designed by robots for other robots e.g. people like us that they think are robots. This time around Grandad, you had no option but to fill in an online form because 36 technicians who maintain the letter sorting machines in 4 major centres are on strike, bringing the whole letter delivery system to a national halt. And I love getting letters plopping through my letter box, but not bills. Did you think of asking your local TD to help you fill in your pension application GD? That sort of job and chasing country funerals are what keep our honourable elected reps busy in their constituencies.

    • I loath form in all their guises.  I always feel I'm signing my private life away.  Of the two, I prefer on-line ones for a few reasons.  If they are correctly written [*cough*] they self correct and I know which ones are mandatory [I ignore non-mandatory ones].  They also are instant and don't involve farting around with envelopes, stamps and Post Offices.  Once I send 'em I know they have been received.  And as you point out our postal system is a tad unreliable just at the moment!

      • Perhaps, when this daft holdup at the postal sorting centres is over, you could 'post' something ruminative about the institution known as the post office? I used to collect stamps as a chizzler.

  2. They much prefer spending vast wads of our cash producing something that doesn't work.  I swear I could lash up a much simpler system in my spare time.  Mind you, I'd charge them the earth for it!

  3. I'm a but late to the table on this one but congratulations on finally completing the forms and keeping your sanity at the same time. So, if this pension actually comes through would that mean you'd be a double pensioner? One from your old workplace and now one from the gubmint? if so, I'd advise not to let one know about the other. I don't think they could handle such complications

    • Actually the saga continues.  They assigned me a pension and when I bitched about it they admitted they had fucked up [and if I hadn't bitched???].  It is now being reassessed upwards.  I have yet to hear back from them.

      Indeed I will be a dual pensioner.  I get one from my main ex-employer and the other from the state.  The state one is a contributory one where I paid into it in my first jobs and also paid into it when I was working for myself.  As they are both contributory, neither is means assessed.

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