Tag Archives: fax machine

Lame Adventure 306: Technical Difficulties

Shortly after I figured out how to set the time on my department’s fax machine from Scottsbluff, Nebraska to Gotham City, it started jamming.  I diagnosed that it needed the roller replaced.

“Help me. I need a new roller.”

Therefore, I notified an assistant at the Grind about the situation and asked if she could set up a service call.  She told me that our 14-year-old fax no longer rates a contract.  She advised we get a new one.

Me:  But it only needs the roller replaced, we’re talking a $2 part.  It can send faxes just fine.

She said she’d discuss it with our company’s I.T. guy, Mr. Hat.

Mr. Hat:  I’ll get you a new one.

Me:  Can’t you take a look at it first?

Mr. Hat: I’ll visit next week.

Translation: he thinks it’s a lost cause.  As far as waiting days to visit, his office is located three floors away from ours.  He could visit in less than three minutes.

Me (bleating to my colleagues):  Why must this take days?

My sidekick, Greg, and (not) Under Ling (anymore) are as baffled as me.

Greg:  Can you get the part online?  Maybe we can install it?

Two years ago, Greg and I performed brain surgery on our color printer.  We got it to work again.  I call Canon and speak to a technician named Mike who asks me the model of our fax machine.

Me: We have a CFX L4000.

Mike: I don’t have that one on my list.  When did you get it?

Me: During the Hoover administration.

Mike puts me on hold.  He is probably accessing Canon’s Obsolete Machines Database or his Magic 8 Ball.  He returns and explains that they no longer service this model but he gives me the name and number of a local technician that might be able to help.  I call the technician and I’m told that they no longer service our machine because they can no longer get replacement parts.  She declares:

Technician: Nobody really sends faxes anymore.  Everyone uses email.

Me (deadpan):  Email?  What’s that?

There’s an awkward pause except for the crickets on the other end of the line.

Me:  That was a joke.

She rocket launches into a sales pitch trying to entice me with a souped-up fax machine that can do countless things that I’m tuning out.

Technician:  I’ll even give you ten percent off!  What do you think of that?

Me:  I think we’ll use email.

I walk over to our fax machine and have a blunt chat with it.

Me:  Listen, if you don’t suck up the paper anymore, you’re gonna end up in a landfill.

Instantly, it prints a fax.  Greg and (not) Under Ling (anymore) are both up on their feet.  The three of us gather at the fax machine.  We’re jubilant.

Greg:  What did you do to get it to work again?

Me: I told it it could end up in a landfill.

I call our colleague, Rhonda, and ask her to send a test fax.  She does and again it works!

Test fax.

I leave The Grind for the weekend feeling empowered.  I fantasize about marketing my phenomenal powers of persuasion.  The ability to speak to office machines could save small businesses thousands if not millions and make me millions.  Whoa!

Finally, I may have found my calling in life!  Suddenly, my unique skill will turn my dismal finances around.  With my newfound success I can afford that beach house I’ve never wanted since I can’t tan or swim.  Yet, why be selfish?  I’ll write a check that will pay for my niece’s entire college career and even throw in a car for Sweet Pea.  Milton and I will always sit in premium center orchestra seats and see every Broadway show.  Come to think of it, I must finance the staging of one of my pal Albee’s plays.  I’ll donate heavily to whatever event Martini Max is spearheading over in New Jersey, even if it involves Jerry Lewis, who I utterly loathe.  Plus I cannot forget my fashionista buddy, Coco. She gets a blank check to feed her Christian Louboutin shoe habit.  Also, what about my loyal colleagues, Greg and (not) Under Ling (anymore)?  He can have that baritone sax he wants and she, a crate of videogames.  I should not just focus on material gifts for my posse.  I must also pursue worthy philanthropic concerns.  Gee, where to start?  The world is such a troubled place.  I’ll go through my junk mail for information about what crusades George Clooney endorses.

When I return to work on Monday, our fax machine is jammed again.

Ominous red alarm light.

For an hour I give it the office machine equivalent of mouth-to-mouth.  My credibility as an office machine whisperer and potential seven-figure income are on the line.  Unfortunately, nothing I do, even speaking to it in the single word of the French I retain from five years of inattentive study (“merde!”) can persuade it to pull up paper.

Resigned that I’m just a fax machine whispering fraud, I do what I hate.  I admit defeat.  I call Mr. Hat and ask him to order us a new one.

Two minutes later he enters our office carrying the fax machine he ordered a week earlier — when our problems started.

Ready.

It’s so state-of-the-art, it can work within five minutes, even though it takes Greg and I closer to two hours to get it going.

Five minutes to get it to print. Another 115 minutes to get it to fax … Probably because everyone uses email.

I reason:

Me:  All we needed was 24 five-minute intervals to set it up.

“Talk to me. I’m a good listener.”

Lame Adventure 302: Wacky Time

Recently, there was a lull in my workload at The Grind.  Since my ambition is a bottomless pit or possibly it’s just a pit, or maybe it’s more accurately described as a rut, but who am I kidding, it’s none of the above. I have no ambition whatsoever outside of a fondness for staring enviously at the pigeons roosting on the sill outside my window.

Let's trade places. You write this blog.

As it so happened there was a free moment in my schedule.  Truthfully my work-life has been a barren plain the entirety of this month, if not every day in the 2012 calendar year and I’m shedding brain cells faster than my final vestiges of fertility.  So there was an opening as wide as the sky in my day and I seized — to be honest here, I never seize, I’m inclined to drag myself, bitching and moaning loudly to give the impression that I’m accomplishing something arduous that merits my salary of a potato and health insurance.  Anyway, I used this wide-open-as-a-$10-hooker’s-thighs-moment to exploit the opportunity to research setting the time on the office fax machine from the hour in Guam to the precise minute in Gotham City.

That statement motivated me to Google the time difference between New York City and Guam.  I’ve discovered that Guam is actually fourteen hours ahead of New York. Our fax machine is two hours behind EDT.

It turns out that the time on our fax machine is set perfectly for Scottsbluff, Nebraska.

Proving that point.

For a moment I consider weaseling out of my self-imposed mission by suggesting to my boss, Elsbeth, that we simply relocate our office to Scottsbluff, but even I have the capacity to realize that idea is utterly inane.  Instead, I consider proposing to my superior an alternative solution – we sell our fax machine to someone in Scottsbluff and we get ourselves a new one.  Yet, it occurs to me that setting up a new one would likely fall under my jurisdiction a.k.a., Perform Each and Every Thankless Task the Mentally Efficient Avoid.  I realize I feel like setting up a new fax machine even less than resetting the clock on the current one.  Since there is no rest for the bleary I have to figure out how to reset that clock.

I Google: how do i set the clock on the canon cfx-l4000?

Google takes me to a site called FixYa.  Back on November 7, 2007, someone named 1jennylyn asked the exact same question as me.

Approximately six weeks later, a dude named Rob F responds:

“There’s a button marked “Data Registration” in blue. This color means you 1st have to press the function button to make it work. Do this and scroll using the left right up down arrow keys till you find, date and time reg. Then follow your nose.”

I think:

Me:  Huh?

If my nose could talk, it’s screaming:

My Nose:  Leave me the hell out of this!

Did I mention that Rob F shared this solution on Christmas Day?  I suspect he wrote it clad in his underwear and lacks the Will This Make Me Look Like a Loser gene.

Since Rob F’s answer earned Best Solution and I could not find what other solutions he was competing against, even though my personal go-to remedy is one I call Shut It Off, Pull Out the Plug, Eat Something and Then Go Back to It, instinct tells me that will not work in the case of setting the time, so I decide to give his obtuse solution a shot.  Predictably, my nose fails me and I am a baffled button pushing cursing doofus.

Better name of site ConfuseYa.

My colleague, (not) Under Ling (anymore) notices that I’m hovering over the fax machine in fury.  I return to my desk to Google another source of solution.  Unaware that I’m in the process of losing even more of the little that remains of my mind, she approaches the fax machine.

(not) Under Ling (anymore):  Hey, is there something wrong with the fax machine?

I suspect she’s itching to push some buttons, too. I morph into Charles Manson and growl:

Me:  Don’t touch anything!

Hand's off or I'll shoot you.

I find a forum on another site called Fix Your Own Printer.  A first responder named Sharpie is my hero.  This person has a different model of fax machine, the L4500, but he or she thinks that setting the time works the same on both units and writes a description about how to do this in such lucid English for Easily Frustrated Morons I would like to award this person a Nobel.

We're not on Scottsbluff time anymore (but God help my nose when Eastern Standard Time returns)!