June 21, 2013

In Bad Form

Today I have to fill out forms.

I do not like forms. In fact, I am a little form phobic. I have a fear of forms, if you will. I don't give good form. I give bad form, even when I am in good form.

It is strange, because I like words. I like words very much. I use them all the time. They come out of my mouth, my fingers, my computer, my phone... I can throw them out all over the place with no effort at all. I can put words into a blog post, an article, a text, a tweet. No words phase me. I am at one with words.

Until I am required to put those words into a form. And then my heart clenches in fear and my body tenses with stress and I stare at the form and tap my foot on the floor and then go away to do something completely different because it is simply too scary.

It is a form. And forms are bad.

I tried to figure out why forms bother me so much. Theoretically, they should be far easier to complete than a thousand word article. You generally have to write only a word or two at a time, and there is no issue at all about spelling or grammar. And with online forms, you don't need to worry about making mistakes - you just return to the previous screen and do it again from scratch.

Tragic Woman Shown Not Actual Blogger

But then I realised. It's not the form of the form per se that disturbs me. It's the content of the form - or rather, the content that is not yet in the form, the content that I am required to put in the form. Because most of the time, I don't know the answers. Forms ask questions about dates and places and figures and events and obscure pieces of information that I do not know off the top of my head, nor am I able to find out without weeping for two hours in a dusty storeroom over piles of paperwork. Forms need me to think. They need me to calculate. They need me to look things up in filing cabinets. They need me to open up a bottle of gin and drink deeply until I am no longer afraid anymore.

But now I've written this blog post and I've cleaned the house. There is nothing left to do but go back to the form. Help me, people. Leave a comment so I can come back and respond. Ask me a question - the more complex the answer required, the better.

And if anyone lives in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney and loves filling out forms, please come over. I will write you a thousand word thank you letter. Because I love words. Did I mention I love words?


  1. My god, you are a braver woman than I. I agree with another poster that all of our information is already on a form (or forms) somewhere in cyber space so why do we have to fill out more and more of the damned things? Every time I go to my GP they check my date of birth, address and phone number (all of which they have on a form). Showing my Medicare card is apparently not enough. If we ever get ID cards will they be sufficient to identify us without another hundred forms to accompany them? We are supposed to have moved towards a paperless society - why are we still filling out forms. I HATE FORMS (yes, I am shouting in the hope that somebody will LISTEN).


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