Thursday, January 19, 2006

Remember that scene in "Office Space?"

You know, that slow-motion scene in the field where the guys beat the shit out of the printer with a baseball bat? Well, I know that scene.

I have had a rather tiring day at work. It wasn't a bad day, exactly, but I am relieved to be home with a cup of tea (Republic of Tea, Vanilla Almond black tea - very yummy) and my laptop.

Here's what turned the day kind of sour. I like my boss very much, generally. He is extremely bright, and he can be very funny, but he has a gift for making me feel stupid. Not just me, but I wouldn't want to speak for anyone else. I felt very stupid this afternoon when I asked him for help with some labels I was printing. Actually, I did not ask for help. I asked if he had any blank labels I could borrow to fill out by hand.

"Don't you remember how to use the software to make your own?"

"I've been working on it for the last half hour," I said. Creating the label was no problem; printing was the issue.

The printer I need to use for this particular kind of label is on a different floor of the office from my cubicle, so I had been running up and down the stairs, sending print job after print job only to find the printer saying it had a jam. It did not have a jam, stupid printer. What I did not realize was that - with the exception of my first attempt at printing the labels - the problem was not a paper jam. In fact, the printer did not even think it had a jam. What it thought, rightly, was that someone (me) was trying to get it to print a letter-sized sheet of labels on legal-sized paper. I didn't realize this was the problem because the printer is stationed on a ridiculously high counter. I have to stand on my very tiptoes and kind of push myself up with my arms just to see the top half of the printer's little LCD screen.* I completely failed to see the error message about paper size - all I saw was the flashing "error" icon. I assumed it was still a paper jam (or a paper-jam related program activity). So I felt incredibly clueless when my boss gave me the look** and read the error message to me.

I try very hard to figure things out by myself before asking my boss - he's kind of my last resort. (Wikipedia never gives me the look. Come to think of it, this is really weird, because I didn't used to be so reluctant to ask questions. Hmm.) I had to bite the bullet this afternoon because the label needed to go on something that needed to be dropped off at FedEx, like, NOW!!! Had I not been so anxious to beat my deadline, I might have taken a breath and found a chair to stand on - or a tall person to read the printer's entire message to me.

I am going to try to get that religion post I promised up later tonight or tomorrow. No promises, however.

*I'm not even especially short. I am 1-1/2 inches shorter than the average American woman, last I checked. But (dammit!) when you work in an office with a lot of men and very few women, a lot of stuff is placed too high to see, reach, etc. One of my primary job functions has to be done on a stepladder.

**To be fair, I don't think he intends to do this. Usually.

1 Comments:

Blogger estifallen said...

Another classic gang beating takes place in the movie "High Fidelity." Check it out. Seriously.

22/2/06 12:26 AM  

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