Despite my best efforts and the help of good friends, I found myself this morning on the verge of throwing my fax/printer out into the garden and turning it into a planter. Yesterday, when copies started coming out smudged, I tried a few remedial actions, some of my own device and some based on suggestions from people who actually know something.
At first I thought I'd solved the problem. The first few copies I made were perfect. Then the flaws started creeping in, a streak here and a smear there. Thinking back, I remembered that I've been having trouble printing envelopes for weeks, and every time I printed one, the next ten copies would have blotches around the edges.
In the middle of all this, I got a call from the insurance auditor. She had forgotten to send me her fax number before I left for vacation, and now we were down to the last day. I had to get the audit information faxed to her right away, or— well, I don't know. Frogs would rain down from the sky, or something like that.
Gradually I worked myself up into a frenzy. I threw down the file I was working on and stormed out of the house, determined to spend some of the Boss's money on a new and better machine. If I'm going to have to make photocopies with my fax/printer, I'm going to have the best one I can afford. I mean, the best one he can afford.
By the time I got to the Big Box Store, I'd cooled off a little. In fact, I would have taken the cheapest one they had, if they'd had any in stock. I walked next door to the Other Place and found the same one, also out of stock. So I settled for the next level higher. I pulled the card and took it to the cashier.
She called the stockroom and the computer told them they had three of those printers in stock. Ten minutes later, they were telling me they still thought they had three, but they couldn't find any of them. Did I want to order one and have it shipped to my house? No, I need one today.
So I walked back to Big Box and bought the upgraded model for one dollar more than I would have spent at the Other Place. They had a zillion of them in stock, and they pulled one for me right away. It was a nightmare averted. It was also 3:30 pm, and I had to leave by 5 pm for Tammy and David's, so I could stay with D.J. and Dakota while they went to a funeral.
It seemed to take forever to install the new printer, but for once everything worked on the first try. I didn't get a chance to check out all the features before I had to leave, or to make sure I could receive faxes without a problem, but since there was a fax waiting for me when I got home (and when isn't there a fax waiting for me?), I assume a miracle has happened and my long series of technological disasters has at least been interrupted, if not ended completely.