Thursday, September 18, 2008

"You take the trees, I'll take the bushes.”

I click Print without a second thought. My printer starts doing its click-hummmm-click and I quickly realize it’s dancing in lockstep. It’s spitting out pieces of paper profusely for what should have been a two-page dance. I click Cancel. Nothing happens. I look for the printer icon in the toolbar. Nothing. I push the button on the printer. Nothing. I begin looking for the Commence Emergency Shutdown button. Crap! There isn’t one!

I yell out to no one in particular “my printer’s possessed!” and dive under my desk to pull the plug. I search for the black line that leads in the direction of the printer and, finding none, suddenly remember I had to plug the printer into the wall in order to have it sit in its current resting spot in the first place.

As my printer spews forth more paper with complete abandon, happily denuding entire forests at the alarming rate of one per minute, I squeeze my arm between the infinitesimal space between the wall and my desk, muttering under my breath about “stupid printers”. I pull the plug and the printer stops. I plug it back in and the printer blinks up at me. Not with the green flashing light. With the orange one. Crap! I search for the jam, opening three different mouths as I go. It’s in the last one. I yank the page out, being careful not to rip half of it off in the machine (learned that the hard way, I did).

I decide to do the IT thing and “close the program” and “retry” before e-mailing the originator and telling them their attachment is broken. The printer responds to the “do over” by coughing up code one line at a time, page by stinkin’ page. Nope! Didn’t work! So, I do the whole arm-shove, unplug-replug, fish-the-caught-pages-out-of-electronic-orifices thing again.

As I’m rubbing the red scratches now lining the flesh of my right arm and considering a worker’s comp claim, I type a nice e-mail:

Thank you for the information. Unfortunately, I’m having trouble printing the documents you sent over. Perhaps fax would be better?

Now. About that WC claim. . .

[Title quote is from "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"]
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