Copy that!

I tried to use the photocopier at work yesterday. It wouldn’t work – naturally. Our photocopiers (we have two) are in almost constant use, and they do break down a lot. I think we should have a permanent repair person on site, but I know that’ll never happen. We need the money for the Winter Olympics, after all.

Anyway, I investigated further and actually read the screen. It said something about replacing the toner.

Ah, toner! I know what that is! I thought triumphantly. I can do this!

I took the box of toner down. There was one empty cartridge and one full one. These cartridges are about as long as your arm, and about the width of a two-litre bottle of Coke, but they’re not particularly heavy. They’re just awkward.

I opened the drawer indicated on the photocopier. Yep, there was a toner cartridge. I pulled it out carefully. I took the full one from the box, removed its red collar, and just as carefully slid it into place. I had to mess with it a bit, but then it snicked in and I closed the drawer.

I congratulated myself on a job well done. And all I had to do was follow the directions!

I went to put the empty cartridge into the box beside its empty twin. As I slid it in, I balanced the box on its edge on the floor. The cartridge dropped gently in. I lifted up the box to replace it on the counter – and there on the carpet was a HUMONGOUS blot of black toner. Toner is a POWDER! A powder that easily sifts through the end of a box when a supposedly empty cartridge is upended into said box.

I moved the box over. Another cloud of inky powder drifted out and onto the carpet.

I put the box on the counter. The entire end of the box was dark with powder.

I looked at my hands. Black, black, black.

Just goes to show you: I may be a professional, but I am apparently the wrong KIND of professional to deal with photocopiers.

(PS – The carpet was nice and clean this morning. I think I owe our janitor big time!)


4 responses to “Copy that!

  1. Oh don’t even get me started on photocopy machines! I have one in my office that breaks down ALL THE FRICKIN’ TIME!
    I’m practically an expert on fixing paper jams and have RICOH’s help line memorized!

  2. I think we have our photocopy guy on permanent standby. The thing goes on the fritz at least once a week. I can’t imagine that service contracts can be cost effective for the copier companies.

  3. And I here I thought you were become a little more tech savvy. Which I guess you are, but do you have to leave trails of savvyness everywhere?
    After all these years, you’d think that little leakeage problem would have been sorted wouldn’t you?