The copier broke again at work. Well, sorta.
Toner out! it insisted, and when I obligingly slid the new one home, it burped and chuckled for a moment and then smugly asserted I'd done something wrong.
IMPROPER CARTRIDGE! the screen shrieked. ERROR CODE! DOOOM!
(Okay, I made that last bit up.)
I looked through the (copious) literature that comes with the beast, flipping through MAINTENANCE, and TROUBLESHOOTING, and WHAT TO DO IF YOUR COPIER IS BEING A BUTT, and could find no mention of the corresponding error code. Okay, maybe there was something online.
Well. The Sharp website? Lovely. Sleek, even. But trying to find the model number I needed in a three-page list written in tiny type? IRRITATING. But I kept on, found it, downloaded....and the instructions for changing the toner were different than I needed. Same copier, and the illustrations matched, but no mention of the code, and no clear this is what you do NOW step-by-step stuff.
So, I did what I probably should have done from the start. I called the technician.
I have a lot of sympathy for these guys. They've got all the answers, yes, but they're trying to diagnose a problem over the phone.
So when he hemmed and hawed and finally said the words I somehow knew were going to come out of his throat:
'Did you turn the machine off and back on again?'
I did not blast him. (However, the wind generated from the rolling of my eyeballs sent all the notices pinned in the lobby a-flutter.)
Why yes, I said, I did! and resisted the urge to say 'Next!'
"So," he went on, "are you sure you put in the magenta toner? Could you go get the box the toner came in and read me what it says?"
The box for the magenta toner has magenta writing on it. And the cartridge itself is edged with bright PINK plastic edges. This would be hard to screw up. But, again, he's not there, in the room, he's on the phone, so I dutifully fetched the box and read the part number off, trying not to sound resentful that something in my tone apparently led him to believe I was both touched and colourblind.
We bandied on back and forth (I HAD the right toner, surprise!) and he promised to send a new toner to see if that would fix the problem and we hung up, without an answer to the problem, but thinking we were on the right track.
Half an hour later, in walked our usual copier repairman. D the Copier God. (This is said with love, because lord knows he's saved my bacon several times, and he always admits when he doesn't know the answer, which I find admirable.)
And once again, he tried and couldn't replicate what I had seen on the screen. He had some ideas, though, and after some futzing, the great beast obligingly rolled over and began working again.
I still think if I read my manual word-for-word I'd find somewhere a small section titled 'PRANKS TO PLAY ON THE CHICK WHO IS LOW ON COFFEE'.