I do not think I have posted this story to this group before, so, as Word is
This really happened: I was there, I watched.
Long time ago, I worked as a contractor for a small but upwardly mobile
company. At that time the staff occupied a single floor of an office block in
West London, a couple of directors, a secretary and a bunch of very bright and
One of the senior staff came in with the words 'This memo is urgent: can you
get it out quickly.' (Probably a strategic error, triggering a local
perturbance in the Universal Murphy Field). The secretary set to work typing up
the one-page memo in Word. Something went wrong, she struggled with it, and got
nowhere. So she called over one of the very bright and highly-paid engineers to
help. He struggled with it and got nowhere, so he called over another very
bright and highly-paid engineer. I don't know what they were struggling with,
but the words 'I've never seen it do that before' occurred more than once.
After a while most of the company's technical staff were helping the poor girl
to lash Word into producing this one-page memo. Finally they succeeded, and the
print command was issued. The printer jammed. One of the highly-paid engineers
unjammed the printer. The print command was issued again... and again the
printer jammed. I cannot remember how many times this happened, but I do
distinctly remember that at the very point when the printer was finally coaxed
into life, just as I thought 'Surely, nothing else can go wrong'... the toner
I am not making this up.
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