Top 10 Ways Not to Fix the Copier/Printer

It’s happened to anyone who has ever worked in an office environment and to some people who haven’t. The copier machine breaks down, leaving a line of frustrated people without the stacks of papers they needed the machine to spit out. There are troubleshooting guides and companies that offer print services, but more often than not you’ll see one of the following displays of how NOT to remedy the situation.
The Top Ten
1 Kick, punch, or otherwise assault the copy machine

Frustration breeds violence. You needed those copies or that print out at that very moment. You don't have time to fix a paper jam or research an error message. Or. You've already done both of those things and the printer still isn't cooperating. Out of frustration, you kick it, hoping whatever is awry will magically jiggle into place with a well-placed roundhouse. Only two things could result from this violent negotiation: you hurt yourself, you damage the copier, or both.

2 Push the same button over and over again

It's the definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results), but you do it anyway… just in case. The print job doesn't print, so you click print again. Or the copies don't copy, so you push the copy button again. The assumption of this act of repetition is that the button was somehow faulty the first time or that you didn't press it hard enough. In reality, you look desperate trying to make something that hasn't worked the past 15 times magically work using a tired, old technique.

3 Ignore it and hope the problem goes away

This is essentially the flip side of the "Push the same button" technique. If you ignore the problem, maybe it will just fix itself. So you walk away from the printer to do something else while it solves its own problem. In the meantime, everybody who needed to use the copier since you walked away hits the same roadblock. If your office is full of passive ignorers, everybody will go home at 5 o'clock with none of the copies printed. Ignorers don't last long in corporate America.

4 Unplug it

Thinking the copy machine is in a coma, never to recover, you simply pull the plug. Some view it as a compassionate move, but in your heart you know you wanted the beast to die. You've had homicidal thoughts about no other piece of machinery. Today was the day when opportunity met an over-the-top frustration level and you snapped. Now, in addition to not having your printed materials, you'll have to wait for the copier to warm up again. The feelings of victory are fleeting.

5 Yank on the jammed paper

Paper jams are the worst. The page before sailed through without any hesitation. Why don't they all? What changed in the past nanosecond to cause this slip of paper to crumple into a heaping headache? The only logical solution, you think, is to grab the offender by the proverbial shirt collar and pull as hard as you can. In your mind the quick move releases the jam and gets traffic moving again. The reality is that you ripped the paper and left a stray piece in between the rollers where it can't be seen but continues to wreak havoc.

I have made this mistake before.

6 Uninstall and reinstall the same ink cartridge

On the flip side, the copier tells you the magenta ink cartridge needs to be replaced, but you disagree. You just put it in last quarter. Like any good conspiracy theorist, you assume it's a ploy by the ink manufacturers to make more money. Determined to beat them at their own game, you try to trick the machine by taking out and "replacing" the same ink cartridge. This only serves to confuse the printer that wants to know why you would give it an empty ink cartridge and still expect results.

7 Disregard the “add toner” message

Somebody else will take care of it, you think to yourself when the "add toner" message displays. You think this thought to yourself for over a week and then you're surprised when you arrive at the copier one day and it gives you a piece of paper with nothing on it. See also: ignoring the problem in hopes that it goes away.

8 Shake it

Big copy machines and printers get kicked. Small, desktop versions get the shake down. Same thought process on a smaller scale.

9 Curse it

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but cursed copy machines never spit out copies. It doesn't stop people from trying, though.

10 Throw it out the window

When all else fails, some people choose to euthanize their copiers by throwing them out the window. While there is no proof this actually happens, it can often feel as though you're throwing money out the window when the copier doesn't deliver as promised. And with all the surveillance cameras around these days, it would be difficult to hide the crime scene from your superiors.

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