Monday, April 30, 2012

I won that battle like a boss.

Do you ever find yourself fist pumping about solving a workplace mystery? Commenting under your breath “I won, take that!” after guessing the right answer to an unimportant question during someone’s ice-breaker? Yes? Me too. We are the ranks of the irrationally competitive.

I am competitive about almost everything. Today I could not get a few simple documents to print, and after 45 minutes, several setting adjustments, and a re-boot, I won. I totally solved the problem and showed that network printer that I am boss. And I won that battle like a boss.

Too dramatic? Maybe. But let me ask you this: if that computer were to have persisted in not printing the documents, I might have been defeated and demoralized all day resulting in a significantly less productive work day, resulting in fewer students at TIU, resulting in a decline in a tuition-driven institution. Not to mention the rampant revolt of electronic devices. Don’t believe me? Haven’t you ever wondered why you can’t attach a document to an email? Why that web page edit just won’t actually update? Why an email you sent to yourself takes 1.5 hours to get to our own inbox? Why your itunes needs you download version 107.89? By succeeding in this endeavor I have successfully stayed the tide of this rebellion (you are welcome), regained my personal pride, and started the journey towards having the most productive work day ever.

I wish that I could say that the story ended on this high note, feeding and reinforcing that having a competitive mindset about inconsequential things is well worth my time and energy.

11:03 first attempt to print fails.
11:15 consult with our all-knowing office receptionist who is also stumped.
11: 17 attempt to email myself the document.
11: 35 check all wires, chords, and other hardware.
11:43 change settings.
11:48 reboot computer with updated settings.
11:52 reboot successful – documents print. (see above post for emotional state)
11: 54 settle in with said document to get some work done.
11:55 spill coffee with delightful home-made spicy creamer.
11: 56 choose to save wireless keyboard- picked it up, started to wipe it off, realized that it is still connected to my laptop and all my key strokes are showing up on the screen.
11:57 realize that unplugging the USB is a two-handed job, and I have to put down the keyboard on my chair? no, coffee stickiness on my chair is not good, on one of the guest chairs in the office? no, same problem, but with aforementioned dire consequences for the University, back on the desk? no, desk is covered with sticky coffee goodness, that is spreading behind the monitor, slowly moving towards the back of my desk and abyss that lies behind it. must act fast. precariously balanced on the recycling box? yes.
11:58 dash to closet to retrieve paper towels. discover there are only two on the roll. take those. blockade back of desk and around monitor. carefully arranged post-its are a loss.
11:58 return to closet to get another roll of paper towels. see roll. tug. bring down two plastic items in the process- those hit me in head. replace extra items. express frustration to all-knowing receptionist about her insensitivity to my height as evidenced by booby trapped closet. (note that this was not in the least her fault)
11:59 open extra roll in office and begin the process of cleaning up the coffee mess that has by now spread just about everywhere. must push monitor back to get at mess under monitor in so doing I knocked off a mug placed behind the monitor. this particular mug is still ¼ full from last week. does not spill. fist pump, taking credit for this small victory that has nothing to do with me.
12:00 assess damage: key board appears to be rescued and not too sticky. all post-its, daily lists, and mouse pad are lost. paperwork that was fruit of earlier victory against the evil printer is totally soaked. Document containing said information has random typing in it from keyboard cleaning. Delightful coffee beverage mostly gone.

And I am having a bad hair day.

But I beat the printer, dammit. I kicked the crap out of that printer. That printer is taking the walk of shame wherein it submits and does everything I ask it to do. Always. Take that for subversive printers everywhere!

Jared Allen's response at the end is my favorite example of the ranks of the irrationally competitive. 


  1. Hil-arious! I'm so sad I missed the action.

  2. Haha! I'm both laughing and feeling horrible for you! That sounds absolutely dreadful! No apology necessary!
    <3 The Tall, Some Things-Knowing Receptionist ;)