I’m walking by the printing room where Brigid is finishing off the last of our office summer barbecue invitations when I hear the noise. It’s the kind of sound that makes the muscles in your back tighten up – a loud crunching as the paper grinds up into a crumpled and shredded mess between the rollers.
The machine exhales in three high-pitched beeps and the small screen on the front starts flashing.
Brigid looks at me with wide eyes. “Well, that can’t be good.”
She hurries over and reads the words on the touch panel aloud, “Printer fail.”
I follow along and look over her shoulder just as Andy walks in behind me.
“What’s all the commotion in here?” He asks.
“The printer appears to be kaput.” Brigid responds, after checking the paper tray and opening the rear access door to peer inside. She pulls out the torn invitation, which is now covered in ink splatter and not in any way legible.
Normally, after removing the jam the printer would come back to life. But the machine has now completely shut down and refuses to respond to Brigid’s prompting, as she methodically pushes a combination of buttons.
“Ah, yes. It was only a matter of time.” Andy sighs, as if he had been expecting this for a while.
I eye him curiously.
“The printer has been… uhh…disagreeing with me quite often lately,” he says. I can’t help but notice a hint of guilt in his tone. “I was prepared for this moment, which is why I went ahead and placed an order for the All-in-One Inkjet Printer in this month’s Office Plus flyer.”
“With the instant rebate, we saved 55 dollars,” he says, “I figured we couldn’t go wrong.”
Good recovery. I raise my eyebrows, impressed by his proactive efforts.
“It should be in tomorrow, actually.” He smiles.
Brigid lets out a sigh of relief. “Ah, you’re my hero, Andy,” she says, adding, “I never thought I’d hear myself saying that.”
He gives her a wink and struts back out the doorway. I can’t help but laugh. “Oh Andy,” I mutter as I turn to leave the room.
Brigid chuckles behind me. “I can only imagine what the office barbecue will bring!”