Day: February 5, 2020

I Refuse to Atone-r

It is a busy, busy day in the human female’s workgroup!  There not one, not two, but three meetings for the teaching assistants, the office assistant is out today, and there is a mountain of copies to be made and labs to be prepped.  That means it is time.

Time for mischief!  Time for a long-laid plan to come to fruition…

You see, the copier has been whingeing about being “low on toner, make sure to order more” for about two months now.  It has been saying this for so long, in fact, that no one believes it anymore.

Which is why today is the perfect time for this:


Ehehehe!  It’s the BLACK toner, too!  If it were the yellow or cyan or magenta, all the people currently standing around the machine and wringing their hands could probably convince the over-engineered behemoth to just make black and white copies and life could go on, but no!  Black it wants, and black it must have.

The Administrative Assistant is fetching a new container of toner while the human female follows the numbered instructions for getting the empty one out.

That was fairly easy.  She had to tug, but it eventually came loose. By the norns’ nighties, it’s dark and complicated in here.


Now to put the new one in.  Unbox.  Shake well.  Remove the cap.  Slide it on in.

Slide it right on in.  Can’t you see how the flanges go right in those little tracks, there?

We’re waiting…  Just push!

Maybe push it a little harder.  Ehehehe!   The feeble mortal just can’t do it.  Now someone else is trying.  No luck.  Now someone else.  Are ALL mortals such weaklings?  Hurry it up!  That huge print job is still only half done.

It has taken the newest Tech 1 to notice something the others have failed to see.

The new bottle of toner (top) has a flange that has been cut away at a sharp angle and one that is more rounded.


The old, empty bottle has both flanges cut away at a sharp angle.  That millimeter or so of plastic is the whole reason why, despite being identical in every other way, there is no way, save abrogating the laws of physics, that the new one will fit.

We appear to have reached a delightful (for me) impasse.  Is there perhaps another bottle of toner?  There is not!

Is the Department’s person-in-charge-of-office-machines answering her office phone?  She is not!

Will the student worker manning the front desk in the main office in the other building allow someone to come fetch a different bottle?  She will not!  Not without the approval of the person-in-charge-of-office-machines!   Oh, no! Whatever shall these silly mortals do?

The person-in-charge-of-office-machines has at last been located.  She is actually in the human male’s office, on the phone with the copier’s maker about some difficulty with the machine over in that building.  Ehehehe!  Sounds like no one is best pleased with Really Inconvenient Copier–Oh, Hell today!  The human female has given the person-in-charge-of-office-machines the details of the crisis in this building and asked her to pass it along.

And here is the Tech again, needing to scan a document.  The human female can scan it for her quickly on the scanner in her office, just need to…

Oh, right.  I made it so her computer has its fingers in its ears and is saying, “La la la!  I can’t hear you!” when it comes to the scanner.

What to do, what to do?  A lightbulb goes off!

The human female is calling the toll-free number on the front of the copier.  Of course!  The copier’s under contract!  They’ll leap into action to sort out the problem!

Well, they might, if the human female could get through to them.  They are “experiencing a higher number of calls than usual, and wait time may be significant.”  The unrepentant-sounding voice in the recording is suggesting that she could quickly resolve the problem online.  It’s simple.  The URL is simply http://www.Really Inconvenient Copier–Oh,

Typetty, typetty.   Login?  Account number?  Whisky Tango Foxtrot?  The human female doesn’t have any of that!

So now the human female has the phone open on the left side of her head and a chat window opening up under her right hand.  Opening, but not fetching anyone.

Waiting. . .  Waiting. . . Waiting.  This is such fun! Who knew that the merest bit of plastic added to that new cartridge would totally derail the mornings of so many people?

Aha!  There is finally someone in the chatroom window.  “Oh,” she advises, “You can just log in and look back through the orders to find the PO number that toner was ordered on and initiate a return.”

Thanks ever so much for the helpful advice!  Not.

Ehehehe!  My sides just ache from laughing!  She’s still on hold with the source of all of this misery, and she’s wondering what she ever  did to deserve such a morning.  (Really?  You want a list of your sins and shortcomings?  I’d be happy to provide…)

She’s calling the person-in-charge-of-office-machines again—and has again reached the student worker who is no doubt sitting on a veritable hoard of toner bottles and won’t give up a single one.

I’m impressed.  She’s convinced the SW to surrender a single bottle of the correct type!  Hold on, don’t budge, don’t give it away–the human female will be right over to pick it up.

Oh, wait!  Here is the person-in-charge-of-office-machines, and she’s carrying a box of toner!  And would you look at that–it goes right in and the print job so long in abeyance has resumed with a cheerful little clatter.

So what did I accomplish?  Did I shut down the whole office?  Yes, for a little while at least.  Did I make the human female feel stupid for not recognizing the two different types of toner bottle?  Ehehehehe!  Oh, yes.

All’s well that ends well.

Or, on days like this, all’s well that simply ends.

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