Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Kyocera Lays the Smack Down on Mother Teresa

I tried to get away right after school today. Right after the fifteen minutes that we are required to loiter around the halls keeping students from loitering in the halls. All of my grading was complete. I had whipped up a test using my new textbook test generator. But the confounded thing had not printed correctly on my desktop HP inkjet. I searched the printers available. They can't have regular names like Two Doors Down, or Work Room. They have names that can be recited as serial numbers in case they fall into the wrong hands. Mine, for example, is HP 940C. One year I had to turn him off, because folks from far and near were monopolizing him, soaking up the ink which I paid for by the sweat of my own brow. Apparently, kids were trying to print, dashing to the lab, not finding their 400-page document from which they needed a two-sentence quote, and going back to hit print again.

I needed a different printer so the eclipse diagrams on my test would come out with all parts readable. I think little HP 940C was low on ink. So I took a chance on a license-plate-number of a printer, by process of elimination, and attempted to print a single page of seven vocabulary words, headed by the title of my current chapter. In hindsight, perhaps I should have merely tried to print a single word, testing, and checked for my resultant copy in the teacher workroom. But no.

The Pony had arrived, so I sent him hoofing it up to the workroom to see if my copy had been spit out by big bad Kyocera. He returned forthwith, and replied that not only was my page nonexistent, but that Kyocera said, "Clear paper jam."

Of course that set my cold, cold heart to palpitating. Because as any teacher knows, even though you are the one who jammed the copier, you don't want any evidence to point to you. Evidence like a ripped-up page bearing the subject matter of your class. It doesn't matter that a mouse crawled in after the bell and was crushed by the moving parts, and your paper had nothing to do with the malfunction. YOU WILL BE BLAMED for it in the morning, when your colleagues stand four abreast with last-minute, must-have originals in their hands, gazing balefully at the cantankerous Kyocera.

I made a beeline for the workroom. Ever-helpful master-copier Kyocera mentored me like a wise elder. No less than eleven problem areas were flashing on his brain. I followed the directions to a T. "Open front door." Yeah. Kyocera has to be quite literal with us faculty simpletons. I turned and flipped and opened and closed and pulled and yanked and peered and sighed. After clearing five of the flashing arrow areas, I gave up. Because those papers contained material from a class that was not mine. Nobody was gonna trace this malfunction to moi!

Wasn't that selfless of me? To partially clear the copier jam, even though somebody else was responsible for clogging Kyocera? Let me answer for you, "Yes, Val. That was selfless. You are a regular Mother Teresa. Just like the mom of one of your cronies purported several years ago. Even though she had never met nor spoken with you."

I laid the twisted, tattered shreds of the two papers on top of Kyocera. Just in case anybody was wondering who broke the copier.

And in case that was not even the copier my page was sent to, somebody is sure to drag that sheet to my room tomorrow and ask if it's mine. Then I'll know the name and location of another copier. The Even Steven reward for my half-a-good-deed today.


Cathy C. Hall said...

You made me laugh about my teaching-in-a-middle-school days.

That's not easy, Val. Oh, oopsies. I meant "Mother Val."

Linda O'Connell said...

Been there, done that. Those wicked copiers sense my presence and jam the minute I touch them. You are funny.

labbie1 said...

Let me get this straight--you sent the poor Pony--the same Pony that has a blister on the outside of his little hoofy hoof hoof--to nab your offense before anyone caught you?

But, of course, you did do a half a good deed. :)

Poor abused Pony!

Val Thevictorian said...

Well, that's the best we can hope for--the ability to laugh after teaching in a middle school. Somehow, "Mother Val" sounds like a swear to me. Something you might say after stubbing your toe on the dining room table leg at midnight on the way to the kitchen for a drink. Of water. We're not talking about the middle school teaching experience any more.

Some people have a green thumb, much to the delight of plants.

Some people have a toner thumb, much to the dismay of copiers.

Copier gremlins such as, perhaps, YOU and ME, are the reason we teachers can't have nice things. And by "nice things", I mean copiers that work when we need them.

I am usually not the jammer. I am the paperer. All drawers turn empty when I enter the workroom door. I feed that Kyocera paper like a fireman shoveling coal into the fiery maw of a steam engine.

Guilty as charged! The Pony needed to stretch his coltish legs. For the record, I merely sent him to get my copy, so I would know that I was using the correct printer. I did not know a calamity would befall me so that I would need to cover my tracks.

The Pony lives to please me. He is like Brother Teresa. He reaps his rewards in Kindle books and Papa John's Pizza.