No Such Thing as Simple: Printer Hell

Where I work, we have a label machine that is used lots by everyone. It does everything from creating our shipping labels to making as assortment of address labels for just about any correspondences our office pumps out. And best of all, our super label machine holds several sizes of stickers and rolls of labels at once.

One day, (today), the computer that runs the printer died – just stopped working altogether. The office personal were in a state of chaos. The shipping department stopped shipping; the accounting department held off on their billing and invoicing, and administration tried phoning the manufacture to see if they could find a solution to the mess becuase they amongst the chaos of sending their stuff out too. To no avail, the machine had died, and no one knew what to do.

Through some hard work, and a couple of hours of tinkering, one of the techs got it working, but it was a long ways from being the super easy, super simple machine that it once was. Just to get it operational now meant having to go through a whole long series of carrot-stick menu options, and wasting sheet upon sheet of labels, just to get the quality and precision that you needed.  Now printing a single label was a hassle and chore – not a fun task.

After a whole morning, and several upset people, we got a call back from the manufacture of the printer. Our hardware was outdated and is no longer supported. The manufacture said that we must upgrade – for a small fee – if we were to have a super easy and fast functioning labeller printer again.

We knew the printer worked, but we could not figure out why the software would no longer give us all the settings we once had before. The mystery was compounded with the technicians from the I.T. department performing upgrades on all the workstations. It was not until one of the I.T. guys noticed that the tiny computer that operated the printer was attached to the server, and it had been upgraded too. He explained because we were now on a (useless propitiatory O.S., which I will not mention their name here) updated system, and this new system no longer gives us backward compatibility. So, a $10.000.00 upgrade actually caused more damage than giving use the best performance that was claimed to offer?


The fellow that got the printer semi-working, (just finished just moments ago), however, it came at a price. The printer is hooked up to a MAC. I am MAC illiterate, along with 99 percent of the office staff here. The MAC has a mouse with one button–I am not kidding. But if you follow the menu, and click the single mouse button, the printer works, albeit through a long menu that adds a couple minutes to your task.

The one button days are gone.

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