Let My Printer Go…


My printer at work is old…this is my sixth year there…it wasn’t new when I came…it has gotten progressively cantankerous over the last year…the cartridge carriage sticks…it goes something like this…
I click print…the printer wakes up…it makes some noise…sounds like it’s flexing its muscles…a little yellow light comes on…a carriage stuck message pops on the screen…I open the cover…slide the carriage back and forth a bit…close the cover…press OK…it makes noise…flexes its muscles…the yellow light comes on…and we start over…
It’s frustrating…at times nerve wrecking…there is stuff I need to print…I don’t have time to be fiddling with the printer…over and over again…I dread printing anything…
And…yet…I still have the same printer…I’m going through the same routine…day after day…several times a day…
Why…
There are several reasons…the school system doesn’t have a ton of money…I hate to ask for a new printer…when technically mine still works…then…new printers quite often use different ink cartridges…I have a couple of spares…again…there’s the money thing…
Those are the practical reasons…and while they sound noble on paper…I fear that the true reasons are deeper than that…
It works part of the time…occasionally it works without a hitch…it gives me hope…next time…it will work…next time it won’t hang…next time will be printing bliss…
I clean it…I pray for it…I send it printer love…
Sometimes it works…sometimes it doesn’t…
There’s a familiarity to the process…it’s what I’m used to now…click print…hold breath…wait…fidget…
It gives me something to whine about…I’m the martyr…I continue to deal with an aging printer for the good of the school system…essentially for the children…for education…for literacy everywhere…St. Jane of Printers…
Truth is…if I asked for a new printer…I would get one…I have even found a back-up in the Library…same model…same ink…but…I have no clue if it will work…it may have the same problem…it may be worse…
I haven’t switched yet…it’s sitting in my office…as I give my old one…just one more chance…several times a day…
And…while…that’s just a printer…I see a pattern from my life…
I remember past relationships…ones that continued beyond their time…the thoughts that went through my head…
I hate to let go…if there is even a glimmer of hope…no matter how bold the writing on the wall…it could change tomorrow…what if I let go a day too soon…what if I change…what if he does…it could happen…we could be happy…
Maybe…just maybe…it’s time to symbolically break that pattern…and replace the printer…take a chance…that the new one will be better than what I’ve had…
Yes…I think it is time…
Jane

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