September 12, 2011

Square Peg/Round Hole

BS, indeed. I considered posting this over a copy machine today after solving yet another technical problem that could have been easily figured out by any one of the people here getting paid way more than I am. I opted for a tamer version without the final sentence. Still, there are some questions you may be asking yourselves:

1. What exactly was the problem?
Some genius put a Black Cartridge where the Bonding Agent Cartridge belongs and vice versa.

2. That's silly, but could probably happen to anyone. Isn't it HP's fault?
Not at all. HP has posted a smaller, color-coded illustration of exactly how the cartridges should be placed into the machine (you can probably see it in the top part of my own diagram). On top of that, HP has designed the cartridges and slots in a way that you can't actually put a cartridge in the wrong hole without forcibly ramming it in. It's rare that someone here actually makes an effort to do anything, but they had to really mash those things in there to cause the problem.

3. If it was so easy for you to figure out, why was the copier not printing correctly for several days?
"If you see something, say something" is not a motto for anyone working here. In the five minutes I spent troubleshooting and solving the issue, I had three people inform me that the printer was screwing up for most of last week. About 60 people use the printer and not one thought it was a good idea to report the problem to me.

4. Why would they report it to you anyway? You're not in IT.
Excellent question. No, I'm not in the IT department. I have no IT training and I have no HP training, but somehow, I'm in charge of 20+ HP copy machines--not IT! Fortunately, HP had designed copy machines that even humanoids can use and has detailed on-board troubleshooting when things go wrong. I seem to have harnassed the magical power of "reading instructions" and learned some basic problem-solving methods in 1st grade, so I can fix most issues quicker than it takes to call the helpdesk, log a ticket, have them contact HP, and have HP show up, diagnose the problem, and fix it themselves in five minutes (after 24-48 hours). My boss, who just doesn't get it, is a fan of instantly announcing "Call HP" whenever someone says the words "printer" and "problem" in the same sentence, but he's also on my ass every month about minimizing downtime for the printer fleet. More corporate hypocrisy!

Thanks for listening and no offense to the color-blind.

Sike, you color-blind fuckfaces!


kcw said...

I do kind of see a human systems integration problem here. It would seem intuitive to put all the colors together and the one-off weird non-color 'bonding agent' separated. While the cartridges being unique to each space is the right way to go I do see an additional step in some color segregation perhaps reducing the risk of such an event occurring. In a redesign I'd put the black where the bonding agent is and the bonding agent all the way on the bottom below all the colors.

But in the end nothing stops idiots from being idiots.

I'm a nerd.

Ro-Beast Rollie said...

Ken, I completely agree. You ARE a nerd.

But seriously, I do see your point. I don't know why they chose that configuration (it's ALMOST alphabetical order).

I would like to see them take it yet another step further and have the cartridges in crazy shapes like blue diamonds and yellow moons because it works for Lucky Charms.

Anonymous said...

Oh, but Rollie, then you'd have employees opening up the printer just to feast on the delicious ink cartridges inside.