Why does a printer run out of toner just when you have an urgent print job?
Why does your internet server suddenly fail to connect when you’re waiting for an urgent email?
Why does your laptop take ½ hour to load when it knows full well that you have a bus to catch in five minutes?
The simple explanation to all of the above is that all technology – from your electric can-opener to your air-conditioning – has an in-built “annoyance” chip that is programmed to measure your levels of stress and break down accordingly.
Some photocopiers have in-built scanners that can detect movement two buildings away, assess the likelihood of photocopying being required, count the number of pages marked “urgent” and use this information to calculate the Maximum Impact Moment (or MIM) to cause a paper jam.
Many software packages have an additional stess-ono-meter to detect the urgency of your document. Don’t even bother to save your document as you go if one of these is installed on your computer, as you will return from work to find that your annual training budget has been replaced with a detailed review of flower-arranging in the gobi dessert, or something equally irrelevant.
This is by no means accidental and some computers are programmed to move all your files to new locations as part of their basic start-up procedure. No one is quite sure why this is.
Perhaps computers are intrinsically annoying? Perhaps we are all part of some global anti-Microsoft conspiracy. We may never know.