Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Humor Me! => Topic started by: mom2four on May 24, 2012, 04:41:45 AM

Title: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: mom2four on May 24, 2012, 04:41:45 AM
Does it ever bother you that official forms so often contain questions where you cannot possibly truthfully answer no, and yet you still know that a yes will get you in trouble.

Like the visa form I just filled out that had the following question:

"Have you been in a country that has infectious deceases within the last 30 days?"

Well unless you've spent the last 30 days on Antarctica how can you say no to that one.
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: Thipu1 on May 24, 2012, 09:26:31 AM
I'm fascinated by the brief questionnaire passengers are required to fill out at pier check-in.  The little form asks if you, or anyone in your party, has had several common symptoms of a virus or cold in the last few days. 

First of all who, after paying for the passage and showing up at check-in,  would admit to being

Also, who hasn't sneezed or cough in the last few days? 

Ofc course, it seems to be fate that as soon as I hand in the questionnaire I have to cough or sneeze.  :-\
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: baglady on May 24, 2012, 09:51:02 AM
The one in the blood donation questionnaire: Have you or anyone you know had a smallpox vaccination?

Well, yeah, everyone born before 1972 got one.
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: lady_disdain on May 24, 2012, 01:21:17 PM
Visa questionnaires are the best for this.

Are you or have you been involved in a terrorist organization?
Do you plan on overstaying your visa period or violating visa terms in any way?
DO you seek to participate in espionage, sabotage or any other illegal activities during your stay?
Are you coming to this country to participate in prostitution?
Have you ever participated in torture?
Have you ever order, assisted, incited, commited or participated in genocide?
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: vorbau on May 24, 2012, 01:23:40 PM
Not to mention the various US IRS tax forms that ask you to declare illegal income from gambling, drug trafficking and/or smuggling exotic animals.

But, according to a friend who works for the IRS, the US government ones are so they can get you for lying if for nothing else. It worked on Al Capone.
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: Nika on May 24, 2012, 01:27:01 PM
Visa questionnaires are the best for this.

Are you or have you been involved in a terrorist organization?
Do you plan on overstaying your visa period or violating visa terms in any way?
DO you seek to participate in espionage, sabotage or any other illegal activities during your stay?
Are you coming to this country to participate in prostitution?
Have you ever participated in torture?
Have you ever order, assisted, incited, commited or participated in genocide?

I think I would have to pass the form over to someone else and have them fill it in for me. I honestly would have a really hard time not checking yes to those.
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: Morticia on May 24, 2012, 01:31:01 PM
The firearms licensing form  in Canada asks if you have been banned from owning guns, amongst other entertaining ones.
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: QueenfaninCA on May 24, 2012, 01:48:36 PM
Visa questionnaires are the best for this.

Are you or have you been involved in a terrorist organization?
Do you plan on overstaying your visa period or violating visa terms in any way?
DO you seek to participate in espionage, sabotage or any other illegal activities during your stay?
Are you coming to this country to participate in prostitution?
Have you ever participated in torture?
Have you ever order, assisted, incited, commited or participated in genocide?

There is a reason behind them: Because if you plan on doing one or more of the but answer no, it's very easy to deport you because you lied when obtaining your visa.
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: Oh Joy on May 24, 2012, 02:08:52 PM
I've stopped filling out the questionnaire at our pediatricians' office at our wellness visits. 

I understand where they're coming from with carseats and firearms and sugary drink intake, but it's just too much.  For example, the domestic safety question includes asking if anyone in your family has ever been yelled at.  At (mumbledy-mumble) years old, of course DH and I have been yelled at in our lives.

I like this one from our citizenship application:
*  Have you ever been a habitual drunkard?
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: lady_disdain on May 24, 2012, 02:34:00 PM
Visa questionnaires are the best for this.

Are you or have you been involved in a terrorist organization?
Do you plan on overstaying your visa period or violating visa terms in any way?
DO you seek to participate in espionage, sabotage or any other illegal activities during your stay?
Are you coming to this country to participate in prostitution?
Have you ever participated in torture?
Have you ever order, assisted, incited, commited or participated in genocide?

There is a reason behind them: Because if you plan on doing one or more of the but answer no, it's very easy to deport you because you lied when obtaining your visa.

I know :D In general, there is a good reason behind all the stupid questions on official forms. But they still sound stupid and ridiculous, because what sane person would answer yes to any of them?
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: Cutenoob on May 24, 2012, 07:17:16 PM
Not to mention the various US IRS tax forms that ask you to declare illegal income from gambling, drug trafficking and/or smuggling exotic animals.

But, according to a friend who works for the IRS, the US government ones are so they can get you for lying if for nothing else. It worked on Al Capone.
From what I understand, the IRS doesn't CARE how you got it, you just have to report it and/or tax on it. Maybe now there's a cross link between law enforcement (fed level) and IRS, but...illegal drug money got reported, and that was that. (from a person in a fed prison)
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: Nornster on May 24, 2012, 07:31:22 PM
Well unless you've spent the last 30 days on Antarctica how can you say no to that one.

Nope, even Antarctica would not disqualify you - there are definitely infectious diseases in Antarctica during the summer field season, due to people flying in and out all austral summer.  The American base I worked at had a flu-like illness called the "McMurdo crud" - I got it but bad.

Even during the isolated winter season, I imagine the people working there keep passing the same cold around until everyone's finally caught it - unless it mutates and everyone catches it again!

No mosquito-borne diseases, though - no mosquitoes!
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: siamesecat2965 on May 24, 2012, 09:29:38 PM
Not a questionnaire, but a friend's ex-DH applied to the FBI, and used me as a reference.  So I had a real live, (very cute) FBI agent come to my hosue to interview me and ask questions about him.

Stuff like "does he live beyond his means" which I get, and one which, although I don't recall exactly what it was, was something along the lines of did I think he was loyal to the USA, etc. (this was well before 9/11 too)  I wanted to be snarky in my response, as her DH was a grad of a service academy, and ex-military as well.  He was about as American as one gets.  He was accepted, but chose to go work for NSA instead doing something he could never talk about.
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: Slartibartfast on May 26, 2012, 01:03:16 AM
My uncle worked for the FBI during college (some sort of internship or summer thing).  They have to check back 15 years.  My grandparents moved when he was 7.  Even so, the old neighbors called Grandma to let her know that an FBI agent came around to ask about my uncle - at age 6-7.  Did he gamble?  Did he do drugs?  Did he consort with mysterious foreigners?

More recently, DH needed secret clearance for a previous job.  I don't remember all the questions, but one was "Are you a member of any terrorist or other organization which seeks to overthrow the US government by force?". Oh sure, but that's just for something to do on the weekends . . .?
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: emwithme on May 26, 2012, 01:55:17 AM
DF is currenly applying for PhDs. 

One (online, for PhD level study only) form has a box to tick if "you have no formal qualifications".
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: ShanghaiJill on June 01, 2012, 05:45:41 AM
I filled out a survey last week.  The gender choices were

Male

Female

Transgender


I thought transgender meant you went from male to female or vice versa.    :P
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: iridaceae on June 01, 2012, 06:16:27 AM
A transgendered person may or may not have had a sex change for any number of reasons.
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: Slartibartfast on June 01, 2012, 09:41:31 AM
Also, depending on the survey topic, they may want to separate out responses from cisgendered men/women from transgendered men/women.  Something like "Have you ever in your lifetime done X?" (when they expect a difference in answers based on gender) could be complicated by someone who was a woman for half their life and then a man or vice versa  :P
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: Cutenoob on June 01, 2012, 11:01:56 PM
When applying for DSHS/ Food Stamps here in WA state, there is a question on the form: Are you a felon on the run.
You would NOT believe how many people answer that one in the positive.
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: CakeEater on June 02, 2012, 06:23:25 AM
I've been filling out forms for the childcare rebate recently. My name needed to be the one applying, because I will be primarily dealing with the childcare centre. The rebate needs to be paid into a bank account in my name. Due to various reasons, my name isn't on our bank account.

Representative didn't know what to do until I mentioned that we already had other payments going into the account in my husband's name. Well, that was fine then, we could use that one.

It gives me a headache dealing with these things.
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: lady_disdain on June 02, 2012, 11:49:32 AM
When applying for DSHS/ Food Stamps here in WA state, there is a question on the form: Are you a felon on the run.
You would NOT believe how many people answer that one in the positive.


Hey, at least they are honest people - sometimes.
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: JoW on June 02, 2012, 12:36:16 PM
The one in the blood donation questionnaire: Have you or anyone you know had a smallpox vaccination?

Well, yeah, everyone born before 1972 got one.
I donate blood every 9-10 weeks.  If I recall correctly they ask about exposure to the smallpox vaccine in the last 6 weeks.  Or maybe its the last 6 months, but its not your whole lifetime. 

The smallpox vaccine is live and based on the cowpox virus.  They deliberately get you ill with a mild illness to make you immune to a devastating one.  Its contagious, and can be deviating to anyone who isn't in good health. 

Health care professionals were re-vaccinated after 9/11 and new ones, straight out of school, may also get vaccinated. 
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: Slartibartfast on June 02, 2012, 01:14:18 PM
Ooh, I remember the time I first donated blood - the nurse insisted on reading all the questions aloud and checking off the answers for me.  (I think this was for a high school blood drive - maybe she was worried we were too young to read?)  Anyway, I remember one of the questions was "Are you a man who has had sex with another man since 1977?"  (This entire blood drive would have been for teens who had been born after 1980.)  I just looked at her and made some flippant reply, and she monotoned "Just answer the question" back at me.

Uh, no, I'm not a man.  I would have thought you could skip that one, but apparently not  :-\
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: kkl123 on June 04, 2012, 08:38:15 PM
DF is currenly applying for PhDs. 

One (online, for PhD level study only) form has a box to tick if "you have no formal qualifications".

Actually, one of my DH's old buddies got into college on early admission without ever finishing high school.  Then into grad school before finishing a bachelor's.  Double doc with no high school or college diploma.
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: Harriet Jones on June 04, 2012, 08:59:18 PM
Ooh, I remember the time I first donated blood - the nurse insisted on reading all the questions aloud and checking off the answers for me.  (I think this was for a high school blood drive - maybe she was worried we were too young to read?)  Anyway, I remember one of the questions was "Are you a man who has had sex with another man since 1977?"  (This entire blood drive would have been for teens who had been born after 1980.)  I just looked at her and made some flippant reply, and she monotoned "Just answer the question" back at me.

Uh, no, I'm not a man.  I would have thought you could skip that one, but apparently not  :-\

Nowadays, on the computer questionnaire, you can click the "I am a woman" box for this question.
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: baglady on June 05, 2012, 09:59:47 AM
The one in the blood donation questionnaire: Have you or anyone you know had a smallpox vaccination?

Well, yeah, everyone born before 1972 got one.
I donate blood every 9-10 weeks.  If I recall correctly they ask about exposure to the smallpox vaccine in the last 6 weeks.  Or maybe its the last 6 months, but its not your whole lifetime. 

The smallpox vaccine is live and based on the cowpox virus.  They deliberately get you ill with a mild illness to make you immune to a devastating one.  Its contagious, and can be deviating to anyone who isn't in good health. 

Health care professionals were re-vaccinated after 9/11 and new ones, straight out of school, may also get vaccinated.

Maybe they changed it. The last time I donated, the question was simply "Have you or anyone you know had the vaccine?" period.
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: #borecore on June 05, 2012, 10:13:30 AM
Ooh, I remember the time I first donated blood - the nurse insisted on reading all the questions aloud and checking off the answers for me.  (I think this was for a high school blood drive - maybe she was worried we were too young to read?)  Anyway, I remember one of the questions was "Are you a man who has had sex with another man since 1977?"  (This entire blood drive would have been for teens who had been born after 1980.)  I just looked at her and made some flippant reply, and she monotoned "Just answer the question" back at me.

Uh, no, I'm not a man.  I would have thought you could skip that one, but apparently not  :-\

Nowadays, on the computer questionnaire, you can click the "I am a woman" box for this question.

When I went to donate it asked whether you had had sex with someone who had sex with a man. Period. So women or men could say yes to that.

My hated stupid question: Do you accept the terms of service for this (website, software, warranty on electronics ... that you've already downloaded/signed up for/bought)? Check Yes to continue.
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: Slartibartfast on June 05, 2012, 01:11:33 PM
Ooh, I remember the time I first donated blood - the nurse insisted on reading all the questions aloud and checking off the answers for me.  (I think this was for a high school blood drive - maybe she was worried we were too young to read?)  Anyway, I remember one of the questions was "Are you a man who has had sex with another man since 1977?"  (This entire blood drive would have been for teens who had been born after 1980.)  I just looked at her and made some flippant reply, and she monotoned "Just answer the question" back at me.

Uh, no, I'm not a man.  I would have thought you could skip that one, but apparently not  :-\

Nowadays, on the computer questionnaire, you can click the "I am a woman" box for this question.

When I went to donate it asked whether you had had sex with someone who had sex with a man. Period. So women or men could say yes to that.


That's even worse - every monogamous husband out there would have to say yes!  ("Well I enjoy Scrabble with my wife, who enjoys it with me, and I'm a man, so . . .")
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: hobish on June 05, 2012, 03:40:52 PM

To do this show, I had to take a physical, and they asked me a lot of medical questions. And they were, like, yes and no questions, but they were very strangely worded. Like, 'Have you ever tried sugar -- or PCP?'

--Mitch Hedburg (RIP)
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: Elisabunny on June 05, 2012, 05:27:27 PM
Ooh, I remember the time I first donated blood - the nurse insisted on reading all the questions aloud and checking off the answers for me.  (I think this was for a high school blood drive - maybe she was worried we were too young to read?)  Anyway, I remember one of the questions was "Are you a man who has had sex with another man since 1977?"  (This entire blood drive would have been for teens who had been born after 1980.)  I just looked at her and made some flippant reply, and she monotoned "Just answer the question" back at me.

Uh, no, I'm not a man.  I would have thought you could skip that one, but apparently not  :-\

Nowadays, on the computer questionnaire, you can click the "I am a woman" box for this question.

When I went to donate it asked whether you had had sex with someone who had sex with a man. Period. So women or men could say yes to that.

My hated stupid question: Do you accept the terms of service for this (website, software, warranty on electronics ... that you've already downloaded/signed up for/bought)? Check Yes to continue.

The warrenty questions seem somehow similar to all the "how your treatment (that you will die without) is going to kill you" forms I've had to sign for my son.  My favorite (that got YS and me giggling uncontrollably): "Do you consent to receiving bone marrow from a person who may have been exposed to Mad Cow Disease?"  Well, let's see- he can die now from bone marrow failure, or in 10 years from MCD.  We choose...moo.

(Yes, I know why they're required.  They just get absurd after a while.)
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: hobish on June 06, 2012, 10:09:48 AM

I almost forgot about the release forms for skydiving. They covered every possible scenario. I think i agreed that if they tied a brick to my ankles and threw me out of the plane shuteless that was A-Ok and neither i or anyone acting on my behalf could sue. (http://smilearchive.com/s/cwm/cwm/eek6.gif)
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: scotcat60 on June 27, 2012, 05:05:34 PM
The nurse ding the checklist for  my Mum before an operation siad "I think the answer to Question 5 is "No"  Question 5 was "are you, or do you think you might be pregnant". My Mum was 83. Asked if she had ever used recreational drugs, she said no, and later told me "I said no, but what is a recreational drug anyway?" I said she had anwered correctly.

I was asked on a survey "On a scale of 1-10, how tired do you expect to be by the end of your radiotherapy treatment?" I wrote, "I have no idea"
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: Sirius on June 30, 2012, 03:21:18 PM
I've stopped filling out the questionnaire at our pediatricians' office at our wellness visits. 

I understand where they're coming from with carseats and firearms and sugary drink intake, but it's just too much.  For example, the domestic safety question includes asking if anyone in your family has ever been yelled at.  At (mumbledy-mumble) years old, of course DH and I have been yelled at in our lives.

I like this one from our citizenship application:
*  Have you ever been a habitual drunkard?

A friend's citizenship application asked, "Were you involved in **long spiel about Nazi activities during WWII**?  He answered "no."  The next question was, "Are you sure?"  Since my friend was in his early 20s and the year was 1981 or so I think he could state with a pretty high degree of certainty that he wasn't involved.  Since he was a Dutch citizen born in Belgium the form might have been tailored to that, but I don't know for sure.   
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: Sirius on July 13, 2012, 12:54:33 AM
Got another one.

This one arrived today:  "The following information on the listed individual is required:  Great Aunt (GA) who is deceased."  GA passed away in 1996, and I sent in a copy of GA's death certificate when I originally submitted the paperwork for survivors' benefits for my aunt who passed away in April 2012 (Aunt P).  Apparently there's either a procedure they have to go through or no one bothered to look at the copy of the death certificate. 

Back to the form:  The information on GA that is requested is for things like address, phone number, etc. which are things I can't provide.  I have to admit I toyed with the idea of giving her present address as the cemetery where she's buried, but Mr. Sirius advised against it. (Not that he didn't think it was hilarious, he just thought that it would be counterproductive.  He's right.)  There's also a section that states, "If you are unable to provide the requested information please write in the space below the name and complete address of someone who is able to supply the information and return this page to us."  Really, no one else in the family has more information than I do. 

Mr. Sirius suggested that what might happen is that the authority might insist that the survivors' benefits be paid to GA's estate.  However, I have a copy of GA's will, and she left her estate to Aunt P.  So we're right back where we started from.  I told him to keep his ideas to himself, but I'll be very surprised if he isn't right. 

Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: hermanne on July 24, 2012, 01:06:29 PM
Not a question on a form, but the form itself...

I signed DD and myself up for a family campout that's being held on our town's ball fields. Kids under 18 have to camp with a parent or guardian.

So I signed us up on-line, and got an email with med forms for both of us. I read through it; this was the same form the town sends to their day campers who were dropped off, basically giving the camp counsellors permission to seek emergency medical attention if the parent couldn't be contacted. I'm thinking "What?! I'm going to be right there with her! I'm required to be right there with her!"

What makes it more fun is that they sent the exact same form for me even though I listed myself as an adult during sign-up. ::)  Maybe I can fax it to my mom. ;)
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: rashea on July 24, 2012, 01:23:11 PM
Does it ever bother you that official forms so often contain questions where you cannot possibly truthfully answer no, and yet you still know that a yes will get you in trouble.

Like the visa form I just filled out that had the following question:

"Have you been in a country that has infectious deceases within the last 30 days?"

Well unless you've spent the last 30 days on Antarctica how can you say no to that one.

Sorry, I'm laughing at the typo.
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: lady_disdain on July 24, 2012, 01:58:15 PM
Not a question on a form, but the form itself...

I signed DD and myself up for a family campout that's being held on our town's ball fields. Kids under 18 have to camp with a parent or guardian.

So I signed us up on-line, and got an email with med forms for both of us. I read through it; this was the same form the town sends to their day campers who were dropped off, basically giving the camp counsellors permission to seek emergency medical attention if the parent couldn't be contacted. I'm thinking "What?! I'm going to be right there with her! I'm required to be right there with her!"

What makes it more fun is that they sent the exact same form for me even though I listed myself as an adult during sign-up. ::)  Maybe I can fax it to my mom. ;)

If the camp is large or has many simultaneous activities, it makes sense (for you daughter, not you :)). She could get hurt while you were in some other part of the camp and need an ambulance, for example. Being able to request help immediately may save precious minutes, instead of having to wait around until you could arrive. In some situations, even 10 minutes can make a difference.
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: hermanne on July 24, 2012, 03:16:41 PM
Not a question on a form, but the form itself...

I signed DD and myself up for a family campout that's being held on our town's ball fields. Kids under 18 have to camp with a parent or guardian.

So I signed us up on-line, and got an email with med forms for both of us. I read through it; this was the same form the town sends to their day campers who were dropped off, basically giving the camp counsellors permission to seek emergency medical attention if the parent couldn't be contacted. I'm thinking "What?! I'm going to be right there with her! I'm required to be right there with her!"

What makes it more fun is that they sent the exact same form for me even though I listed myself as an adult during sign-up. ::)  Maybe I can fax it to my mom. ;)

If the camp is large or has many simultaneous activities, it makes sense (for you daughter, not you :)). She could get hurt while you were in some other part of the camp and need an ambulance, for example. Being able to request help immediately may save precious minutes, instead of having to wait around until you could arrive. In some situations, even 10 minutes can make a difference.

The camp is for one night and in a small open field next to a playground we frequent, and the only way I couldn't help her is if I was incapacitated as well. (Great, now I'm paranoid something's going to happen. ;))

But I am somewhat amused that I was auto-sent the same form.
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: lady_disdain on July 24, 2012, 03:22:16 PM
I don't want to feed your paranoia. I am sure nothing bad will happen. It is not like a meteor could fall on the camp site, causing a mass extinction on Earth. >:D
Title: Re: stupid questions on official forms
Post by: Moray on July 24, 2012, 03:25:02 PM
Not a question on a form, but the form itself...

I signed DD and myself up for a family campout that's being held on our town's ball fields. Kids under 18 have to camp with a parent or guardian.

So I signed us up on-line, and got an email with med forms for both of us. I read through it; this was the same form the town sends to their day campers who were dropped off, basically giving the camp counsellors permission to seek emergency medical attention if the parent couldn't be contacted. I'm thinking "What?! I'm going to be right there with her! I'm required to be right there with her!"

What makes it more fun is that they sent the exact same form for me even though I listed myself as an adult during sign-up. ::)  Maybe I can fax it to my mom. ;)

If the camp is large or has many simultaneous activities, it makes sense (for you daughter, not you :)). She could get hurt while you were in some other part of the camp and need an ambulance, for example. Being able to request help immediately may save precious minutes, instead of having to wait around until you could arrive. In some situations, even 10 minutes can make a difference.

The camp is for one night and in a small open field next to a playground we frequent, and the only way I couldn't help her is if I was incapacitated as well. (Great, now I'm paranoid something's going to happen. ;))

But I am somewhat amused that I was auto-sent the same form.

And if something happens to either of you they will have the appropriate information re: allergies, emergency contacts, etc. They aren't asking you to fill it out because they think something will happen, but to protect themselves from liability and to ensure you get appropriate care if something does happen.

What if you become incapacitated? They're going to want to know that you're allergic to bees or whathaveyou, and they're also protecting themselves from a lawsuit if they want to hand you a Benadryl while acting as camp employees. We live in a litigious society, so I can't blame them for covering themselves.