stop the presses! it’s official…the world has ended because the office is out of fax toner!!

Lets just say that there was a toner “incident” at the office today. I call it an “incident” when what I really mean is “fiasco of ginormous proportions.”

Please watch the following scene from one of my favorite episodes of Friends. It will properly prepare you for the silliness of this morning’s office antics.

Ok, so hopefully you found that amusing. I had this scene running through my head the entire morning I spent dealing with what will forever be known (at least to me) as “The Day Without Toner.”

I walked in this morning and the fax machine was blinking red. Red is never a good sign when it comes to office electronics. It either means that some minuscule shred of paper has lodged itself inside some well hidden yet crucial piece of machinery and caused a jam which will take you all day to un-jam, or it means that you are out of toner and hopefully are not wearing white because you will inevitably end up covered in black dust. It ended up being the latter.

Initially this was not a big deal, as this was an obstacle that I had foreseen back in April when I ordered a spare toner cartridge anticipating this exact scenario. Now, what did not occur to me at the time is that the wrong toner cartridge would be delivered, so that seven months later when I actually needed it, it would render itself full of toner, but absolutely useless to me.

Next up…break the news to the rest of the office. Considering the level of panic that ensued, one would have thought that I had said a tornado was headed straight for us. Now to their credit, a good portion of day to day business is conducted via this fax machine, so I do understand (kind of) the concern. However, I still saw this as a manageable problem. Just walk up the street to the local Staples and buy a toner cartridge, and get reimbursed for it.

Now that would have been a reasonably good plan, but I forgot that I live in a recurring episode of “The Office”, so naturally there wasn’t a single Staples or Office Depot in the Metro DC area that actually sold a compatible cartridge for our fax machine.

On to plan two, order some and have it shipped over night…oh wait, they can’t ship it overnight. Awesome, the earliest it can be delivered is Thursday. That won’t work.

Sit back, take a deep breath, tune out the rising levels of panic surrounding you in the office…think, think…Wait! Is it possible that there is another office that uses the same fax machine (unlikely, but worth looking into), and may actually have a spare cartridge??? Yes! Success, there is a spare toner cartridge waiting for us up at one of our sister offices.

I break the news, and you know what reaction I get? Now that the office realizes that toner is within sight the conversation turns to complaining about actually haveing to go get the toner. Well, if it’s not important enough to go get it, then why the heck did you watch me spend an hour and a half trying to find it??? I think that tomorrow I’m going to get to the office early so that I can exact my revenge…perhaps I’ll purposely jam the copy machine…

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