I had a total Office Space moment at work this week.
I sent a couple of documents to the printer but they never printed. A couple of lights on the printer were flashing, and in big LED letters, the printer told me that there was a PAPER JAM. I love technology.
Now some of my programming friends are strictly into software - they "don't do hardware," as my friend Shannon humorously puts it. But I'm a pretty adventurous guy, and I figure the Tech Team is always there to buy a new printer if I blow one up at work, so what can it hurt to open the hood and have a looksy? Maybe take out the toner cartridge and dig around in the innards of the printer....
I opened the printer and did not see any paper stuck anywhere. I closed the printer hood and the printer recalibrated for a couple of seconds. Then it hummed a little, off-pitch. Then it flashed it's filthy PAPER JAM sign at me.
Why does it say paper jam when there is no paper jam!
I called the head of the Tech Team over and spastically illustrated my dilemma. He opened the printer hood and looked for a paper jam, but didn't see anything. After pondering rather loudly and rubbing his chin a little too gingerly for my tastes, he closed the printer hood, the printer hummed, then pointed its digital fingers at us and laughed.
It was possessed!
When your electronics give you an error message, it's hard to try other things. For instance, I didn't check the paper tray to see if the printer had any paper, because the paper tray is not where a paper jam occurs. But the problem was simply that there was no paper. The printer was giving us the wrong message.
That's a bad printer! Bad bad bad!
I spent the rest of the day taking the paper out of the tray and watching people open the printer hood to try to figure out the problem. The head of the Tech Team played a really good role, acting surprised every single time. Go team!
Hacker, Hack Thyself
3 weeks ago