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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Man vs. Machine

Recently I overheard a conversation between two men involving aliens. At the end of the conversation one man asked the other “Do you believe there is intelligent life out there?” to which the other replied “Right now, I don’t believe there’s intelligent life in this room.”

Where it comes to intelligence, or lack thereof, one has to have a sense of humor. Blonds especially, as they are often the target of jokes, portraying them as dumb.

While I admit that some women’s elevator doesn’t quite go to the top, there are dumb men too. I should know, I met one the other day.

I went to the mailroom, to pick up some documents from one of four multi-purpose copiers and found a man staring at one of the machines. It was quite obvious that he had a problem.
While waiting for my documents to finish printing, I kept an eye on him.

He placed some papers in the top tray, tapped them lightly so they were nicely lined up, pushed one button and then another button and then waited. When nothing happened, he let out a long sigh and removed the papers.

He went through the process again, placing the paper in the top tray, making sure they were lined up properly, followed by a push of two buttons. When the machine remained dead still, the man’s frayed nerves got the better of him. He did what so many people do in a stressful situation … he started talking to the machine.

“What’s the matter with you, you stupid thing,” he mumbled. “The papers are there, I pushed the buttons, now start faxing!”

“Problem?” I enquired politely.

“I don’t know what this stupid thing wants,” he turned to me, while helplessly raising his arms the way a bird would flap his wings. “I’ve tried three times now and this machine just doesn’t want to fax.”

“Can you show me?” I asked. “Maybe you’re forgetting a step.”

“I feed the papers in the tray like so,” he demonstrated, placing the documents for the fourth time in the top tray, “I make sure they’re all lined up, then I hit the Fax button and then the Start button.

“Are you sure you have the right fax number?” I wondered.

“Fax number?” he said with a frown.

“The number of the recipient,” I said. “The person you’re sending the fax to.”

We both looked at the printer/scanner/fax’s computerized screen and we both knew right away what the problem was … no number had been keyed in.

If this had been a blond woman, and a man had witnessed such a mistake, she’d never hear the end of it. Fortunately for the man, I have a more discreet nature, although I must say, feeling a giggle tugging on my jaw muscles, I’ve never left the mailroom in quite such a hurry.

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