The Photocopy Saga

June 7, 2010 at 6:11 am (Tension, Thoughts on Writing) (, , , , , , )

I have decided that the most evil, malicious creature in all existence is the shared photocopier at work. Admittedly, I can hand my photocopying in, neatly labelled and have someone else do it and return it in around three days but I hate asking people to do something I can easily do.  Easily – if the stupid machine would actually work.

There is a writing related point at the end of this rant – I hope.

I was preparing some materials and needed approximately 60 copies of eight different sheets.  Some were being done back to back, some needed stapling, some needed to be enlarged, shrunk or whatever. No problem.

Ran off the first sheet. It beeped away and hummed and did its thing and only had three paper jams during the run and only sprayed toner over four of the pages. That counts as success with this photo copier.

Next run, out of paper.  Fill it up with paper and resume. No toner left. Because it sprayed it over the last run but fine (I’ll resist the urge to shake the machine and just get on with fixing it).

Walk to the main office, request toner, wait until they look up which toner goes in that photocopier, get toner, read directions, place in machine and oh, wait for it to realise it now has toner.

Three more sheets and then there is a paper jam.

Five more after that, it runs out of staples (okay,really wanting to hurt the machine at this point).

The bottom line is I ended up spending nearly forty minutes doing something that shouldn’t have taken very long and I should have accomplished easily. And I didn’t actually finish the run. I still had three sheets that I hadn’t photocopied at all.

My writing related point. Just because something sounds easy, doesn’t mean it will be. Your character can be perfectly capable of completing what should be a very easy task and yet something can happen to make it an absolute nightmare.


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