Sunday, 29 April 2012

It's never simple

This weekend I'm on a deadline.  I have a list of five things that must be completed by Monday (tomorrow).  They are all high stakes and are time consuming.  They require me to have access to my computer and printer.  I'm calm about this deadline.  I have a plan and I'm pretty good at focussing and working when I need to.  I cancelled my plans for last night as part of my prioritisation of these things.

The piece that I couldn't plan for was my printer dying.  I knew there was a possibility that I might need more toner, but with an Officeworks store five minutes away, this wasn't a big deal.

At about 5pm yesterday, the toner light started to flash.  I recognised this warning, but was on a roll and didn't need the printer at that exact moment - I could print later.  Then a warning came up on my computer screen telling me that I needed to clean my corona wire.  What an enticing prospect.  I'd never been propositioned in quite this way before, so I dived in and tried to follow the cryptic pictographs showing me how a stick figure would approach the task if they carried a gigantic magnifying glass.  I squinted, I leaned, I tugged, I jiggled and nothing seemed to work.  I stuck my tongue out and put on my "doing" face, but not even that worked.  I went to the solutions web site and discovered what I needed to do:  I needed to pull and slide.  I located the tiny green dooverlacky attached to my corona wire and I slid backwards and forwards for all I was worth.  I replaced the component, proudly, and pressed print.  The printer made some promising, printer-like sounds and then went deathly silent.  All that was left was the sullen blinking of the warning light.  Again.  Still.

I turned back to the solutions website and was relieved to discover they had a plan for this exact situation.  I clicked the link and received the bad news.  My drum needed replacing.  This had never happened before.  By this time it was about 6:15pm.  I went to the Officeworks website to check they had these drums and to see how much they cost.  They had none and they cost more than most complete printers.  I'd been thinking of upgrading to a wireless printer with a scanner, so this was obviously the time to do it.  I checked the store opening hours and discovered they were closed and I would have to wait until 9am this morning (Sunday).

I was there by 10am and found a 15 year old boy to help me decide.  Within five minutes, I'd made my decision.  I'd found everything I wanted for only $50 more than the cost of the drum for my old printer.

"I want that one," I said and pointed.  The 15 year old boy went "out the back" to get the stock.  He returned ten minutes later, empty-handed.

The store I was in was the only store in Melbourne without that particular printer in stock.  Time was ticking on and this quick trip to Officeworks was starting to take a chunk out of my day.  I asked the 15 year old to help me choose another one, but the only other options either didn't have all the elements I wanted or they were significantly more expensive.  I would have to drive over to another store.  The 15 year old helpfully called ahead to the other store to make sure they had the printer ready for me when I arrived.

In the other store, there seemed to be only one staff member and they were on the printing and copying desk.  I queued.  Soon I was explaining my story to another 15 year old.  She asked me if I'd talked to someone in "tech".  I gestured to the ghost town behind me, raised my eyebrows and shrugged.  She made a call and spoke to an invisible person.  After another fifteen minutes a small man with a huge trolley and a large cardboard box appeared.  He had my printer.  We queued at the checkout, but their pin pads were broken so I could only pay there if I was paying cash.  I wasn't.  We trekked back to the printing and copying desk.  I paid and the small man with the huge trolley took the cardboard box to my car.

I arrived back home with my new hardware almost two hours after I had left.  I opened the box, sorted all the components and separated the packaging.  It's plugged in, I've "unlocked" the toner, I've put the paper in and I've told it what country and time zone I'm in.  I'm ready, but the software installation process seems to have stalled.  It's still stuck on the same screen it was on when I started writing this post.

Perhaps I'll have to kidnap the 15 year old.

And what about getting rid of the old printer?  I hate to put things like this in the rubbish and know that it ends up in landfill, but what can you do?  Anyone? And then there's all the packaging from the new one too.
A big box of new rubbish.  (c) divacultura 2012

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