Monday, August 18, 2008

The Copier Mocks Us

Today went well for a Monday. A Monday in which our copy machine is broken and we have to use the one in the office. In case you have never been inside a school district with the insiders, let's just say that we do not like to share our stuff. I know I don't, anyway. Please note that I am not complaining about anybody in the office. I am taking her side. Supporting her. I've got her back.

I went in to make 85 copies this afternoon on my plan time. I was polite. We go way back, the Office Dweller and I. As far back as Mabel and I go. So I asked first: "Is there a maximum number of copies that I should run? Like, does it overheat or anything?" No. This is a normal copier. Unlike the one that we have in the teacher workroom that is currently gutless and awaiting a transplant. I ran my copies uneventfully.

After school, I went back to run two sets of 15 copies. Mr. H had commandeered the machine. Mr. H, who boasts each year at our back-to-school meeting, "I have already run all my copies for the entire year." Apparently, he is full of hot air, or something suddenly came up. He told me he was smack dab in the middle of 500 copies...two-sided. But being my Trivia buddy, and an all-around nice guy, he volunteered to take my originals and run my copies and bring them to my room when he was done. Ain't that sweet? And to add even more sugar to the syrup, he said, "You know what? I'll interrupt this and run yours right now." Of course, that was after he 'jokingly' tossed my original into the tall trash can after I asked him to be very careful with my originals. I screamed a scream that was not altogether fake, and said, "Eww! What if Office Dweller spit a chaw in there during lunch time?"

So it came to pass that I was exiting the office with my completed copies clenched in my hot little hand when I spied ScienceCrony's teacher resource book for Unit 1, which I DO NOT have a copy of, on the counter, and snagged it to take a look. Of course I got caught within 30 seconds when ScienceCrony came in to use the phone. I asked if I could look at it, and she generously said I could take it and return it to her later, as she had business to attend to. See how nice people are to me? Makes you wonder why PEOPLE PISS ME OFF so frequently, huh? But I can't complain lately. They have all been very nice in letting me have my way.

Anyhoo...where was this story leading? Oh, yeah. I asked Mr. H when he would be done, and went to my room to go wild with the sticky notes marking pages that I wanted to copy, and then returned to the office when I thought Mr. H would be gone. Au contraire, copies always take longer than you assume. I shot the breeze with H for a bit. We decided that what this school needs is a copy clerk like I had at one of my old schools. All we had to do was drop off the originals at a little half-door copy room, and Shirley the copy clerk would run them and deliver them to us. Mr. H and I decided that we could box off a section of the office, install a half-door, call it The Copy Corral, and hire a woman willing to wear a 10-gallon hat, fringed skirt, and cowboy boots. At that moment, an ominous 'CLUNK' came from the copier. Office Dweller said, "That can't be good." Mr. H yanked open the door on that machine and went to work like the pit crew at Indy. Then we heard, "RRIIIIIP!" I could sense Office Dweller counting to ten under her breath. I felt for her. I really did. Because you never want that jammed piece of paper to come out un-whole. Ever.

"Doesn't it just make you sick to see us putting our grubby hands all over your copier?" I asked. Office Dweller let it all out. "I've already caught TWO people trying to put paper in Drawer 3! I tell them not to, but they say, 'But it TELLS me that I need to add paper to Drawer 3.' They just don't understand!" I commiserated. "I don't know how you do it. I would go crazy if everyone came into my room and touched my stuff."

Note to Self: Do not add paper to Drawer 3 of the office copier.

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