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Only a Special Moment of Governmental, Bureaucratic Idiocy Could Bring Me Out of the Deep, Dark Cave Where I’ve Been Plotting*

pop-quiz.jpgPop quiz, hotshot. There’s a fax in the machine. But the fax is upside down. If you don’t flip it right side up, the words and pictures will be upside down. If you do flip it around, well, then you’ll have to deal with it. What do you do? What … do … you … do?

…Well, if you’re the Patent and Trademark Office, you write a stupid letter to the sender of said upside fax, a letter labeled “Notice of Document Filed Upside Down.” You then explain that the document must be resubmitted:

The faxed submission was received upside down. We are unable to continue processing these images.

As the fine folks over at Gizmodo say:

So we have a few assumptions we can make about the setup over at the USPTO. They either still take manual faxes, as in stuff prints out in reams of paper over in the bowels of some bleak office structure, or they take faxes digitally and don’t have the expertise to use an image rotation program to rotate the damn image so it’s right-side-up. Either way, it’s hard to think of a situation that reflects worse on the people who are supposed to be judging our society’s technological advancements based on merit.

‘Bout sums it up, don’t it?

Because there is still one little piece of my black soul that hasn’t been eaten away by cynicism, I am going to hope that when the PTO says “upside down,” they mean the sender flipped the paper over, so they wound up getting the tails side rather than the heads side. Because if it means the way you first assume, Obama has already failed, because hope is truly, utterly and completely dead.

*(Yes, by “plotting,” I mean “slowly suffocating as a result of BigLaw’s ever-tightening grip around my throat.)

| Comments (3)


You know, it could be that by upside down, they meant, face down - they got blank pages by the dozen and traced it back via *69. Just a possibility, but then I worked for the feds for a few years and your analysis wouldn't surprise me either.

By which I mean - it would have been kind of proactive on their part to trace the number rather than just blowing it off.

Sorry, didn't mean to sound like I skipped the last paragraph...

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