I shall not tolerate incompetence!

From the hours of 10:36 to 10:55 EST, one Bob Kieft sent no less than thirty copies of a document of indeterminate length to the 2nd tier laser printer in Magill. An average of 2 copies per minute (a conservative figure; sometimes there were more) for 29 minutes. Now, ordinarily one would think that after the first, oh, FIVE copies didn’t print, he would have stopped to investigate what was going on, emerged from his office to see why the fuck things weren’t functioning properly. I don’t profess to be any sort of mechanical genius, but I know enough to push the large, visible, user-friendly touch screen that says “PRINT MONITOR” to see what the hell’s going on.

What I found when I attempted the aforementioned process looked something like this:
10:36 rkieft…word doc…printing in progress
10:36 rkieft…..printing
10:37 rkieft…..printing
10:38 rkieft…..printing
10:38 rkieft…..printing
10:38 rkieft…..printing
10:39 rkieft…..printing
10:39 rkieft…..printing
10:40 rkieft…..printing
…and so on.

Hmmm, mysterious, no? Indecipherable? Yes, I know it’s complex. Cryptic, even.

So the printer, the functional hub of library activity on the ground floor, is dead. He killed the printer with the most ridiculous violation of library etiquette that I have seen in a long time. But Thea, aren’t you being excessively critical? Isn’t this excuseable for a freshman, an upperclassperson unacquainted with the laws of library behavior? Yes, that I’ll concede. So who is this elusive rkeift who does not seem to understand the concept of logical and courteous codes of printer usage?


This is a man who is responsible for all of the goings-on in the college library system, who hypothetically has some degree of technical savvy as a prerequisite for his position of leadership. This is a man in charge of the library administration, a man with a CompLit PhD. If this is what a doctoral degree in Comparative Literature will get you, God save me from academia! All I can think about, standing there in front of the printer, realizing that the library research area is not the appropriate environment for throwing things and yelling, calmly pressing the touch screen every 15 seconds to delete copy after copy of “-SENENG.doc” from the print cue is my mental picture of him sitting in his office pondering this enigma: clicking the cute printer icon in Windows ME XP 98 2020 or whatever, and saying either 1. out loud, or 2. in his head (the audible option lending a certain air of the surreal to the whole picture which I personally find appealing)

“gee, that’s odd. It didn’t work. I’d better try again.”
“Hmm, still no luck. I’ll try again.”
“Didn’t work, I’ll try again.”
“what could be wrong? I’d better try again.” for a full THIRTY MINUTES. That’s some serious stamina.

I was absolutely incredulous that someone could be so idiotic, so oblivious to what was going on around them. At first, it irritated me that he printer was non-functional, but I became curious as to just how long and to what extent he’d tried to print this thing. As I saw the print log multiply before my eyes, I got this strange fascination with how utterly ridiculous the situation was. My film readings couldn’t be that far behind, because I recalled that I’d glanced at my watch to see 10:58 after I’d deleted the first few files. It was now 11:22, and I’d gotten through Bob’s 10:55 printings (there were three that minute). On the third one, the poor, exhausted, confused printer peetered out and jammed. I’d have to re-send my film essays anyway, so I used the one working printer and let some other altruistic soul finish recessitating the Canon Laserwriter for the good of the rest of the community. I’ll never know just how many times he printed his lecture notes, nor what in the name of everything sacred inspired such mechanical non-thinking behavior.

Livid, but with my readings in hand, I left the library, amazed once again at the stupidity of my fellow human beings.

Who does that? Honestly.


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