Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Complicated Machines to Make Life Better

The frustrations of technology's life improving progression are zapping out my will to live in the age of machines.

 I had not realized I also have to register the nonprofit with the department of justice in Oregon.  I'd registered it with the secretary of state.  So I got the forms and waited for my fellow board members to sign the bylaws, which I had great fun writing a few months ago, and then went to copy the forms, to then send off to the DOJ.

Shouldn't that be as simple as finding a copy machine, plugging in a nickel for each copy after laying the paper face down and closing the hold down piece, then pushing "copy"?

I think it should be.  But it isn't.  Now we have deluxe do everything machines that take a college degree span of time to figure out.  I felt utterly incompetent at the controls.

They don't take change.  You must plug in your debit or credit card, leaving you open to thieves with skimmers who place them in the card readers to later steal your money.  I won't use them after post office self service package mailing machines were hit with these devices you can buy online to make stealing easy.

So, I asked a clerk how I could use cash, and didn't they have a coin operated machine?  Please have a coin operated machine, I was thinking.

No, they didn't, but they could put their card in the machine and I could pay cash at the register.  "Ok," I agreed, thinking it would be all good now.  Smooth sailing.

The copying did not go well.  I laid the original where I was told to lay it.  It's not obvious at all to me.   Then after a couple minutes of various machine sounds, I couldn't find my copy.  There were several possible trays it might come out into.  I looked in them all and finally found the copy.  But it was blank.

I asked again for assistance. I was feeling old and stupid.  My brain was going numb and I just wanted to find a machine I could plug that nickel into and lift something up, place the copy face down on the surface, lower the lid, and press "copy".  I scanned the store's perimeter.  There must be one here.   They're lying!  They're hiding the easy machine!

The young clerk hid her irritation well, but it came through, or maybe my embarrassment made me think she was about to slap the shit out of me.  Maybe that's what I needed to operate the damn machine!

 (I can see it now.  "Stand up straight, toes on that black line, eyes ahead.  Now concentrate!" the clerk barks, as she delivers three sharp slaps across my cheek.  I shake my head, side to side, and the fog falls away.  I say "thank you, I needed that" then step to the machine and operate it perfectly, like a pro, under the beady  pleased eyes of the clerk.)

I tried again and the copy dropped into the tray in landscape not letter.  "It did that because you punched some button" I was advised.  The next time it made two copies of the same page and I'd only wanted one and I swear I didn't touch a thing.   "It made two copies because you punched the button for two," I was told.
The clerk took over and made my copies.  I'd had to remove all the staples too. There was nowhere to spread out to organize. Complain, complain, complain.  I'd had it.  Good thing the clerk had made my copies by then.   I paid out the $1.10 for 10 copies and left 40 minutes after I came in.  How easy life is with the new machines.

Off to the Post Office.  Drive several miles, wait in a long line.  Finally, I was done!!  All so I can legally help others and their cats!

The hoops we jump through.....


  1. I am ok if I can control the printer from a screen but never with the machine itself. What are those obscure symbols, seemingly different on every machine?

    1. I know! We are supposed to know what all those symbols mean. Somehow.

  2. Oh yes.
    I remember while I was still at work we got a new photocopy machine. A training course was scheduled. Ridiculous I thought.
    And it wasn't.
    I felt sooooo stupid when I couldn't operate a simple copy machine. Just replacing the paper was a marathon and we won't talk about clearing a paper jam....

    1. A training course, that's hysterical, but so true. I think its funny techies think we all must just wait on pins and needles for new software and new devices and programs to come out, so we spend hours upon hours learning the new version, studying manuals, taking courses.....to create a letter, let alone make a copy!

  3. I have had similar problems with copy machines. Now I usually just ask the person behind the counter to help me before I even start. Even when I have to wait, I find it much less frustrating this way.

    I'm glad you've filed the papers to move forward with your nonprofit. Slowly, but surely, you're getting there!

    1. That's what the clerk told me to do next time, just have them do it. Much faster for them and for me. Yes, the final step, although I was operating before, and legally. Got the federal 501(c)3 status in May.

  4. Bureaucracy and electronics drive me crazy, too. I appreciate that you went through it all for the sake of others.