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Monday, June 30, 2008

Down with Fax Machines

Aside from having to listen to redundant instructions on a regular basis from one of my attorneys (since apparently I am too stupid to comprehend a note or email, so verbal instructions are also necessary [not that I mind verbal instructions, I just want one or the other, not both]), ... right, aside from all that, faxing is the most loathed part of my job. I suppose it probably wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that we deal with other law firms all over the world, and faxing to places like Egypt, Ecuador, Colombia, and Iran can be downright impossible.

Frankly, in this internet age, I don't see the point of faxing. It's the modern day equivalent of sending a letter via telegraph. This is the internet age, my friends, and even places like Egypt, Ecuador, Colombia, and Iran have the internet these days. Furthermore, the reliability of their internet is generally far superior to the reliability of their phone lines. (At least that's the impression that I get when I'm standing in front of the fax machine listening to the most heinous screeching noises that issue forth from the speaker when my fax to India is being rejected for the fifth time.)

The worst part about the faxing in our office is that it is almost always redundant, because we generally send all international correspondence by both fax and mail. Why the duplication? Why not choose one or the other? I think that for correspondence that does not need to arrive at its destination urgently, we ought to just use the postal service. For correspondence that needs to get out right away, we ought to use the fax, because by the time the redundant postal version gets there, it will be too late to be of any good anyway.

Actually, we should just give up on postal mail and facsimiles altogether in favor of email. But the problem with email in our office is that when we do send it, we generally create the letter on paper for the attorney to sign, then we scan it in and send it as a PDF to its destination. What a mind-numbing waste of time and megabytes. Why don't we just type the letter right into the email message? We can even create custom letterhead email templates! Why does it seem that everyone else thinks things are more worthwhile when they're more complicated?



If you need me, I'll be by the fax machine.


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14 comments:

Trovan said...

I sooooo agree with you. Fax machines are completely worthless. Just like pagers and typewriters. Why is it that we have to hold so tightly to archaic technology?

Claire said...

I'm all for redundancy when it's critical that the information absolutely, positively has to reach its destination, but fax? Really? FAX?

Why don't you just transcribe it onto a wax cylinder and send it on over? They can crank up the victrola and listen to your esquired employers natter on about matters legal, then head outside for a ride on their bicycles with giant front wheels to the doctor for a quick leeching.

Freaking ancient tech...what's next, tying the letters to a pigeon? "Fly, Scooter, fly! The Dinrabi brief has to be in Cairo by eight AM!"

Boo on faxing, I say.

Ben Sloan said...

Slowly but surely, email is kicking ass. For instance, more and more editors are accepting email manuscript submissions, and some ONLY take email.

So, basically...we just have to wait on the old bastards to die.

Sra said...

Good then, we are in agreeance (as I like to say):

Fax machines must die.

BTW, Claire, if I had been drinking something whilst reading your comment, it might very well have come out my nose. So thanks for that. Wax cylinders and pigeons -- that kills me.

Claire said...

Can we choose which old bastards die, and in which order? 'Cause I'd sign up for that.

The Over-Thinker said...

I wish someone could please explain why faxes being sent must emit that terrible screeching noise! Couldn't they program it with a soothing ringtone? Maybe some Enya? Anything would be better than this:

EEEEE-OOOO-AARGGHHH--OOOO--EEEEE
OOOO-WHAP-BEEEP-EEE-EEE-EEE--OOOOOO
EEEEE-OOOO-AARGGHHH--OOOO--EEEEE

(Fax Haiku)

Claire said...

Sra: Always happy to increase the number of nostrils cleansed by accidental fluid discharge. In fact, I got a merit badge for it in Scouts.

Also, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do not combine Fax Machines with music.

You know what's worse than "EEEEE-OOOO-ARRRRGH-EEEE-OOOOO"?

Zamfir, Master of the Freakin' Pan Flute, that's what.

"Oh God, I think it's "Wind Beneath My Wings...quickly, Barbara, save the children...I'll cover the speaker with my body for...as...long..as...I can...(gurgle, choke, wheeze)"

Sra said...

It's true, fax noise is just as bad in verse as it is in real life.

I don't see why it should be complicated to replace that noise with something more soothing. Hell, even the sound of a garbage disposal would be a step up.

Unfortunately I'm missing the pan flute reference.

Claire said...

No worries, I wouldn't say you're "missing" anything.

Still, if you're an especially doughty and resilient soul, you can learn more here.

Just think Michael Bolton, if he played 2,000-year old shepherd's pipes instead of stealing music from actual musicians.

Sov said...

Oh no! Tell me you did NOT get Claire started on Zamfir aqain!

Sov said...

Oh no! Tell me you did NOT get Claire started on Zamfir aqain!

Claire said...

No worries, I wouldn't say you're "missing" anything.

Still, if you're an especially doughty and resilient soul, you can learn more here.

Just think Michael Bolton, if he played 2,000-year old shepherd's pipes instead of stealing music from actual musicians.

Sra said...

It's true, fax noise is just as bad in verse as it is in real life.

I don't see why it should be complicated to replace that noise with something more soothing. Hell, even the sound of a garbage disposal would be a step up.

Unfortunately I'm missing the pan flute reference.

The Over-Thinker said...

I wish someone could please explain why faxes being sent must emit that terrible screeching noise! Couldn't they program it with a soothing ringtone? Maybe some Enya? Anything would be better than this:

EEEEE-OOOO-AARGGHHH--OOOO--EEEEE
OOOO-WHAP-BEEEP-EEE-EEE-EEE--OOOOOO
EEEEE-OOOO-AARGGHHH--OOOO--EEEEE

(Fax Haiku)

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