Monday, May 11, 2009

Memory Monday: Printer Error

Ah, Memory Monday: The day of the week when I reminisce about an old job.

There were plenty of non-green things about my most recent position. For instance, I was never emailed a file to review. "Oh no, reports must always be printed out," they'd say. It got to the point where when I heard the printer charge up (the thing was from 1990 and everyone in the office had a personal relationship with the printer repair guy), I knew that a report was coming my way, and that I'd have to check the data and run significance testing for it. I'm not sure where the disconnect with my coworkers occurred, because I remember telling them on many occasions that I don't mind reviewing things or reading a lot on a computer screen. But it was, apparently, a very hard habit for them to break, and large reports (we're talking 180+ PowerPoint slides, here) were still printed, all so I could review a small 15- page section.

On one occasion, my coworker emailed me. The subject line was "[CLIENT] report." I was so excited: Had she finally remembered and just sent it to me via email?

I opened the email.
No: She sent me an email requesting that I print out the report and then check the data and run significance testing for it.
But this time, at least there was a reason: She would be in the document and we couldn't have any version perversion, now could we?

So I set up the 80-pager for print, hit print, and went on to something else.

A few minutes later, while my document was about a quarter of the way done with printing, I noticed my boss make an awkward bee-line for the printer. It was so awkward that it looked like 90's power walking meets "I'm going to poop in my pants." When he arrived, he started to rifle through my stuff, picking up pages and putting them down out of order.

"Who is printing now?" he said, almost exasperated and certainly beyond a reasonable level of confusion. Maybe he was going to poop his pants?

"I am," I said, jumping out from behind my desk before he could do any more damage to the order of things. "It's a large document, so it's probably going to take a while."

"Oh..." He ran his hand over his balding head, and I thought I saw him sweat a little. What in the world was wrong with Captain Awkward Pants now?
He continued. "...because I'm printing something..."

"Oh, ok. Well, I can bring it to you when it prints out, if you want..." In my head, I added "weirdo..."

"No!" He erupted as if someone had just snuck up behind him and surprised him with a big ol' squeeze 'round the middle. He recovered quickly. "No, that's ok, thanks. I'll be back in a minute." He went to the kitchen about 2 feet away for some water. I stood by the printer unwilling to move: I wanted to see what he was printing! For some reason, I found myself thinking it was going to be some wild recipe. Like how to cook a guinea pig in goat's milk, or something.

As I waited, he kept poking his head out of the kitchen to see if I had left and/or if my document had completed printing yet. What a creeper! I thought to myself. I stood my ground.

Finally, what seemed like years later, my report was done printing and his document was getting fired up to print. I picked up the first page...

Christian Science Church Group
Bible verses.
Bible verses and activities and --

"Thanks," he said, snatching page one out of my hand, completely red in the face and ears.

I went back to my desk.
I wasn't sure if it beat the guinea pig in goat's milk recipe, but it was pretty darn close.

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