Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Consequences of Being Too Paperless

A few years ago we decided we would eliminate as much paper as possible.

Eliminating paper has been a satisfying but imperfect journey.

Our records are available to us when we travel, we no longer have a filing cabinet. 100% of our tax records, including receipts, are electronic and meet Internal Revenue Service standards.

However, along the way, we inadvertently tossed out the titles to our cars. We have scans, but a scan is not sufficient to complete a transfer of ownership.

In 2003 we purchased a BMW 3 Series car. It's the most (so-called) "refined" car we've ever owned, but ownership has been absurdly expensive.

Now, the engine won't turn over: it's time to donate it to Newgate School, a nonprofit that trains auto mechanics. If our experience is typical, the trainees, will make a good living repairing BMW cars.

So, today, I found myself in a busy Department of Motor Vehicles office in a desolate Sears store. (See photo at the top of this post.)

On the way home I stopped at Freewheel Bike for an Americano and a freshly baked cookie while a mechanic replaced a broken spoke.

We once shelled out north of $800 to replace a small fan motor in the BMW's emission system. It's supposed to run for about four minutes while the engine warms up. Its absence had no noticeable impact on the operation of the car.

I gladly paid a few bucks to fix the bicycle wheel.
Note: the car's service records are all scanned and can be brought up on my phone. This has proved useful when negotiating with Service Managers. 

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