Thursday, May 2, 2013

Efficient Solutions

            “I got it working Mrs. Jones.”

            “Great,” I said flatly.

            I stood looking at the huge, ancient printer sitting on its own table next to my desk.

            “I didn’t think you’d be able to replace the broken part.”

            Greg, our school’s IT guy, pulled out a towel and began wiping black powder off his hands.

            “Well, I had some parts saved from Mrs. Anderson’s printer before it was replaced.”

            I whined, “Mrs. Anderson got a new printer?  I’ll bet mine is the oldest printer in the school now.”

            Greg furrowed his brow and tilted his head.

            “It is.”

            “Can’t you accidentally drop it or something so I can get a new one?  Aren’t you getting tired of my repair calls every other day?”

            “Aw, that’s my job,” Greg smiled as he pushed the back door of the printer shut.

            The door immediately dropped open.  Greg pushed the door shut again, but the door dropped open as soon as he took his hand away. 

            “OK,” I pounced.  “It won’t work if the back door is open.”

            “Mrs. Jones, I’m really sorry, but replacing your printer is out of my hands.  You know how money works this time of the year.  There isn’t any.  As long as I can get the printer working, the district’s not going to replace it.  Maybe next year.”

            I watched Greg walk out.

            “Maybe next year,” I snarked.

            I stood glaring at the back door of the printer hanging open.  I pulled open the drawer of my desk searching for scotch tape.  My eyes fell on the first aid kit the school nurse had brought around to all the teachers at the beginning of the year.  I pulled out two bandages, peeled them open, and used them to tape the back door shut.

            Three hours later the principal tapped on my door.

            “Could we look at the new mountings for your Smart Board?”

            I looked up as the principal and IT Greg walked into my room.  Behind them was with another man I didn’t know.

            “This is Mr. Evanston, head of IT for the district,” the principal explained.  “I wanted to show him how well it worked out to mount the new Smart Boards right over the old white boards.”

            “Sure.  Fine,” I said pausing at the keyboard.

            All three walked over to the Smart Board and began examining the mounting hardware behind it.  

            As Mr. Evanston passed my desk, he looked at the bandages on the back of the printer but didn’t say anything.  When Greg saw the bandages, he did a double take.   The principal just kept looking at the Smart Board.

            After a few minutes they left, but Greg stepped back in before the door closed.

            “Bandages?  Do you need some tape?”

            “I think the bandages are more efficient,” I said.  “They’re doing two jobs.”


            “Yeah, two.  They’re holding the door closed, and they’re telling everyone what’s really going on.”

            Greg started laughing and walked out shaking his head.

            Two days later I got a new printer.



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