Tag Archives: environment

Paperless? Bah!

Have you had to access a college transcript or expired license lately?


The digital age has everyone putting more and more of their lives on their computer, in the cloud, or on an e-reader. I love the simplicity of email and digital submissions to agents. I get my tax refund electronically, and do most of my banking that way. Digital books have completely changed the publishing industry. But, it is very hard for me to make the total digital plunge. I like my digital devices, but give me the plump woody page and inky smell of a pristine new book any day.

I’ve kept paper files for too long.  As a young actress doing temp work, a sage executive secretary (they still called them that then) taught me to make triplicate copies of everything and file them under different categories so I could always lay my hands on the information. She was way ahead of meta tagging.

The cloud scares me. It feels like smoke signals. A computer backup company I once subscribed to sent me a notice to pay them a ransom or allow them to destroy my files, without letting me see if they were important!

Back to transcripts.  Some teaching applications require electronic copies of transcripts from every college you attended—just to get an interview.  If they hire you, you pay to have certified copies sent directly from the university to the hiring school.  Unfortunately, none of my three alma maters provide electronic copies. While each is different, the process seems to be:

  1. Look up school website to get a phone number.
  2. Call to get an ID to access online site.
  3. Go online and order a transcript.
  4. Pay online:
    • To pay by credit card, pay extra.
    • To save money, give them all the tiny numbers on the check they won’t let you use.
    • To get it quick, pay through the nose or another orifice.
  5. School creates a paper copy of your digitized (often lengthy) files.
  6. School sends paper copy of the transcript by mail.
  7. Drive the paper transcript to a copy store and make an electronic copy.
  8. Put it on your thumb drive, or better yet email it to yourself.
  9. Download the electronic copy to your computer.
  10. Upload the electronic copy to the school application site.

Sometimes trying to save a little paper ends up costing a whole bunch of money.