A Conversation for Photocopiers

Photocopier stories

Post 1

Capt. Smith

At work we had this photocopier, and it would always be too dark, and/or out of focus. Of course, it would only be out of focus on either the right or left side of the copy, usually the side with the most text.

Nobody was ever able to really fix it and it broke down at least twice a month. Needless to say, I got really good at getting out jammed sheets!

Photocopier stories

Post 2


We've had the same photocopier here for many years. It's hated by almost everyone in the group, mostly for the reason that it's invented whole new methods of jamming itself with paper. The normal incidents we can all cope with - paper stuck in the duplex unit, paper wrapped round the rollers of the automatic document feeder, a huge wodge of paper stuck in the manual feed tray when it's tried to eat fifty sheets at once...

And so on.

However, it's now developed a limited form of sentience and will tease and enrage us in a whole host of different ways:

* It now concertinas paper when passing it through the fuser unit. This jams instantly, of course, and is very hard to reach. If you try, the fuser unit burns your hand.

* It shreds paper and drops it into its internal mechanisms. The bits are almost impossible to remove, and cause jams left, right and centre.

* It waits patiently for the photocopier engineer to arrive, fix it and leave, before breaking almost immediately with another problem.

* It will photocopy double-sided from the automatic document feeder when you're standing near it, but turn your back for a moment and it'll break down, hide one of the pages of your original document, and shuffle the copies in the paper sorter at the end.

The photocopier is also a great crowd-gatherer - as soon as something goes wrong, people silently filter out of offices and corridors to stare at it and offer 'advice'.

The photocopier hasn't started to electrocute people yet. I'm waiting for that one.


Photocopier Law

Post 3


The number of paper jams is directly proportional to the urgency multiplied by the importance of the work you are copying.

Photocopier Law

Post 4

Tricky Sam

.....which in turn is directly related to the number of people who also suddenly need to use the photocopier.

Photocopier Law

Post 5


We've had a couple of close shaves where people have been on the brink of feeding an inkjet transparency through the photocopier - that, I'm sure, would be monumentally bad...

As for the photocopier law; you're absolutely right. And as a postscript, the greater the uniqueness or rarity of the original you're copying from, the more likely it's going to get shredded by the document feeder.


More Photocopier Laws

Post 6

Tricky Sam

It almost goes without saying that:
The less paper / transparencies available, the more you will arse-up your photocopying.
The photocopier will only run out of toner when you are wearing your best / whitest clothes and are at your most clumsy.

Also, why do photocopier repairmen wear shirts with short sleeves AND ties?

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Post 7


Oh, I really can't figure out why the copier techs wear white shirts and ties. Guess it's to prove they don't get dirty while fixing the things.... smiley - winkeye

Anyway, I work for a company that depends upon lots of copiers functioning to provide our service. In my early days here, I actually did do copy work, spending all day working on copy machines. We went through various iterations of newer models (these are not your average office copier: our mainstay machine is a 90 page per minute model from Xerox; throughout our 6 locations we have 30 of those) but being full of moving parts they of course break down a fair bit. Hey, then run more or less constantly on many days. You do eventually get to know the techs rather well. smiley - winkeye

One thing's for sure, though. Once you've made copies for a living, day in and day out, you'll never look at copies and copy machines the same again. You don't get any better at fixing them, though, cos that's always left to the "experts" (who sometimes don't seem to get any better at fixing them either).

Photocopier stories

Post 8

Caveman, Evil Unix Sysadmin, betting shop operative, and SuDoku addict (Its an odd mix, but someone has to do it)

So far this month (considering this is only the 2nd, it's good going so far), I've had to contend with:

1. Manager puts ten sheets into the auto-sheet feeder. So far so good. Even gets the the right way up. However, doesn't remove staple. Resulting jam takes me fifteen minutes to fix...

2. Why is it that whenever I want to photocopy something and the quality matters, the previous user used the auto-feed with a sheet on which he's used half a bottle of tippex...? It's a real b%%%%r to get off the glass, especially the so called 'water soluble' stuff.

3. Ever wondered why theres a mark repeated every 12cm down the photocopied page? It's because the same manager who perpetrated 1. did the same thing but in the input tray trying to do 'double sided' copies. Scratched the drum to hell.

4. Why does the waste toner bottle always seem to contain more toner than the toner refill bottles start with? Does it breed in there?

5. Whoever did 2. has done it to the scanner now. Aaargh.. The life of the office sysadmin/tech/fit-it-merchant is full of challenges...

Photocopier stories

Post 9

Lonnytunes - Winter Is Here

In a lot of offices the computer printer has joined the photocopier in anarchy.

A recent survey in New Zealand found that more office workers resign because of problems with these two machines than for any other single reason.

More Photocopier Laws

Post 10

Caveman, Evil Unix Sysadmin, betting shop operative, and SuDoku addict (Its an odd mix, but someone has to do it)

> Oh, I really can't figure out why the copier techs wear white shirts and ties.

It's probably the thrill they get out of living dangerously.

Having managed somehow to get my tie caught in the film camera at Ladbrokes one day (a roll camera that all the bets go through, so that we have a photographic timed record of each and every bet), I can speak from first hand experience. It was initially very worrying, until I managed to get free (because it didn't really have all that much 'suck') and then highly embarrassing.

More Photocopier Laws

Post 11


Right, so we no longer have to wear the ties. I'm not sure what they were thinking, but most of us have been able to shed them.

If you do run the wrong transparency, it will melt all around the fuser and cause a horrible smell.

Many of the techs do no learn anything about these machines. These techs are sent to the customers no one else wants to deal with, either because of the people's attitude or the model they purchased.

The printers are now designed nearly identical to the copiers, are often in fact the same machine, and are serviced by the same people.

The things people do to these machines are amazing. Broken glass from sitting upon them, now that had to hurt. I've found rats nests in the bottom, and mouse guts all over the gears.

Your frustration at the machine should not be passed on the the tech, as a rule, however. My request - if your going to ruin the machine please take a pickaxe to the thing and get the job done. Don't let my manager think it can be rebuilt...

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