Those Paper Wasters

We took up permanent residence in Taiwan in 1982, and didn’t get “computerized” until sometime in the 90s. That’s not because Taiwan wasn’t already “cyber-centric”, but because we were slow to adapt and adopt.  When we finally opted in to the system, I purchased one of those “for dummies” books to help me catch up. It’s 2020 as I type this missive, and I’m still pretty much a dummy.  

for dummies

The book was pulped long ago. But I still remember the title of one chapter, “Printers, those Paper Wasters.”  Until I learned to print on the back of things considered surplus, I wasted a LOT of paper. (Truth be told, I still waste a lot of paper). Lately, though, printers have been more “wasters of time” than of paper in my life.

That’s OK at home. Since retiring my “need” (if there ever was a need) for printing has diminished, but it’s still convenient to just click on a box on a screen and have something shoot out of a machine across the room. But the system at home has been on the fritz lately. I’ve spent more of my time on it than it seems to be worth. But hey, being retired, my time is not worth a whole lot anyway.

Last week I worked at an election polling station. I was on the “all day” crew, from set-up to take-down.  Thankfully, I was not trained or certified in using the computer equipment we had there. I say that because the “take-down” part of the job included the computer guy having to print some reports to be sealed into the bag with the voted ballots. The “computer clerk” from the other precinct in the room printed hers first (there was only one printer, which we shared). That took only a few minutes. But something wasn’t connecting when the precinct where I had been working set up to print. I watched from across the room while our “guy” and others tried to figure it out. None of us could leave until those papers were printed out and sealed up. 

Except for the facts that my long-ago pulped book was hopelessly out of date, and that nobody should call anybody else a dummy, I sort of wish I’d’ve had something to hand him.  As it is, my machine at home presents me with enough such problems. 

David Alexander now resides in Holland, MI after 39 years in Taiwan.

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