The Copy Machine Illustration

Imagine this…

You are the C.E.O. of some big firm, and the Sr. Manager – Anna, who is immediately below you has demonstrated outstanding performance. As a result not only do you at some point commend her good work, but you also decide to put your commendations in print, in a letter and send the commendation out to her. To add a personal touch, when you write out the commendation, you do so with a pen in your own handwriting.

Anna receives the letter and seeing not only the commendations in it, but so also the management wisdom in it, decides that various other employees of the firm also need to read it for the purposes of edification. So she calls together 10 of her Jr. Managers and tells them that the letter of commendation is on file with her secretary and that when they get a free moment, they are to sign it out, xerox some copies of it and send them out to the

The Jr. Managers do just that. However there is an issue with the copies that are made. The copying machines are old and a bit rusty. There are some problems with the ink and dust. Hence, when the copies are made, some very minor problems result. In some cases – albeit rare – due to an ink smudge, a ‘nn’ almost looks like a ‘m’. In other cases, albeit rare again, due to maybe a dust particle, the dot in the letter ‘i’ disappears and it looks a little like an ‘l’. These are minor copying errors however and are present only on some of the copies. The message contained therein, that Anna was commended for her performance and additionally, the useful company management wisdom are conveyed clearly. On those rare occasions, on some copies, when an error such as “Dear Ama” shows up, the reader was simply able to compare their copy of the letter with copies of the other workers, and combining that with common sense confirm the obvious, viz. that “Dear Anna” was what was meant.

Now… to the above minor copying problem, another less minor problem occurs. The Sr. Manager accidentally destroys the original copy by mistakenly shredding it.