We find ourselves in a school staff room at lunch time. Two teachers, Mrs Finch and Miss Hamer, are discussing the morning’s events.
Mrs Finch: Well, that’s the last time I’m using MegaWriter in any of my lessons. I knew something like this would happen.
Miss Hamer: What, that word processor where the kids can share the same screen? It’s working really well for me, my kids are doing some great work on it.
Mrs Finch: Mine have been too, but I knew it was only a matter of time before they used it to cause trouble.
Miss Hamer: Why, what happened?
Mrs Finch: It was in this morning’s English class…
Our imagined sequence fades to black before we find ourselves hovering over events in a classroom. Mrs Finch is sat with two pupils, Joanne and Carlos, reading their work on MegaWriter. Mr Barnes, the teaching assistant, is putting up a display.
Mrs Finch: This is great work, you two. Reading this it feels like I’m back on the school trip. I can even see where you’ve helped each other out with your spelling. Well done!
Joanne and Carlos beam with pride. Elsewhere in the classroom the other three pupils, Barry, Freddie and Tom are working on laptops. Tom has been niggling Freddie all week and has been put on a separate table. Barry and Freddie have been working quietly until now.
Barry (sniggering): Look at this Freddie!
Freddie (slightly annoyed): What? I’m busy.
Barry (jabbing Freddie in the ribs): You’ve got to look at this Freddie, come on.
Freddie (shoving Barry): Piss off Barry, Miss says I’ve got to finish this before I go home.
Barry (now sulking): Well, if you don’t want to know about… your Mum!
Freddie (instantly red faced and getting up from his chair): What about my Mum, you shit head?
Mrs Finch: Sit down Freddie. What’s the matter?
Freddie doesn’t seem to hear the teacher.
Barry (squaring up to Freddie, with a mocking smile): Don’t call me a shit head. Tom wrote it.
Freddie (pushing Barry back into his chair): Wrote what? Show me.
Mrs Finch: Freddie, sit down!
Mr Barnes quietly climbs down from a step stool and begins to move across the classroom. Mrs Hamer stands up and moves towards Barry and Freddie.
Tom (laughing from the other side of the classroom): Nothing that isn’t true Freddie!
Barry (now looking a bit worried): It wasn’t me, I swear Freddie. See, look it isn’t even in my colour.
Freddie looks down at Barry’s computer screen.
MegaWriter v3.4 current users: Tom Barry
The school trip
By Barry and Tom aged 10 and 9
Yesterday we went on a school trip to the farm and Freddie’s Mum sucked off a cow.
Freddie (pushing Barry onto the floor and pummelling him with punches): YOU BASTARD! I’LL KILL YOU!
Barry (now with a bloodied nose and trying to cover up): STOP IT! GET OFF! IT WAS TOM!
It has only taken a few seconds for Mrs Finch and Mr Barnes to reach Freddie and Barry. They struggle to separate the two boys and drag them kicking and screaming out of the classroom, shouting for help as they go. In the classroom Tom calmly deletes the incriminating evidence and giggles to himself.
Our imagined scene finally changes to a research office where Tim, the unwitting catalyst for the unfortunate classroom events, sits back in his chair and regards the MegaWriter usage statistics with a satisfied sigh. The response times for shared screen updates are down 20% after the latest code updates and teachers are only taking an average of 25 seconds to create a new MegaWriter document since the recent user interface updates. The May feedback results are in and it’s all looking positive. A good day at the office.
Just then the email notification pings…
From: Mrs Hamer
Subject: Problem with MegaWriter