January 13, 2005
Yesterday I drove to campus, risking my life on roads covered with freezing rain, all because I thought it would be a good idea to get to the copy machine during this quiet week before classes start and get everything copied for that first class. Even getting into my car was a chore because all the doors were frozen shut. Luckily, I know from experience how to deal with this: I climbed in through the back and then kicked the driver's door open from the inside. Always you have to open a frozen door from the inside or you can break off a door handle. Trust me on this one. So I braved the ice storm to come into campus, only to find the copy machine on its worst behavior. Three sheets in, it began jamming on me. I hate machines of all kinds. I think they pick up on my vibes and rebel. I looked into the machine and saw a crumpled piece of paper stuck way in the back. Now if anyone sensible had designed this copy machine, there would be a hinged door on the back of it so that this kind of problem could easily be fixed. Unfortunately, the copy machine for our department (and yes, we have only one because we are a small department) was designed by some kind of sadist. By kneeling on the floor, I could peer through a crack and see the crumpled paper, but I could not fit even a finger through any of the cracks. The secretary, who had been happily chatting with me about her dance class, offered to call the Service People who Usually Take Three Days to Show Up. No, I said, don't bother calling the Service People From Hell, I will fix this machine. So I duct-taped two rulers together, and duct-taped a paper clip to the end, and went after the machine with this weapon. By lying on the floor, I managed finally to get the right angle, even though of course, I could not see what I was doing. I also could not see much of what was going on in the office, although I believe that during this saga I was introduced to some new administrator. ("Those legs on the floor? That's Jo(e). Maintenance? Oh, no, she is a member of the faculty.") I am nothing if not persistent, though, and in the end, I finally managed to get the crumpled piece of paper out of the machine. I danced around the office, waving the paper in glee, and the secretary was happy for me. Then I settled back to get my copying done .... and the machine still did not work. I hate copy machines.
Posted by jo(e)