Moments of exasperation

The Oki printer hates me. Especially on Monday mornings, when I need it most.

We have 10am staff meetings every Monday. These meetings are very important to me. It’s a time to get everyone on the same page, share concerns, problem-solve as a team and set the tone and direction for the week ahead. I stress about these meetings because I want them to run smoothly. No one on my team has time to waste and I certainly don’t want to be the catalyst.

So I spend quite a bit of time each weekend preparing. Culling through emails from the week before, sifting through notes I’ve plopped into my “meeting agenda” folder, printing handouts everyone will need to make informed decisions. No matter how much I do ahead of time, I rarely achieve the flawlessly efficient meetings I crave. And I’m often late getting them started.

So I blame that darn Oki printer. I bought it in haste a few years ago when our old printer conked out and we had a deadline to meet. I didn’t do any research. I didn’t go online to read the blogs or visit Consumer Reports. (Neither of my brothers will make a purchase without taking both of these steps.) I think the Oki senses my utter lack of regard, so it punishes me every Monday, when I inevitably discover just one more document I need to print for my staff meeting. It simply won’t print from my computer.

Mala, our calendar & directories editor, is the computer’s muse. She seems to be able to coax it to do anything she wants. But she is nice to it. She nourishes it with new cartridges, fills its paper tray, talks to it in soothing tones. I flail around the office in a panic, saying to anyone within earshot, “This darn thing won’t print again!”

Inevitably, it works absolutely fine as soon as our meeting has ended.

There are many moments of sheer exasperation when you’re trying to run a company. I’ve been going through some of my old RAK History files, laughing as I read and remember some of them. Here’s one example.

On a Saturday morning in 1991, I  was driving up the Dreamy Draw (now Piestewa Peak Freeway). I had just picked up a load of magazines from the printer. (I can’t remember now why I would have been doing this on a Saturday.)

The back of my mini-van popped open, spilling boxes of magazines onto the heavily traveled road. Both my sons were in the car with me, safely strapped into car seats (thank goodness). So I took them home to Dan and went back by myself, recklessly darting into the road to recover as much of our precious inventory as I could manage. Many boxes worth were ruined or lost.

It’s funny now. It wasn’t so funny then. So maybe some day I’ll be able to laugh about the Oki printer, too. 


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