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Photocopier room 101 – common photocopier problems

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There is nothing more frustrating as a photocopying machine that isn’t working. Your boss wants photocopies yesterday and the photocopying machine isn’t working properly. If it’s not a paper jam, it’s printing solid grey blocks or worse it is printing blank pages.

An error message comes up that is meaningless and the photocopier manual required for translating these photocopier error messages is nowhere to be found.

One of the best media examples of just how frustrated we can get with photocopying machines is in the cult film ‘Office Spaces’ where three of the male staff take the malfunctioning photocopier into an outdoor space and smash it to pieces.

The photocopier is kicked, beaten with a baseball bat and jumped upon. The only thing they don’t go to the photocopier is set it on fire. That is one very broken photocopier with no hope of experiencing a comeback.

Did you see a message at the end of the film that said: “no photocopiers were harmed in the making of this production?” Neither did I.

Most photocopier problems are caused by human error so we really only have ourselves to blame for photocopiers going wrong and not working properly.

Common photocopier problems include

It’s been reported that 23% of the reasons why photocopiers break down is due to staff sitting on them to photocopy their bottoms. You can therefore massively reduce your photocopier repair costs by not allowing staff to sit on the copier machine.

There are some great youtube videos of staff doing just this and falling through the glass of the photocopier and suffering painful consequences not to mention a painful disciplinary meeting with the boss. If however, you are the boss, you have only yourself to blame. Shame on you!

Other man-made causes for photocopier problems

  • Forgetting to plug in the photocopier.
  • Forgetting to turn the photocopier on.
  • Spilling drinks on the photocopier.
  • Getting food stuck on the photocopier, crumbs etc.
  • Wrong sized paper. The error messages read: too thick, too thin, too small, too wide etc.
  • Hitting, banging, kicking, dropping the photocopier.
  • Wrong toner, empty toner, clogged toner, faulty toner.
  • Paper jam.
  • Repeatedly pressing buttons.
  • Putting paper so it faces the wrong side down and so on.
  • Pulling out copies before they’ve finished printing.
  • Using poorly re-manufactured toners etc.
  • The photocopier isn’t plugged in.
  • The hamster (mentioned earlier) ate through the power cable.

Another common form of photocopier abuse is verbal. This takes the form of swearing and name calling. However unpleasant this may be, there is as yet no evidence to suggest that verbal abuse is harmful to the inkjet photocopiers machine. So if you must abuse your photocopier, do so verbally, all be it quietly so as not to offend colleagues.

To avoid all of the above photocopier problems simply don’t do them.

More ways to avoid photocopying nightmares.

  1. Don’t blame the photocopier because your passport photos make you look like the UK’s most wanted.
  2. Don’t set the number of copies to 999 and leave the room to have a nice relaxing cup of coffee without first checking that you put the original into the photocopier, right way up.
  3. More important, when double-sided printing, don’t set the number of copies to 999 and forget to turn the paper sheets over so you get 999 copies with both sides of print on one side of the paper.

Conclusion: If you want to avoid photocopier room 101 be good to your photocopier and your photocopier will be good for you.