"The Childe...More restless than the swallow in the skies..." -Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Office Copier Tips (Redacted)

The office I work at purchased a new copy machine. Our company president asked me to study the manual and draft a memo of tips and tricks for using the new copier. I did so in a prompt and professional manner. Still, possessing an English Major brain, I had to censor myself and refrain from including literary embellishments.

What follows is the complete version of my memo. The redacted portions have lines through them. Since it wouldn't have been appropriate to circulate this version to the office staff, I've chosen instead to publish it on the Internet.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Dear Staff,
Here are some notes about our new copier we should all be aware of before disregarding:

I’ve pinned up some hot n’ sexy instructions for replacing toner. These include a list of Common Error Codes which we will manage to outdo by discovering a new error that no mortal has ever troubleshot before.

There is also a handout called “Getting to Know Your Machine” (lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II). This includes diagrams for basic functions (like #2):
  1. Loading new paper
  2. Removing that paper after it jams
  3. A key for the Touchy Feely Panel Display
  4. A basic Trouble Shooting Guide for basic folk like yuhnmee!
The entire set of manuals can be found on the server (if you are pure in heart). They are as follows:
  • Operating Manual (The one you will actually need).
  • Digital Imaging & Networking Manuals (You shouldn’t need these, but go ahead and ask me perplexing questions about them so I yet again fail to make it to lunch with my ego intact).
This copier has multi-tasking capability. I don’t and I’m proud of it. So if Person A sends a digital document from her desk while Person B is manually copying like the pioneers of old, the copier should finish one job and hold the other in memory until it can safely print (thus eliminating thrown staplers and supervisors emerging from their offices to ask, “Who's swearing out here?”).

Now, please use caution when blowing off some reminders about the Manual Feed Tray:

  • When using the Manual Feed Tray, do not use heavyweight paper, your face, carbon paper, your butt, or stapled paper.
  • Please smooth out creased paper to reduce copier wear and tear (or don’t. Really, who ever got fired for this).
  • Whenever copying onto cardstock, use the Bypass Tray on the right side of the copier. Yes, your right.
  • WARNING: When making face/ass copies or removing jammed paper, pay attention to warning labels about how hot the machine gets.
There are two power buttons on this machine. One is on the lower front. The other is in back and is the “Main Power Switch.” Turn off the lower front switch first. Stand up straight, rub your back, and miss being young. Then turn off the main power switch. If there is a power outage, refill your coffee before the pitcher cools and turn the copier to off until the power returns.

That’s some basic stuff. So feel stupid when you screw up anyway. Please refer to the manual as needed.




  1. Please tell me you are keeping track of the questions you get asked, especially the repeats like "Can I print to the new copier when someone else is making copies?" It will provide you with a renewed sense of your own worth when you see how many times you get that question. :)

  2. Perhaps I could design a new ego-building database so I can also create charts and tables illustrating my increased self-worth based on the range and frequency of dumb questions.