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Man Vs. Printer

There’s a team here at my office that does a lot of printing.  I mean, a LOT of printing.  Just to give you an idea, they blew through a brand new toner cartridge on their new printer this morning.  They print THAT much.

Obviously, with such high expectations put on a printer they needed one not only all to themselves but one that would handle the massive amount of print jobs they throw at it day in and day out.  The one they had before was old and run down so I went to bat for them a couple of weeks ago and got them a shiny new HP Laserjet 4015tn.  50 PPM, network enabled, hit-it-with-your-best-shot model.  I set it up, gave it paper in the two bottom trays and fed envelopes into the manual feed tray.  All was well…until you printed an envelope.  Every time you sent one to it it forced you to get up and push the “OK” button on the front which lived beneath the display which read “MANUALLY FEED ENVELOPE #10. PRESS OK TO CONTINUE”.  Now there were clearly envelopes fed into that tray and when you pushed the “OK” button it took an envelope from the tray.  I wanted to avoid having to press the button so I called HP.  I talked to them for a good five or six hours, via the phone or their online support chat.  I switched everything known to man in the settings but to no avail.  I finally got a supervisor who explained to me that the 4100tn was “too stupid” to know the difference and I would always have to push the “OK” button.  Unacceptable.  I asked the supervisor what models would print envelopes without the “OK” intervention and he introduced me to the HP Color Laserjet CP3525, which I ordered.

The printer arrived yesterday.  I worked late last night on some other things and decided to set it up as a nice morning surprise for the people who would be using it.  I fed the envelopes, loaded paper and…same thing.  I decided to have a little fun during the two hours I was on the phone with HP this morning (much more angry this time) and write small poems on all of my test envelopes.  Here’s how they came out:

It turns out that was the trick – disable manual feed altogether.  Four HP technicians, two printers and eight hours later it was what it always is – some stupid little setting somewhere.  I was honestly losing my mind while fighting this problem, but I felt like sharing the dip into insanity I had today with all of you.

One last thing: during the battle I had with HP and their equipment, I was an asshole to someone who was not at fault.  She just happened to step into the line of fire, and I want her to know that I’m very sorry about that.  Make a note, gang.  No matter what is happening, everyone else is having troubles of their own so keep your emotions in check.  Otherwise, you’ll find yourself using the end of a post on a very popular website making an apology to someone you never should have crossed in the first place.

Also, HP can suck it.  Seriously.