Checking in

As I learned when I was first hired (and even earlier when I was hired to work the Census), government jobs have a love affair with paperwork—on paper. This week I dutifully and diligently attacked the task of getting all the boxes of a page-long-two-column-small-print checklist which was as much a scavenger hunt as anything. Every time I went to be briefed and hand in some form, I was presented with more forms to fill out. It appears paperwork breeds paperwork. The salutary aspect of the task is that I now know where many of the different offices are, to whom I need to speak if I need certain information or services, and how (now that I have been e-connected enough) to do most of what I need electronically from now on. I finished my checkin within my first week, only to learn that most people take much longer and some people never finish “checking in.” I guess as a teacher I find it hard not to finish my classwork or homework. At least the management folks like me . . . this week.

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