The printer gods must be displeased. It's been one of those days (actually, one of those weeks) where the networked printers have decided not to bother communicating with anyone's pc. There are multiple projects sitting on my desk, figuratively speaking, and all of them would benefit at this point from being made corporeal. I need hard copies. It doesn't feel like actual editing if I can't scribble on it with a red pen.
A whole lot of other people in the building also need hard copies of various documents, but for some mysterious reason the printers and the servers have stopped talking to each other. At last count there were four different IT people wandering around looking baffled. Apparently when they manage to get the printers on one floor to work printers on a different floor stop.
Technology is wonderful.
I would love to use this inability to get the hard copies I need as an excuse to persuade my supervisor that a printer that lived in my cubicle and was mine alone to cherish and abuse would be a good idea, but I know that's not going to happen. I have a hard time now convincing the people who control the supplies budget here at Large Nameless Agency that a roll of scotch tape or one pad of Post-It notes doesn't last forever. Somehow I don't think I'd be able to talk them into giving me a printer any time soon.
I just found myself thinking about the guy who controlled the supplies room at my old job. My co-workers and I went through a lot of refills for mechanical pencils -- the job required doing a fair amount of sketching of sites maps and floor plans when we were out in the field. The lead refills for mechanical pencils come in boxes of 12. The boxes sell for about $1 at most office supply places, so the individual leads must run about 8 cents apiece. Well, when we'd go ask Joe for more leads, he'd dole them out three at a time, which is what one pencil generally holds (one in actual use, and a couple spares in the barrel). No one ever got an actual full box of leads for his or her self. There may be waste in government agencies, but rest assured it doesn't happen with the important stuff: pencil leads and Post It notes.