Anne B. Walsh - Do you believe in magic?
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Anne's Randomness

Have you tried...

So here I am, back at work today, after taking yesterday off to go to the doctor. I have an official diagnosis of (get ready for a mouthful) sacroiliitis, which basically means my lower back and pelvis hate me. Doctor prescribed pain meds and physical therapy, which would be great if I weren't already overbooked and mostly broke...
 
Ah well. I'll figure it out somehow. Why don't we get to what you came here looking for, O readers, that is, this week's Why Do I Work Here Wednesday post! And yes, I do have a good one, even though I've been in and out of the office the last few weeks with my body's latest iteration of internalizing stress. It hurts, yes, but it's better than being brought up on assault charges.
 
Today's entry falls into the larger category known as "there is nothing common about common sense". It begins with a number of my coworkers coming to me, very distraught. The color copier, printer, fax machine, scanner (and for all I know, espresso maker -- they call 'em "multifunctional devices" for a reason) at one end of our floor isn't working! Red lights! Oh noes!
 
Red error lights on copier display
 
I ask, "Well, did anybody push the printer button? That brings up a screen that should tell you what's wrong with the machine." Blank looks. Wide eyes. "Huh? It does that?" Yes. It does. As seen below:
 
Out of paper message on copier
 
Not much to my surprise, the problem the machine is reporting (you may or may not be able to read the screen, I couldn't get a good angle to minimize the glare) is not exactly rocket science to fix. I turn to the people who have followed me down the hall to the printer, like ducklings behind their mama duck. "Did anybody open the paper tray and check on the paper?" Blank looks. Wide eyes. "Huh? Paper?" Yes. Paper. As seen below, or rather as NOT seen below:
 
 Empty paper tray on copier
 
This scene is repeated every time anything goes wrong with one of these machines. And I do mean anything. A paper jam, depleted toner, no more paper to load into the machine, fax line not working, no matter what it is, they want me to deal with it. Never mind that the machines have nice clear pictorial instructions on how to clear paper jams. Never mind that the toner is sitting out in plain view and the paper is in a labeled closet off the same room where one of these printers is sitting. Never mind that half the machines don't have fax lines, and this is clearly stated on the information sheets--
 
No, that's enough. Stop that. Bad author. (Grrrrrrrr!) Yes, I know, they're frustrating, but that doesn't mean you can transform into a black panther and go hunting in the cubicle farm. (Grrrrrr.) Yes, you can fantasize about it. You can even write about it. You just can't do it. (Grrrr. *sulk*)
 
One begins to understand why the first question tech support asks when one finally gets them on the phone is, "Have you tried turning it off and turning it on again?"
 
Thanks as always for reading. My NaNo may or may not be salvageable, or only as scribblings for future world-building, but it is getting finished in the sense of 50,000 words in the month of November. After that... well, why don't we deal with after that, after that. Right now, I have to go replace some cyan toner. And then feed the panther.
 
See you next time, on Fiction Friday! Let me know what you'd like to read this week and I'll see if I can oblige!

4 Comments to Have you tried...:

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Natasha on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 1:28 PM
I hate it when you actually have a clue and they don't believe you! Yes I turned it off and on again, no I'm not doing it again...
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NotACat on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 1:36 PM
This sounds depressingly familiar. At one former workplace someone managed to acquire a rather nice printer with loads of features. Unfortunately, there swiftly ensued a managerial decree that we were to ignore most of them because certain people were having trouble understanding how they worked. Furthermore, it was decided that we were only to use this excellent colour printer in monochrome mode after somebody senior found out how much the replacement cartridges cost (thus rendering about half of the cost of the original printer utterly pointless). I could mention the decision to hardwire the printer into the network and disabling the built-in WiFi, which had the knock-on effect of crippling half of the most useful tools, and let's not talk about how many different version of Windows we were all running… Can you guess which muggins was given the task of making sure this poor thing kept running smoothly?
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greatlakesmolly on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 3:08 PM
You seem way too young to have that many children wanting you to do the thinking for them. Yes, I laughed. What a powerpoint you could do! only they'd probably tar and feather you if you did... Hang in there!
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Geoffrey on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 6:23 PM
Don't be too hard on people. These devices are complicated. I don't mean difficult, just... complex. They do a lot of things, and nobody is quite sure just how many features they have. I've spent years trying to not get to know the local printer/copier/fax machine.

First, it's not my job. I don't do toner, I don't do paper, and I especially don't do paper jams. I've done enough in my lifetime to know that any given problem can take anywhere from two seconds to half an hour, or maybe days if a service call is needed. Not knowing whether it will be a two second fix or longer, I'm not willing to find out: I'll go straight for the person who knows best how to diagnose and fix these problems: you (or your local equivalent).

Second... there is no second. I just don't want to deal with these machines. I hate them and just want them to work. Perhaps you don't understand how much animosity I (and people like me) have towards these machines. They. Are. Satan.

(Yes, I know sometimes the problem is that the document I tried to print was configured for Legal instead of Letter, and the printer doesn't have that size. Not my fault. Now fix it!)

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