Monday, November 22, 2004

Blog Post From the Edge

The law firm where I work has an in-house computer tech who does a great job. On occasion, an equipment malfunction will occur so enormous, so cataclysmic, so disastrous, that the "big dogs" are called in. Today, that malfunction happened to me or, more precisely, to my printer.

I have the kind of job that requires me to work with my computer from the moment I sit at my desk to the moment I leave for the day. There is no wiggle room for screwing off. Of course, I do screw off, but then I have to bust my ass to make up for the ground I've lost. When I say "screw off", I'm talking about five or ten minutes gossiping here and there during the day or watching the coffee brew or making a hat out of a Federal Express envelope and walking around my side of the office with a golf umbrella slaying the demons of fax-induced madness.

The "big dog" computer techs made the mistake of sending out "New Guy" to work on my printer. I am a tech guy's dream customer, if he knows what he's doing. I will sit there and type anything he wants me to type, over and over and over again. I will give him my chair. I will answer his questions, but I want results and I want them yesterday. This guy worked on my printer for two hours as I watched the faxes and e-mails and deliveries take over my office like kudzu. With every tickin' frickin' second, I was getting more and more behind.

I am cooperative and patient with the computer guys because theirs is a thankless job. However, I will turn on them like Roy Horn's house cat when they piss me off. When this guy declared the printer exorcised of all demons, I told him that it was, in fact, not fixed because my print jobs were coming out on yellow paper rather than white paper.

He actually looked me in the eye and said there was yellow paper in both paper trays. I was incredulous. This yahoo walked into my office for the first time, today. I've been here five years. I know what color paper is in the freakin' paper trays, you dipshit. I tried to remain calm as I explained that there was white paper in one tray and yellow paper in the other tray when I really wanted to say, "Why the f*** would I put yellow paper in both trays, you dick face?"

So, he gets on the phone to double check me with someone. At this point, I could feel myself becoming Courtney Love's evil twin, only meaner. He turns to me, with the phone still on his ear, and says, "You have to choose Tray 2 when you send a print job if you want it to print on white." I told him, evidently louder than I intended because people several offices down prairie dogged out of their doors to see what was going on, that "MY PRINTER IS SUPPOSED TO BE SET TO DEFAULT TO THE WHITE PAPER TRAY!"

It must have been something in the way I expressed my printing needs that convinced him that, indeed, his work was not yet done here. He once again went from my office to printer to computer room and back again several times with the phone to his ear until, finally, finally, everything worked correctly and all was right in my tiny universe.

If I go in tomorrow morning and my printer isn't working, I'm kidnapping the Fed Ex guy and going to Mexico. Forward my mail to Courtney Love.

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