Dear Microsoft Word for Mac™ Project Manager,

You don’t know me. and I don’t know you. I am sure that you are a fine human being. A real person, with emotions, someone who experiences joy, sadness, laughter. You might even be a nice person, kind to animals and the elderly… Which makes it all the more difficult to tell you that I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN WHEREVER YOU MAY HIDE, FIND YOU, PEEL YOUR SKIN OFF WITH A RUSTED POTATO PEELER, WEAR YOUR SKIN, SAW YOUR HEAD OFF WITH A BUTTER KNIFE, DRINK YOUR BLOOD AND REPEATEDLY VIOLATE YOUR CORPSE THROUGH YOUR HOLLOWED OUT CERVICAL SPINE WHILE YOUR FAMILY WATCHES ON.

So, huh, yea… It appears that I have to file all my thesis documents through the mandatory MS Word templates that were sent to me. Weird formatting incompatibility bugs and all.

These days, I wonder if I’m graduating in Bioinformatics or in Petty Administrative Filing.

A tiny representative sample of the ten pages of instructions on how to file my thesis documents (bear in mind none of it has anything to do with the actual content of the thesis, this is all exclusively about how to format and present the documents, not what goes in it):

1. 60部については、表紙【様式D】をつけ、「論文内容の要旨」、「論文目録」、「履歴書」の順にセットし、左側2カ所をホッチキスで綴じてください。(2頁のものは見開きとなるように印刷) 2. 各3部については、種類別に揃え、ゼムクリップで止めてください。
(1) 2頁にわたるものは両面印刷とし、 「論文目録」、「履歴書」については、必ず捺印し てください。(綴じた60部は捺印不要)
(2) 種類毎に3部をゼムクリップで止め、クリアフォルダーに入れて提出してください。

Yes, three paperclips, not 2 or, gods forbid, 4. And for the love of Amaterasu, make sure that you use a clear folder for your stack of 60 copies of each document. We can and will fail you if you do not comply.

Yes, hello. I’d like to know the exact date on which I officially graduated from high school in 1998. No, not just the month, I imperatively need the exact day too. Yes, I need it in order to obtain my PhD. “Can’t I just put an approximate date”? Haha, you sweet thing. You have obviously never met a Japanese administrative employee, have you. I’m just happy they don’t ask for the exact hour. Can we hurry up please, I still have to get the days for the half-dozen university entrances and graduations I have had ever since.

Faithful retranscription of my conversation yesterday late at night at my local combini:

Bored Teenage Combini Employee: Hello and how may I help you?

Dave: I’d like stamps. Do you sell stamps?

B.T.C.E.: We sure do.

Dave: Brilliant. In that case could I get for 90 yen worth of stamp?

B.T.C.E.: Unfortunately we do not have that.

Dave: But I thought you just said you sold stamps…?

B.T.C.E.: That we do!

Dave: Then how come you don’t have any?

B.T.C.E.: Oh, but we do have stamps.

Dave: Then why can’t I get my 90 yen stamp.

B.T.C.E.: We only carry ¥50, ¥80 and ¥10 stamps. Sorry.

Dave: facepalms.