Stupid half-updated websites (though, to be fair, I can totally sympathize with the difficulty of hunting down and updating every spot on a series of websites where a particular piece of information is given). Turns out that, contrary to whatever webpage I was reading, the deadline for expedited HSC forms is Friday at 5 these days, not Monday at 5 like it used to be. Though she kindly told me that I probably wouldn’t have gotten reviewed this Wednesday anyway, since they have a lot of applications piling up to review. So I won’t know the results of my application until some time after Wednesday of next week.
I also want to hire myself out to the HSC people for the purpose of rewriting their forms. Not the wording, per se — at least some of that stuff is federally mandated to be the way it is — but to reorganize its presentation so that it, y’know, makes sense. For starters, the paginations are a bleeding mess, such that (for example) page 3 of the form is page 6 of the document, and when it tells you to do a particular thing involving page 3, you have to be sure you’re looking at the right one. Second, they don’t get around to giving you the nice instruction packet that tells you which forms you need to pay attention to depending on what you’re doing until page five. But I think the one that takes the cake for me is the fact that an addendum to the form (the “Conflict of Interest” question, regarding whether or not anybody involved stands to make money off the research results) — an addendum which, mind you, has been in effect for more than three years — is on page two. Which is not part of the form. You have to go add it onto the form. The “Reminder of New Procedures” bit on page 3 is still giving you updates from 1999. One of the women in the HSC office told me the Conflict of Interest question was still up at the front because people keep forgetting to include it, and I had to bite my tongue not to suggest that people might be more likely to remember it if it were actually on the form it belongs with.
But I managed to notice that question, and add it in, and the woman in the office who took my form (not the one with the dumb answer) gave me a big thumbs-up for having caught it. Apparently that’s Reason #1 people’s applications get rejected on the first round; they fail their Perception rolls and don’t notice they need to put something from page two on page fourteen.
So now I twiddle my thumbs and wait to hear back.