Thursday, July 10, 2008

One of those days

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.


  1. That's life in the gubmint, ain't it? Spending dollars to save pennies.

  2. Ah, we grab power where we can, I guess.

    I would have been tempted to leave a tax-payer purchased tack on his chair.

  3. Sounds like you work in a place I couldn't stick around in for a week. Any job I ever had that I didn't like or was messed up I soon moved on.

    Same question Deb had -- how the heck does a person manage to kill someone with a couch?!

    Not sure, but it took her 45 minutes I guess. Maybe she was just having some fun?

  4. Oh, I like my job -- it's the levels of bureaucracy that drive me slightly over the edge of times. The work I do is actually pretty interesting, and I get to do something that I know may have a positive impact on a lot of people's lives. I'm lucky enough to work for a government agency that the public in general still believes is worth supporting, and working conditions as a rule aren't bad. Working here isn't as much fun as working for the Park Service was, but if I didn't like what I was doing Large Nameless Agency would have gotten the 10-second notice ("Oh, by the way, today was my last day") quite awhile ago.

  5. I've been mulling over the question you asked about "do you care?"

    For a while I had a National Geographic magazine on my desk, it had a very interesting story about oil, energy, and things like that and what we needed to do to save the planet and ourselves.

    The most interesting to me about it was the fact that it was 20 years old and nothing has changed.

    I like what is on your fridge. My coffee cups says, I'M SURROUNDED BY FUCKIN' IDOITS.

  6. I've been hearing a lot of talk about problems with PCs and now yahoo is charging for services. My Administrator is so pissed with them, we're dropping all yahoo services.

    And still OT, have you been mulling that story idea over and rethinking it? I know you have the writing chops. You are too creative, so...?


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