Now I Know How to Make Copies

By Madi Bowers

So, it’s not only a copier, apparently, it’s a copier/printer/scanner. 

My direct supervisor at work, A, asked me to make copies of 43 pages of important business documents. She said the copier is self explanatory and just to be sure that I kept everything in the same order as she had given it to me. Easy enough. I seriously thought it would be a simple task to get me away from the computer and spreadsheets I had been working on for the past 2 weeks at my internship. So, of course, I happily carried the paper pile down to the copy room in the back of our office space.

The room is typical, with cabinets and boxes of files and bins of markers and pens surrounding a huge grey machine, complete with ceiling lights that are motion-sensor. After waving my arms around like a lunatic trying to get the lights to turn on for a minute or so, I casually strolled up to the copier machine and put my pile on the open space where printed documents come out.

I clicked, “Copier,” on the touch screen (high-tech but slower to respond than I was as a teenager being asked to do chores) and was immediately confused when it asked for the code. What kind of copier requires a password?! I’m not trying to get into a frat party or use meal swipes, I’m just trying not to screw up the simplest task I’ve been assigned.

Accepting defeat, I asked another intern how to use the copier, to which she quickly laughed and replied, “Good luck.” I thought I would have to admit to my supervisor that I, a tech-wiz millennial, capable of creating and sending documents on my phone in seconds, had never learned how to use office machines.

This is when the hero of the story, K, walks in and without a word, points to a paper directly above the copier that says, “How to use the copier.” I’m sure I turned a shade of red unknown to even the depths of the universe because she giggled, told me it would just take some time, and left me with my pile.

As it turns out, the password is 888 (I feel like you can have this information because it’s posted on the wall above the machine anyways). After you click those magic numbers, the copy screen loads, displaying 3 different sizes of paper, 2 preset options, and a variety of scary looking “Settings” options on the side of the screen.

Applying my recently acquired knowledge of acceptable resources, I looked up at the paper on the wall for it to tell me how to finish this task already. I clicked 2, for the 2 copies I needed of everything, placed my first of 43 pages on the copy/scan screen, closed the top, clicked Start, and was not even surprised to hear the machine scream at me in a high-pitched and monotone sound. At this point, I was so embarrassed and defeated that I didn’t care when K came through the door and began fixing my mistake before I could even get a word out.

To my surprise (and a smidge of delight), K didn’t know what the problem was either! Until she opened the top, of course, and saw that I hadn’t placed a piece of 8.5″ by 11″ paper over my much smaller paper so the scanner could detect it. I gave a sincere thank you, she left, and I continued on.

I am happy to report that I finished the adventure on my own, without misplacing a paper, forgetting a step, or stapling the finished documents incorrectly. Now, I’m not saying you should call me if you have copy room problems of your own at work, but I know a thing or two about how to read “How to” instructions. I have even learned how to print and scan! The point is, although it took at least a half hour longer than it should have, this millennial learned how to use an old-timey copier machine with a touch screen from those children’s iPads.

I feel pretty confident now in my copy room knowledge, as I can copy/print/scan anything on my own and in a timely fashion.

But this is only for the black and white machine. The color printer is another monster entirely.