…I was a fax machine killer.
I was a pretty impatient guy in my 20’s. For several years early in my career I worked for a small market media company which owned several newspapers and television stations in the northeast. For a couple of years I was helping the company develop an online strategy. This was back before the internet really existed in the public consciousness, and we were negotiating with AOL, Prodigy, Compuserve and so on. I ended up having to do a ton of faxing of materials around, including numerous multipage faxes. The problem was the newspaper whose offices I was housed in had standardized on a hunk of junk fax machine brand. This was back when they cost big dollars. The thing was as large as a microwave, it was probably 10 years old by the time I encountered it, and it was utterly incapable of handling multi-sheet faxes. If you tried, it would invariably skip some of the pages and you would get a call from the recipient asking for the missing page/s. This meant you had to hand feed the thing, page by page. I was sometimes faxing 50 page contracts around, and this drove me nuts – it could take me over an hour to get a fax through on occasion. Couple this with the fact that I worked in a busy ad creation department that was constantly faxing comps around to clients, and you had a line of unhappy folks standing around the fax machine every day.
I tried reasoning with the IT department – this is hardly a cost effective use of my time, a couple of faxes taking this long would already cover the cost of a new machine – but to no avail. I pleaded with my boss – to no avail. For a while I was going to the local kinkos to send the long faxes, but my boss stopped appreciating my expense reports for that and put a stop to it.
I remembered when I had worked in NYC and a sales rep from chicago had sent a 40′ long fax to our thermal paper fax machine, and it had killed the machine and gotten her in hot water with our boss, and this set an evil plan in motion.
I waited one night until my coworkers had all gone home, and filled the paper tray in our fax machine. I