Friday, November 16, 2012

Witchdoctor of the Machine Spirits

I got a lesson today at work in how incredibly brilliant I am.  I know, I know, but f'reelz... this is intense.

I've always had some sort of a knack with things mechanical and electrical.  Do I know what the little squiggly lines on plans in blue print mean?  No.  About all I know is to not stick the fork in the little slot.

Yeah, figured that one out the hard way as a little kid.  I also shot a lightbulb once with a cold water squirt gun so it blew up and launched a shard of glass into my chest.  I think that was the last time I ever played James Bond.

Anyway.  On to how brilliant I am, now that you have some basis of understanding on where I'm coming from.

The situation:  I work an office job doing [REDACTED] for the government.  I can't tell you what I do because I signed forms and things that told me that if I signed them, I couldn't tell you.  So I [REDACT] and I am damn good at it.  But sometimes while I am [REDACTING] I have to use our massive printer scanner.

For a mental picture, it looks kinda like this
Had babies with this...

Yeah, it's big.  And about as quiet as the second one there.  Definitely gets its dance moves from daddy.

So I grab my three pages that I have to scan.  Get up, lock the comp, head over to the room of The Beast.  It's in full swing.  Has two trays blasting out massive sheets, air is thick with the fumes of toner, hot paper, and hate.  The room is a furnace, and this mechanical Freddy Krueger stands between me and my goal of helping someone.  We stare each other down.  There's a tense moment.

Somewhere in the department, a tumbleweed blows down an aisle, and people begin to gather in cube windows and storefronts.  My hand twitches around my three simple pieces of paper as this menace continues to rumble onward.  I advance.

Catching it by surprise, I quickly slap my three pieces of paper down into the scanner tray.  The scanner tray isn't being used, cool, no sweat, I start beep-boop-beeping my name into the little screen thing so it can email my stuff to me.  I get to about the mid-point when all of a sudden the screen flashes nuclear white as the mechanical menace grinds to a hault, and on the screen comes up one simple word.


Yeah, it's blaming me.  Like I actually did something.  I swear at it, and it brings up another screen.  "Open door B."

I look around, but can not detect Lemoy Reister anywhere.  I would have been pretty surprised if he'd suddenly showed up, but that would have been damn cool.  I look back at the screen... it provides me a graphic.  Clearly the printer is trying to say "Side door.  Open it, motherfucker."  Knowing what's best for me, I do so.

Oh hey, look, some paper jammed.  Shit, that's the thorn in the paw, huh?  A'ight, I can handle that.  This bitch will thank the living shit out of me when I'm done.  I yank out the papers, crumple them up blatantly in front of the screen to let the machine know who's doing it this phat ass favor, and then I discard them.  Shut the do', B.

Hit the Go button, boy... it roars to life for a half a breath and then grinds to a halt again.  Again it comes up with:


Motherfucker.  Alright, fine.  What is it... Door B again, huh?  Fuck, Lemoy can really screw shit up from three hours away.  Alright.  Open the door.  More fucked up paper.  I grab it, I discard it, my eye meets its screen and we, I think, come to a fucking understanding.  It will now do my bidding.


Fuck, shit be serious, yo.  Someone walks into the room, looks at me, looks at the mechano-demon, shakes his head and walks right the fuck back out with a "Poor fucking newbie." look on his face.

I look back at the screen.  There's something different on it.  It says, simply:


You just fucked up, machine.  I win when it comes to me and a mechanical thing.  I win.  You don't win.  I do.  Alright, bring it on.  It pops up another screen, and it says something like this, and I am not exaggerating or fucking with you.
Open Door A.  (Front Door)
1:  Twist knob 2a and lever 3b counter clockwise
2: Turn knob 4b clockwise two revolutions
3:  Lift lever 2c and let it drop to resting position with housing
4:  Lift lever 4d and clear paper jam.
5:  Replace lever 4d to resting position
6:  Latch lever 2c back in to original position


Well played, mechano-demon.  Well played.   Alright, I WILL DO ALL THE THINGS.  This takes me about seven fucking minutes because some of these levers and knobs have shit written on the underside of them, or in 1800 era cyrillic characters in invisible ink.  I do these things.  I then stand back triumphant, with a half-open thing that isn't working.  I stare at the screen, it stares back, and finally I realize that [NEXT STEP] does not mean take a step back and smile at my work.  I push the button.

7:  Twist knob 4a three times clockwise
8:  Adjust tray cover until flush with underhousing
9:  Push knob 4b until it clicks
10: Turn knob 2b clockwise
11:  Lift and turn lever 3b clockwise
12:  Close Door A.

I do all the things [extended version] and by now I have been seen by no less than seven people, NONE OF WHO STOPPED TO HELP AND I WILL REMEMBER YOUR FACES UNTIL I DIE.  They just left me there like a wounded soldier screaming about how his arm itches when he doesn't have one.  Yeah I just went there.

I press the GO button.  The machine clicks.  No shit.  It just CLICKS.  I keep expecting something evil like "The Device is Now Armed.  You have TWO minutes to reach minimum safe distance..."

But it just clicks.  Then it displays this pissy message about:  DEVICE REHEATING TONER, TEMPERATURE BELOW NORMAL LIMITS.  

Cut a fucking brother a break, you spawn of XeroXatan!  I stand there.  I watch it.  Then... WHIRRRRR-CHUNK-CHUNK-CHUNK-CHUNK as it starts to spit out pieces of paper.  I am totally Fuck Yeah at this point.

I leave, fist in the air.

And get half way back to my desk before I realize I never fucking scanned the goddamn papers.

But I won, motherfucker.  I won.

Bring it on, Skynet.  I got your fucking number.