It was the headline that got me. Still, the piece is pretty funny, too. And Stossel makes a great point in saying that these are the same people who want to manage the nation’s health care, educate the nation’s children, and more.
Here’s a little bit of the piece:
So here’s a joke: How many government officials does it take to handle an upside-down fax?
An infinite number, apparently, and lots of time.
Erik Sherman of BNet.com reports that the US Patent Office actually sends letters that say:
The faxed submission was received upside down. We are unable to continue processing these images. Please resubmit your document.
We called the Patent Office to see if that was true. Spokeswoman Jennifer Rankin said it was, but that it was “not a stupid government policy.” Rather, it’s a problem with their antiquated IT system. She said their system automatically sends such letters when a fax is received upside-down, and that nobody in the department actually sees the faxes or sends the letters.
She said that their IT department was “working on it, and it should be fixed in March.”
Now, I could understand if, for some reason, the Patent Office was unable to process the fax transmissions which didn’t clearly indicate which is the top of the page and which is the bottom. After all, the office deals with complex designs and drawings and such, some of which might be a little complicated looking.
But that wasn’t it. This was just another example of government-run inefficiency.