Problems at Work

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short tale of trials and tribulations in the work place.

Submitted: March 27, 2019

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Submitted: March 27, 2019

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Why is it that photocopiers only ever work properly when somebody else is using them? As soon as I want to use the damned things they either report an unlisted numeric error code demanding that I contact some mythical beast called a service engineer, or else they chew up my copy sheet and wrap it round an inky roller that sits alongside a red-hot metal plate that’s just beyond reach in the very bowels of the machine. And what’s worse than that is the fact that when these infernal contraptions do throw a wobbly they more often than not nowadays have the audacity to demand that you fix the fucking problem yourself. To this end they provide you with step-by-step instructions which – in the fantasy world inhabited by the manufacturer’s User Interface Design team, at least – will enable you to strip out the internal workings so that you can easily then locate and remove the offending square half millimetre of torn paper. To proceed with your copying though, you must first re-assemble everything: re-inserting rollers R and S, then pressing buttons A through G, returning levers 10 and 11 to the lock position, pushing back the paper trays, and finally depressing the obscurely located lever X. If you’re very, very lucky you will then be allowed to proceed with your copying but as like as not you’ll have to repeat the entire bloody process, on the second pass having to retrieve some small segment of fingernail that got clipped from your forefinger and became trapped behind one of the paper trays because you stupidly disobeyed instructions and tried to re-insert roller S before you’d dealt with roller R. And as and when you do eventually get the READY display and proceed once more to copy your travel expenses claim form, there’s a very strong chance that your desired A4 copy will actually be delivered on an A3 sheet, pointlessly stapled at bottom-left, and with the text printed in miniature in the top right hand corner because you naively forgot to reset all the menu options.

Such are the traumas that I’ve suffered myself when doing battle with our Departmental photocopier that I wasn’t particularly phased when I went into the copy room the other day and found Lucy, the boss’s secretary, sitting in the corner, rocking backwards and forwards with her head in her hands, and quietly sobbing. I’ve so often been defeated by this temperamental bloody machinery and been close to tears myself, I genuinely did feel heart sorry for the girl. But right then I was way behind with everything and I decided not to offer solace but to withdraw quietly and return another time. I figured it was either that or else I’d have to stand and nod sympathetically listening to her sob story for a quarter of an hour and then I’d feel duty-bound to fix the machine for her, and then I’d end up being even more behind with my jobs. I found out later from Carol in the payroll office though that it wasn’t the photocopier that had caused Lucy’s distress at all. No, it was the fact that she’d just discovered that her fiancé from Finance had been shagging the arse off big Mandy from HR for the past three months


© Copyright 2020 Sheridan J. Wilde. All rights reserved.

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