Dear business owners, stop asking me to get a fax machine
“There are three groups who you never want to make an enemy of — the IRS, the Social Security Office or hospitals,” my mother says. So for her own protection, I will confirm that I was born from immaculate conception and Gwen doesn’t know who I am. Why? Because I’m about to make an enemy out of all three groups. All three are hell bent on using fax machines for everything.
Earlier this week, I needed to get a 147C form from the IRS and none of the representatives would budge. No emails. No scans. No third-party fax owners (i.e. the woman who doesn’t know me, mentioned above) who I could trust to receive my fax and pick it up later that day. The IRS reps were determined that I must be in front of a secure fax machine to receive the form, as if this was perfectly normal in 2020.
In a faxZero world where sending forms is free and emails have scan attachment options, why on Earth would I want to pay $26.95 for eFax? How many people am I going to send faxes to once I get off this call, who don’t already have printers, scanners, smartphone cameras or even — yep, I’m saying it, postage stamps. For the love of all things in the 2000s, stop making people get fax machines.
Do you still blow air into Nintendo cartridges to make Super Mario Bros play?
Have you punched the black tab out of your VHS tapes so “no one records over your shows”?
Do you still put plastic on your furniture?
Have you braided your Cabbage Patch dolls’ hair today?
Do you still wear leg warmers and headbands to match your outfit?
Are you elated to see fanny packs making a (horrendous) comeback?
Do you have pencils set aside to roll your cassette tape ribbon back into place when it jams in your radio cassette player?
Are you plotting on how to get the stair-step high-top fade cut when COVID-19 ends?
Have you started dog-earring magazine pages for your next A-symmetrical haircut?
Do you wear Hammer pants (or worse, these panda pants)?
When you win at something, do you yell out “Get over here” and then “Fatality”?
Does your ironing consist of creased Karl Kani or Cross Colour jeans?
Is your snack of choice Bubble Tape gum?
When you want to safely socially isolate but ask someone on a date, do you stand outside of the window with a boombox?
Do you keep unfolded cardboard boxes in your car so you can windmill at a moment’s notice?
Are you still driving to Best Buy for curbside pickups of your favorite new CDs?
When you saw Earth, Wind and Fire perform on “A Late Show,” did you wonder why Verdine White doesn’t have an afro anymore?
If all of these things sound absolutely preposterous to you, that’s what it sounds like when I get ultimatums to find a fax machine I can stand in front of. My local librarian told me she doesn’t even know a library in all of Chicago that accepts and sends faxes. Do you know how bad it is when you have to leave the cool kids’ table because the librarians are more hip than you? My gawd, businesses, upgrade your programs. Until then, I’ll be over here, judging you while you walk by with your light-up Skechers.
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