Printer problems never go away

First off, if you are looking for the other three in this tale you may be disappointed — today it’s more of a “me” piece. A few days ago, I found myself with a hankering to work on one of my dusty fiction yarns. I decided that printing off a first draft sci-fi piece I’d been toiling with for the last few years would be a great start. I could touch up on some revision and editing skills.

First off, if you are looking for the other three in this tale you may be disappointed — today it’s more of a “me” piece.

A few days ago, I found myself with a hankering to work on one of my dusty fiction yarns. I decided that printing off a first draft sci-fi piece I’d been toiling with for the last few years would be a great start. I could touch up on some revision and editing skills.

My problem, though, was getting my printer hooked up. You see, we haven’t had a working printer in over a year. Why need one in this day and age when you’ve got The Cloud! Well to answer my own rhetorical question, for times exactly like this, I suppose.

So I got to work. I had to find the disk that would install the printer onto our computer — I knew that much. Actually I’m lying already, my 60-year-old mother knew that much and earnestly tried to explain it to me while I had an outwards hissy fit in front of her and my six-year-old son.

“Sweetheart, I’m pretty sure you need to install it to the computer,” she said. Lars added in a, “Yeah I think Granny is right Mom.”

“But it has the Bluetooth — it should already be linked up,” I cried to them both.

Eventually I was convinced by the two of them that installing the printer software (or is it hardware?) with the disk would be our best bet.

It pleased me to discover that after doing so, the printer icon showed up on my computer under the devices section. The printing machine itself had power coursing through it, to which I was able to successfully print the alignment page after a few tries. Hawzaa for Lindsay!

Yet when I attempted to print something off of my word processor, nothing happened. Quite literally, nothing happened. Not so much as a click of a copier reel or a bing of an error message. Nothing.

By this time, I was sure that the entrails of my brains had begun spilling out of my ears due to the infuriating sound of oblivion.

At some point throughout the ordeal, Mother Dear took Lars and left. She might have left me a note saying she was taking him for the night — a PS at the bottom reminding me to not let current issues fog my good sense so much that I’d overlook picking Sophie up from school.

Or perhaps in my tech-No-logy condition I picked up on the information through sheer telepathic awareness.

The point is I was completely alone now. And I used that solitude as best I knew how. There I was flailing my arms asking the high heavens why horrible things always seemed to happen to me. Tears of frustration welled in my bloodshot eyes as I scanned the computer’s desktop for any clue as to why my efforts had been for naught.

At one point, in an act of pure vexation, I swept my arm across the desk knocking all of its contents (books, papers, pens, external hard drives — yes I have a very messy work space) onto the floor and surrounding area. At that point, I admitted myself to the floor and cried.

I cried for my failure as a printer installer. I cried for the pages that seemed would never be. And I cried for my inability to learn anything new at this stubborn age of mine.

As I lay crumpled and dejected on blue carpet, I pondered the meaning of existence.

No, no I didn’t. It would have been sure prophetic if I had, though. Instead, I glanced behind the desk to find a cord I hadn’t seen previously. It looked as though it was meant to be in the general area of computers and things.

Then it struck me — I had a cord connecting from the back of the printer into the wall, but did I have one that connected from the printer to the computer?

In my defence, in this age of Bluetooth and wireless everything, I honestly didn’t think there would be a need for such a cord. But lo and behold, as I plugged that baby in I was able to print thereafter until my heart was content.

As I headed off to snuggle in my bed with a first draft manuscript and a very, very, very large glass of wine, I had a newfound confidence that floated alongside me. Maybe there were a few pit stops, and sure several manic meltdowns, but it does go to show that you can most definitely teach an old dog new tricks.

That was until the next day when we managed to wipe the computer clean of all of its documents and programs … for the second time in one year.

Maybe it’s not an age thing, perhaps I’m just not cut out for this tech crap after all.

Lindsay Brown is a Sylvan Lake mother of two and freelance columnist.

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