Tag Archives: printer

Lame Adventure 233: We means you

On a Monday in July 2007, the halcyon days of the economy when I was paid significantly better — before my wages were radically reduced in 2009 and have remained as frozen as a dead polar bear in the Arctic ever since, my boss, Elsbeth, arrived at work carrying a flat HP Planet Partners Return and Recycling box.  This box was for her used home printer cartridges.  She was feeling very proud of herself for being environmentally responsible.

Elsbeth:  When we fill up this box, we ship it back to HP – postage paid!

Me (placating tone):  Okay, we’ll do that.

I knew that the we she was referring to was actually me.  My lord and master proceeded to assemble the box.

Elsbeth's empty box.

She then placed it in the warehouse outside our office where I proceeded to forgot about it.

Me (thinking):  It’ll take her a hundred years to fill that box!  Ha!  There’s some schmuck or schmuck-ette out there right now that’ll be stuck shipping it back.  Loser!

Fast-forward four years, two months and 84 cartridges later …  On a recent Thursday Elsbeth enters our office, excited.

Elsbeth:  My box is full!  We have to return it!

The night before, I had been up until 5 am writing.  Therefore, I was not at my most coherent.  In fact, I seem to recall being 90% asleep.  I slap myself in the face and hack a hairball.

Me (thinking):  Where’d that come from?

Me (saying):  Huh?  What box?

Elsbeth:  My printer cartridge box!  It’s filled up!  We have to return it!

Me (zero enthusiasm for I know this means I have to move my exhausted carcass):  I’ll deal with it.

I sleepwalk out of our office into the warehouse where I take the box.  I notice that mid-way over the course of the four years and two months that my liege was depositing her spent cartridges into the box her aim ran off course and she was dumping them around the inner plastic bag rather than in it.  Although I could easily say:

Me (easily saying):  Screw this.

And then seal the box as is, the lapsed Catholic in me knows that’s wrong.  Sighing so loudly, the flock of pigeons perched outside the windowsill takes flight; I proceed to repack all the cartridges.

84 spent HP printer cartridges.

Siamese twin adhered yellow and magenta cartridges that apparently brought out the mad scientist in my boss.

Yet, I suppose things could be worse, I could be unemployed or I could be my friend, Coco, who the next day encountered, in the middle of our luxury showroom floor, a customer that breast-fed a toddler that was so large, this kid could easily try out to play on the Knicks – whenever basketball season gets underway again.  I know I’d much rather repack a box while suffering a coma than have that site shoved in my face.

Sealed repacked box good to go home to HP.

Lame Adventure 83: Eat Pray Printer

Pictured below is my department’s printer, a Hewlett Packard Color Laserjet 2840.

Glowing red light in background means that the bathroom is occupied. See Lame Adventure 49: Bathroom Matters for this thrilling tale.

We’ve had it close to three years now.  Angel Q, an HP Service Technician, who recently visited my company to service another machine, photographed our printer with his cell phone’s camera because he found its mint-like condition stunning.  With my mouth full of avocado and sprout sandwich, possibly with some sprouts protruding, I told him that it’s in my job description to polish it daily.  He gasped, “No, you don’t!  Do you?  It does look like it.”  I added with a wave of my sandwich tossing a smidge of avocado onto Angel Q’s crisp white shirt, “What else have I got to do all day but keep up appearances?”

Thus far, aside from devouring countless toner cartridges and a few drums, it’s only needed one small repair that my sidekick, Greg, and I, donning our Dr. Quackenbush guises, performed ourselves in about ten minutes when we swapped out a dead fuser, the machine’s brain, with a new one.  We spent more time figuring out how to reset the machine’s date and time than we did replacing that part.

We did not always live in Printer Fairyland.  In fact, there was a time, precisely four years ago, when we were highly taxed members of Printer Hell, a place we seemed destined to burn in for eternity.  Below is a correspondence where I succinctly summarized our situation to HP:

To Whom It May Concern,

For this entire year, 2006, we have had nothing but problems with our HP Series 9100 All-In-One printer originally purchased in July 2005.  We are a small design office with eight employees.  In January, we returned it (case # 3213444484).  Again, in May, we returned it (case # 3214944957), and in July, we returned May’s replacement printer because it arrived with a cracked glass cover plate (case # 3215411208).  In August, after waiting more than a month, we finally received another printer replacing the one we had been trying to replace since May that we had to return in July.

As with all its predecessors, that one is defective and so we are returning it (case # 3215815674) today.  Every time we try to print, we receive a print latch error message.

As we were removing various parts from this latest printer we are returning, we noticed that we failed to remove the memory DIMM from the printer we had been trying to return since May (case # 3214944957).  We admit we were at fault because we did not remove that memory card, but the fact that HP demands office employees to strip their machines every time they need to be returned strikes us as unreasonable.  Back to the memory DIMM, can we have another one to replace the one we erroneously sent back to HP in July?  It was an unintentional error.

We are very frustrated and very unhappy with this product, HP’s lack of service, and the fact that each replacement machine proves even more defective than its predecessor.  We have requested a technician come to us to finally repair this machine, but we have been told that is impossible.  Frankly, we feel like HP is penalizing us no matter what we do.

Furthermore, sending us defective goods wastes employee man-hours.  I have calculated that staff members [editorial comment: Greg’s predecessor, Lydia Klapper, and me] have spent in excess of 16 hours dealing with problems directly related to our continually problematic HP Series 9100 printers.  Possibly, you should add, “Employee Time Wasting” to the many functions this All-In-One machine provides?  Forgive the sarcasm, but we are truly at our wit’s end with this problematic machine.

Please include a memory DIMM in our next replacement machine (case # 3215815674).

Thank you for your assistance.

Sincerely,

[Lame Adventures Woman]

In response to that prayer, HP sent us yet another new series 9100 printer – with a memory DIMM.  It lasted less than a year.  Elsbeth, my generally slow to anger superior, reached her breaking point and issued a dictate in my direction that if memory serves correct went something like this:

Elsbeth:  Find a fuckin’ printer that fuckin’ works and fuckin’ lasts!

Hence, I was motivated to find the Color Laserjet 2840.