Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Thursday, July 31, 2003

It was a dark and stormy night...

Okay, not stormy, just a little hazy. But it was night, and it was dark, and she muttered to herself as she tried to get the key to turn in the lock. Dang humidity! Reaching into her capacious bag, she brought out a mechanical pencil and opened it up to reveal a lead. Pressing the graphite rod against the key, she proceeded to pulverise the rod as best she could, then attempted to put the key in once more. On the other side of the door a wailing could be heard. At last! The key turned and she strode into the room, nearly toppling over a glass jar on the floor and watching six glowing eyes greet her. Hurridly she turned on the light and brought forth the offering of Kit and Kaboodle to satisfy the cats who had strewn debris across her entryway in an attempt to punish her for having been so late in bringing dinner. (Thank you cat food fairy!!!) At once they fell to their meal, leaving her to blog in peace. Her dog, who would have been happy to have her home with or without such offerings, promptly ate and then rolled on the couch in glee. All was right with the universe again.


I had a good workout at the gym. The elliptical is giving me some problems, but I increased my treadmill time, speed, and incline and my bike workout from level 1 to level 5. I remembered to bring headphones today so I got to watch TV. It is very interesting to exercise to 'Murder, She Wrote' and 'Dragonball Z'.

As to the staples saga (didst thou think I had forgotten???) We recently purchased a new digital copier at work which is absolutely marvelous. Unfortunately, there seems to be a misunderstanding as to the finisher on our model, which is itself brand spanking new. So here's the saga:

The new copier with the bells and whistles stops stapling without warning. Turns out the cartridge is empty. Dang! I should have ordered them sooner, but I assumed it would tell me when it was getting low, like it does with the other supplies.
Me: I'd like to order toner and staples for our machine, serial #...., please.
Customer Service: The toner is covered by your contract, but I need a PO (purchase order) for the staples. Would you like me to go ahead and order the toner?
Me: Yes, please. I'll check with purchasing about getting a PO.
That day, I fill out a requisition, giving the phone #, machine serial #, and our current meter read and, after getting my boss' signature, send it to purchasing.
Purchasing: I need a meter read.
Me: Did you check the requisition?
Purchasing: Oh. (Heads back to the other side of the building. I rather think she enjoyed getting away from her desk for a few moments and is saddened by the prospect of going back.)
All goes well. The order is placed. I receive the toner in a couple of days. People are coping fine with my note regarding the staples because, although less convenient, I have a high-power electric stapler nearby. There are few complaints.
A few days later...where are the staples? I am beginning to get some grumblings.
At last, staples! 2 boxes, as ordered! But, wait! They are of the incorrect size! They are not even designed the same. Arrrgghhh!!! They will not fit!!!!
Me (holding the original cartridge and the two boxes of useless staples): They sent us the wrong staples.
Purchasing (comparing them and writing down the number): Is this the order number (pointing at a sticker)?
Me: I don't know. In the past I've just told them our serial number and they knew what to send.
Purchasing: Okay, I'll send these back.
Days pass.
Purchasing goes on vacation. I check with her boss. No word. Our heavy-duty stapler runs out of staples. Fortunately I have an extra cartridge. I order more just in case this goes on much longer.
A month since the original order. Purchasing is back from vacation. I e-mail her about the status of the staples. She replies that she had called twice and they were supposed to be sending new ones and picking up the bad ones.
Me: I'd like to check on the status on an order please...
[after pleasant customer service lady goes and tracks the order, we determine that it arrived at work the day before]
Me (to Receiving): Are the staples for the library copier in?
Receiving: Yes, we're just checking to make sure they're the right ones.
Two days pass, bringing us to today.
Receiving: I have something for you (handing me two boxes).
I open them. They are the incorrect staples. Again. He looks at them and verifies that, yes, indeed, they are not the same. I call Customer Service.
Me: I'm having some trouble getting the right staples for my machine.
Customer Service: Ooh, I don't like the sound of that. What is your serial number?
[After looking up the orders, she decides that they may have the incorrect finisher in their records, pages a tech to come look at our machine and determine the correct configuration, and thanks me for being so nice about it.]
Me: Well, if it makes you feel any better, our last company had a lot of trouble with staples, too.
Customer Service: Oh, but we're supposed to better than the competition.
Tech: I understand you're having some trouble with your machine.
Me: Yes, apparently there's a question of which staples we require for our finishers. The CS rep said you'd come look at it so we could get the right ones.
Tech: That's exactly what I'll do. I'll see you sometime this afternoon.
Time passes. We have a fire alarm, which was a drill, but of course we didn't know that at the time. They like to keep us on our toes, being in a hospital.
Tech: I'm here to look at the library copier.
Receptionist: We're having a fire alarm. Please wait until they sound the all clear.
Tech: How long will that take.
Receptionist: I don't know.
Tech: I can't sit around all day waiting. Tech leaves. 30 seconds later the receptionist calls me and gives me the news.
I call Customer Service and explain what happened and that the tech couldn't be bothered to wait a minute or so, but if she pages him right now, she might catch him in the parking lot.

Sigh. I'm still waiting for the tech. And the %%^$^ staples!!! I am beginning to think I'm going to have to take the bus downtown to their office and show them the cartridges myself.

I feel like it's a soap opera, and the action is progressing about 5 minutes at a time even though a month has passed. Turn in next time for the (hopefully) chilling conclusion!

PS This was never covered in library school. Thank goodness for Paxil and a natural sense of resignation, um, humour.

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