Pete Davison: Waste Not

Posted on March 11, 2011 by


[The comics for the next few days are a little disjointed as I’m going away for the weekend. Fans of Rogue, if there are any, will be pleased to see he has his own utterly pointless mini-series.]

I’m sitting in my “study” (for want of a better word—it’s the room I have with my desk and computer in) and despite staring at the screen enjoying the wonders of the electronic, digital age (such as this delightful blog) I am literally surrounded by pieces of paper. I don’t dare throw any of these pieces of paper away because one day, one of them might be important for something I can’t possibly predict. I have discovered this to my cost a number of times in the past.

This is annoying, though. I have one of those expandy box file things that has burst its seams because of the amount of shitty useless paperwork crammed inside it. Some of this paperwork is from houses I haven’t lived in for five years. Some is from, I don’t know, last week? All of it is completely useless, until you really need it, when it becomes the most important thing in the world and consequently is nowhere to be found even though youknow you put it in that section of the file and can remember looking at it and thinking “I know this will be important some day“.

Conversely, I know that if I have all these shitty annoying stupid bits of paper everywhere and close to hand that I will never ever need them ever again. And then I will throw them out to tidy up. And then I’ll suddenly need them again.

Why? Why do we surround ourselves with such crap? The world is full of so many wonders and yet it seems that in order to just survive and go about our daily business we have to sign this, keep this safe, keep this secret, remember this handy 300-digit number that also includes letters just to be awkward, keep every single piece of paper that includes numbers and currency symbols just in case you need to show people that you understand what money is or something, and read 15-page long letters that make no sense but basically amount to saying “if you break something or have it nicked, you can have some money but only if we feel like it and by GOD we will investigate thoroughly for the best part of fifteen years before we even think of paying out”.

And relax.

I should probably add at this point that I’ve never had to claim through an insurance company so haven’t encountered the above situation before, but I did do some temping for a firm of “loss adjusters”—a profession I didn’t know existed before I did that job briefly—and was alarmed to discover some claims had indeed been going on for a healthy number of years. I was also shocked to see quite how many pointless companies exist in the world. In one instance, an insurance company contacted the loss adjusters who contacted some surveyors (odd, since the loss adjusters had their own in-house surveyors, but never mind) who contacted some builders who contacted some architects who contacted some draftsmen… and then they all contacted each other back in the other direction again. This isn’t an exaggeration for comic effect, there legitimately were that many people involved. No wonder we’re drowning in fucking paperwork.

Please consider the environment before you print this blog post. And please consider the environment before you post me a metric shit-ton of paper I will never read.


Posted in: Pete Davison