There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute

Yesterday at work, I printed a Very Important Document to the shared color printer down the hall. As my company is as cheap as possible, we’re not to use the color printer except for VERY Important Documents, so this was a very big deal.

As I waited for the dulcet tones of the finicky color printer processing my job, a message popped up on my screen. The printer manager was reporting that the “Waste Receptacle is Full”

Um. Ok. I didn’t know printers came with their own waste receptacle, but fine.

I walked to the printer and following the directions on its tiny LED screen. I opened the right flap. I pulled out “tray B”, and emptied tray B of a gooey black tarlike substance, replaced tray B, closed the flap, and heard the printer begin to warm up.

Ah, here we go. My beautiful full color document is just moments away!

“Printer warming up….”

So I waited. And waited. I wondered if I should wrap a sweater around the poor thing because it was clearly really cold if it needed twenty minutes to warm up. I mean, it’s hot like the bowels of hell hot inside our HVAC impaired office, but this little color printer must have a metabolism issue.

When it was finally reporting it had imbibed a hot toddy and was raring to go, I listened again for the sounds of the machine working, filled with happy anticipation.

Another message popped up on my screen. This time is said “Toner is low. Please replace.”



Back I went to the machine and again followed the directions on screen. I lifted the main assembly, figured out which toner compartment was low, dropped several blocks of wax toner into the slot, thus using up the last of the supply, and closed the lid.

While the machine drank another hot toddy and shivered its way back to health, I took the empty box over to the group admin so she could order more.

Finally, the printer shuddered and shook and petulantly spit out my document.

This morning I needed to scan a document. Well that requires the big multiplex copier, printer, scanner, fax, coffee maker, photo booth, lube oil and filter change machine in the breakroom and shared by the whole floor.

I figured I was safe…this was just a scan. No toner or paper or other consumables would be required on this one! Scan, send. Easy peasy!


I walk to the printer, lay my document in the feeder and immediately a message pops up on the screen.

“Scans may not be clear due to dirt on the lens. Please follow the directions below.”

So I followed the directions and I opened and shut doors and flaps, and found a little wiping tool and I slid it down the lens and then I cleaned the whole damn thing up and shut the doors and flaps and waited the twenty minutes and finally got my freaking scan.

The machines. They know. Evidently no one else on the floor will give them TLC, but I will. They line up and come to me for blessings, ministrations and tending to their wounds.

I’m Mother Teresa of Xeroxistan.

Image is a still from the fabulous movie Office Space.

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  • jeanne

    You are better than most of them I work with. My peeps just leave the machine as is and don’t tell anyone anything. Then the next person walks up and finds it “broke”. I can now – like you – add Xerox Master Pro Associate to my resume. 9 times out of 10 I will get it fixed before I call our in house Xerox Associate to the rescue.

  • Natalie

    That’s part of my everyday job. Messy. Now you can be part of the singing nation and join Tpain’s anthem of, “On a Boat..”
    “…Take a picture, trick (trick) I’m on a boat, bitch (bitch)
    We drinking Santana champ, cause it’s so crisp (crisp)
    I got my swim trunks, and my flippie-floppies
    I’m flippin burgers, you at Kinko’s straight flippin copies…
    I’m on a boat, Mother F*****!”

    Every time I replace the waste toner cartridge… that little ditty pops into my head.

    Kills me. lol!

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