In my experience, a great deal of life, especially in the United Kingdom, is ruled by form filling. You’re born; so your parents fill in a form. You go to school; forms are filled in. You leave school and go to university, so you fill in forms. Or if you join the National College of Unemployment Economics (where you learn how to make £70 last a fortnight. I am a graduate of this college and have the cancelled UB40 to prove it) you spend most of your time filling in forms so that you can have your rent paid, council tax reduced and a tidy sum to cash at the Post Office once a fortnight.
Indeed, during my internment at the Health and Safety Executive, the paperless office ideal was only followed if various forms (B128, Y631-a & LUP2) were filled in and submitted to the correct department. Likewise, at the firm of Solicitors I worked at before the HSE, forms were abundant (Green Forms, Legal Aid forms, Costing forms, Time allocation forms). Furthermore, CSD had forms for all manner of day to day tasks such as User Agreement forms, Licencing forms, printquota forms and the like. New College is only slightly better with its pointless “New Starter” form to “assist” in the creation of an account.
These forms, once completed, usually end up getting stuffed into a drawer and never looked at again until someone comes across them 3 years later and turfs them into the bin. Quite so, the refuse collector then has to take the load to either land fill or to the recycling plant (after completing the relevant form) where again further forms are completed and sent back to some other department. The advent of computers in offices was supposed to herald the paperless office but it is obvious that someone didn’t tick the correct box as, to my mind at least, there is more paper in offices now, albeit recycled, than there was. This goes for schools and colleges too (my college and school work fit nicely into a medium sized box once used for speakers, some of the students here generate tonnes more than that in a month!).