Clerk praised for saving marriages with 'broken printer' excuse

Excuses made by Wuhan marriage registry clerk credited with thwarting 500 divorces

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 May, 2013, 4:56pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 May, 2013, 6:07pm

Blaming a faulty printer is a convenient excuse for failing to get work done - but this explanation has helped a woman in China’s Hubei province save hundreds of marriages.

Xiong Ling, a clerk at the Wuhan city marriage registry was given the title of China's "Most Beautiful Matchmaker” last week for helping to thwart 500 of divorces for nine years, news portal cnhubei reported.

Her marriage-saving strategy was to cite excuses such as “the office printer is out of order” and “the network is down” as soon as couples came in requesting divorce. She would often apologise to them for the technical problems and tell them to come back another day.

She said most couples would go home, take time to re-think their decision and end up not divorcing.

Xiong, 39, who has helped process marriages for more than 30,000 couples during her career, said “love fatigue” was the most common driver of divorce and the best cure was to spend some time apart to think.

Her story was met with mixed reactions online. It spurred debate as to whether her actions were “professional” because divorce was a couple’s legal right.

“I think it’s a good thing. She’s just telling couples to take some time to reconsider, nothing wrong with that,” said one user on microblog Sina Weibo.

Xiong said she respected people's choice to divorce but would often mediate between couples if she saw there was hope for reconciliation.