My father-in-law once told me a story about a service call
he answered while working at IBM
years ago. The caller was apparently having difficulty with her typewriter
. Her memos were very hard to read. They contained characters that she hadn't typed including a great deal of unexplainable spaces
, m's, x's and c's. This had been going on for quite some time and she felt there was something wrong
with the typewriter.
So he gathered up his tools
and went to check it out. He performed all the standard tests
on the machine and declared it in perfect working order
. He even typed up a few paragraphs to prove his point. The caller was insistant that there was a problem, producing some of her mis-typed memos. My father-in-law studied the memos and with dawning realization
, politely asked her to go ahead and type a memo for him.
She obliged and the problem became apparent to him almost immediately: her breasts
, being quite large
, rested partially on the keyboard as she typed, causing the mysterious characters
on the memo.
Biting back laughter
, he asked her to sit back from the typewriter the slightest bit and continue typing. She did so and was amazed that the problem was gone. His explanation, quite politically correct
I think, was that the human body emits a sort of magnetic field
on the typewriter if you sit too close, causing it to randomly generate characters
. She was quite pleased with this and later placed a call to his supervisor
, commending him and explaining in detail the entire visit.