Internet Paralyzed By Surge Of Microsoft Word Documents

Fake News written by James Baughn on Monday, June 3, 2002

from the an-apple-a-day-keeps-the-.doc-files-away dept.

SILLYCON VALLEY -- An unexpected flood of Microsoft Word email attachments during the past month has brought countless routers and mail servers to their knees. Accoring to research by the Vast Spy Network(tm), 95% of these documents are being sent by desperate college graduates frantically searching for a job in the tight job market before Bubba from the student loan office tracks them down. Since many Pointy Haired Bosses require job applications and resumes to be sent in Microsoft Word format, a horde of Computer Science grads have unleashed a tidal wave of .doc files that have surpassed the bandwidth wasted by spam, email viruses, and the Slashdot Effect combined.

"I've never seen anything like it," explained one Human Resources weasal at Excelizon Synamics, Inc., a consulting firm that only uses Microsoft products (last month, one employee got canned for having the audacity to use a Macintosh at home, a clear violation of company policy). "Our Exchange server has crashed several times per hour under the strain of multi-megabyte Word documents that only contain two-page resumes." She added, "We've only had one job opening in the past month and yet 10,623 frantic graduates have applied. What a mess."

A combination of a slugging tech industry, high unemployment, and extreme rates of procrastination among college students has prompted a huge number of graduates to enter the workforce not working. "From hacking on Perl scripts or writing diatribes about the RIAA, your typical college student doesn't have time to devote to something trivial like finding a job," explained one industry observer who is currently "between jobs".

Many Linux longhairs have come to the realization that they can't get a job unless they sell their soul to Bill Gates. First, they have to install Windows and Microsoft Office at home so they can send off their resumes in the requisite Word format (oh, the humanity!). Next, if they get an interview, they have to spout off vast quantities of buzzwords and other PHB-speak to impress the interviewer. Finally, once employed, they have to sit in a tiny cubicle stuck with only Microsoft products like LookOut! and (oh, the horror!) PoorPoint with absolutely no hope of Linux or even Macintosh coming to the rescue.

"It's tough," said one college graduate who had to break down and do the unthinkable: get a MCSE certification. "At least I landed a job, but now I feel so dirty. Microsoft has claimed victory over another former Linux idealist who has now reluctantly entered the Windows workforce."

However, some businesses have started to rethink their Word-only policy as a result of all of the server crashes. "If Exchange could deliver email as well as Outlook delivers viruses, we wouldn't have any trouble," said a former Linux kernel hacker who now works as a Windows 2000 system administrator at one of the five dot-coms that haven't gone bankrupt yet. "Our Exchange server simply can't handle the load of so many .doc files. I tried posting a notice on the company website that we won't have any job vacancies until 2008, but that strategy hasn't worked because our IIS webserver is also constantly down."

Last week, when Red Hat posted a job announcement online, the company received 5,623 inquiries within two hours. "The ironic part is that 90% of the mail we received included Word attachments," said a Red Hat hiring manager. "Now why the heck would we hire somebody for a Linux system administrator position that doesn't know to send a plain ASCII text file? Thankfully, our Red Hat Enhanced Enterprise Professional Advantage Plus Unlimited Edition distro includes an anti-virus and anti-Word mail filter that automatically intercepts and deletes all attachments while sending back a bounce message that says, "Please don't use Word, it really makes you look absurd."

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