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The Fax Machine Test

by Dear Jon
July 5, 2002

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Sort 153_Dear Jon-The Fax Machine Test ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

I was going to write a question to you, but I feel like I've sent it before. Does this mean I have deja vu, or is my memory getting bad?

Unclear questioner


Dear Quest,

Since I have not seen this letter before, my guess is that you are experiencing deja vu.


ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

How can I tell if my co-workers think I'm stupid?

Sincerely,
Paranoid


Dear Noid,

I would rather answer a different question, because it is more relevant to your situation even though you do not realize it. The question really is: “How can I tell if I’m stupid?” If you can accurately determine your stupidity quotient, then you will in fact have accurately surmised the opinion your co-workers have of you. You will then have the satisfaction of realizing that you are not paranoid at all, just stupid. Here are twenty true/false statements.

1. If you load a printer with blue paper, the document you print will appear on blue paper.
True False

2. If you load a photocopier with blue paper, the photocopy of your document will appear on blue paper. True False

3. If you load a fax machine with blue paper, the fax you send will be received on blue paper at the other end. True False

4. You know that question about the fax machine is “false” only through trial and error. True False.

5. Even though you are pretty sure that the fax you send is printed on the paper at the receiving end and not your own paper, you still double-check sometimes just to be positive. True False

6. The fax machine frightens you and you have your co-worker send faxes for you. True False

7. To make coffee: Fill pot with water. Add grounds to water. Stir. Set pot on burner of coffee maker to heat up. Be sure burner is plugged in and power is on. True False

8. To make coffee: Fill the coffee maker with water to appropriate level. Add paper filter and then grounds to the plastic holder. Set pot on burner of coffee maker. Be sure burner is plugged in and power is on. Cry for help and run to the nearest administrative assistant when water begins to shoot randomly everywhere except into the pot. Watch administrative assistant calmly insert the plastic holder into place above the pot, which you had forgotten to do for the third time that week. True False

9. The reason the Technical Support department exists is to diagnose and correct computer and telephone malfunctions. True False

10. The reason the Technical Support department exists is to teach you how to use applications that you listed on your resume’ as ones you already knew. True False

11. The reason the Technical Support department exists is to teach you how to type. True False

12. The reason the Technical Support department exists is to teach you that electricity flows through wires and cables that are hooked up to machines, and the way to access that electricity is to turn switches from “off” to “on.”

13. You are convinced you are smarter than your boss and that life is an unfair political circus where schmoozers get the goodies but you are above all that which is why you get diddly. True False

14. You are convinced you are smarter than your boss and you let him/her know it as often as you can, just like at the last four jobs you have had this year. True False

15. You are convinced you are smarter than your boss, but you have a job to do anyway and nothing makes work move along like competence and a good attitude. True False

16. Being “online” at work is occasionally beneficial for networking and information. True False

17. Being “online” at work is a great way to flame your boss with e-mail. True False

18. Being “online” at work is a great way to meet singles who share your fantasies. True False

19. Being “online” at work is a whole other application that gives you the opportunity to get to know the names and faces of the Technical Support staff. True False

20. You need an answer key at the bottom to let you know which should be “true” and which “false” in order to know whether you are smart. True False

I sincerely hope these twenty statements have given you a clue.


ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

I was going to write a question to you, but I feel like I've sent it before. Does this mean I have deja vu, or is my memory getting bad?

Unclear questioner


Dear Uncle,

As it turns out, I guess your memory is getting bad.


(Answer Key: If you need an answer key you are stupid and your co-workers know it. If you do not need an answer key, your co-workers probably think you are competent and you are just being paranoid. That your co-workers think you are competent is no guarantee that they like you or will treat you with respect, which is a whole other issue you can ask advice about for another sort.)

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