On Behalf of Software Engineers, I'm Sorry

Chris Sells (Microsoft employee): " I just got off the phone with my step-mother and boy are my arms tired. She way trying to do a mail merge. I told her about a month ago put data into an Excel spreadsheet in a data-like format (and I sent her an example spreadsheet to start from). Then, after entering the data into her spreadsheet, I recommended to her that she choose Mail Merge from the Tools menu in Word and she'd be home free.

Of course, she wasn't. For example, after choosing her Excel spreadsheet, she was asked if she wanted to use first name, Sheet1$, Sheet2$ or Sheet3$ as her data. Having zero idea what SheetN$ was, she chose something vaguely human-sounding, which was exactly what she didn't want, then was frustrated when her data didn't come up. Later, after going away to buy hundreds of dollars worth of books (none of them telling her how to do Mail Merge using words that she could understand, btw), she opened up her document and was presented with a dialog box asking whether it was OK to run an SQL statement. "What's SQL?" she asked. "Nothing that any normal human should ever have to see," I replied, growing more embarrassed about the state of the output of my industry by the minute."