Simple Work Made Complicated


FAX (Photo credit: Independent Curators International)

Someone is going to get hurt.  And it isn’t going to be me.

I know we are all special in our special way.  We are all God’s children, even Republicans.  But I don’t think there is a gentle explanation for the frustration caused by people who can unnecessarily complicated even the simplest task.

Consider the fax machine.

What is so difficult about sending paperwork from Point A to Point B for approval and then asking for that fax to be returned from Point B back to Point A?  We’re on not our second attempt here and not on our third, but we are now attempting to send a fax from Point A to Point B and get it returned for the FOURTH GODDAMN TIME!

Look, this is something your 5 year-old kid could do…and probably does do.  (Did you really order that Let’s Rock Elmo song book?)  Apparently faxing is…I don’t know…passe?  We are losing our competitive edge, people.

I had the fax sent with careful instructions, which included the line “Return all four pages of the agreement to me at …”   Guess what I got.  I got one page and it wasn’t even one of the pages of the agreement!

So I had the fax sent again with big Xs and “Sign Here” marked boldly on the agreement.  Guess what I got.  One page.  They lost pages 3 through 4.

Sent again.  This is attempt three.  I had our assistant call when we faxed.  Do you have the fax?  Yes.  Good.  Can you sign the fax now and send it back?  Yes.  Good.

Guess what happened.   Ten minutes pass.  Fifteen.  Half an hour.  So I ask the assistant to call again.  “Oh, we’re sorry.  Got distracted.  Just a minute.  I’ll send it now.”  Ten minutes pass.  Fifteen.  Half an hour.

Ok, what is complicated about this?  Right now — with you patiently waiting — I will go through the motions of signing a simple contract, dial a number on a fax machine, place the document in the fax machine, and hit send.  I am going to time it.  I am even going to sip coffee between each step to more accurately reflect real life.  Ready?  Here I go.

La de da de da…La de da de da…La de da de da…La de da de da…La de da de da…La de da de da…


I took my time and I still completed the task in 34 seconds.

Hours have passed since this all began and I’m twitching just a bit.  I am not thinking good thoughts.  The whole point of this was saving time.  I could have crawled to this office and had better results.  So I asked my office to send the paper work ONE MORE TIME and I this time I got on the phone.  Do you have the fax?  Yes.  Good.  Can you sign each page now?  Yes.  Can you send the fax now?  Yes.  Thank you.

Guess who just called…Literally, called just now…it was my office.  Guess what they just received.  ONE FUCKING PAGE OF THE GODDAMN AGREEMENT!

Honestly, I am going to quit.


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