What do you do when your computer refuses to talk to the printer? This has happened to me a couple of times recently and it is rather annoying. In fact, on one occasion it was quite disabling as I was unable to print out the pages of a document I needed for a meeting.

Old Linotype 1The most annoying thing is that the printers (there have been two different ones) are in the same room as the computer. I have even picked up the laptop and shown it the printer – just in case it has forgotten what it looks like and needs a reintroduction:

“Laptop, let me introduce printer. Printer, this is laptop. Please will you talk with each other now?”

I don’t know whether my computer has been insulted by a printer in the past and now is giving them the silent treatment or whether the printers have heard unpleasant things about the computer and so decide that the best thing to do is not to listen to it.

Either way, anthropomorphisms aside, the printer and computer have failed to communicate and that means that what needed to be done has not been done.

I guess the same is true of when God tries to send me messages and I am not listening, am busy doing other things or would rather not be bothered. In those circumstances what needed to be done has not been done. Someone has not received a word of encouragement or sympathy. Someone else has wondered whether God is interested in them because they did not hear from me. Another person has perhaps missed an opportunity for an encounter with God through me.

I wonder if God gets as frustrated in those circumstances as I do when the printer and computer are in a mutual huff?

When a guy’s printer type began to grow faint, he called a local repair shop where a friendly man informed him that the printer probably needed only to be cleaned. 

Because the store charged £50 for such cleanings, he told him he might be better off reading the printer’s manual and trying the job himself. 

Pleasantly surprised by his candor, he asked, “Does your boss know that you discourage business?” 

“Actually, it’s my boss’s idea,” the employee replied sheepishly. “We usually make more money on repairs if we let people try to fix things themselves first.”

Or there’s the Dr Seuss approach to tech support:

      Here’s an easy game to play.
Here’s an easy thing to say:

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
And the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
And the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
Then the socket packet pocket has an error to report!

If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,
And the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
And your data is corrupted ’cause the index doesn’t hash,
Then your situation’s hopeless, and your system’s gonna crash!

You can’t say this?
What a shame sir!
We’ll find you
Another game sir.

If the label on the cable on the table at your house,
Says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
But your packets want to tunnel on another protocol,
That’s repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,

And your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss
So your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse,
Then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang,
‘Cause as sure as I’m a poet, the sucker’s gonna hang!

When the copy of your floppy’s getting sloppy on the disk,
And the microcode instructions cause unnecessary risk,
Then you have to flash your memory and you’ll want to RAM your ROM.
Quickly turn off the computer and be sure to tell your mum!

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