Control “P”… for Pissed!

The usual “print operation command”, Control P has changed somehow on my computer. Maybe that last Microsoft update?  Just printing out more than a page is turning this aspiring writer, normally a mild mannered and patient computer user, into a whiny one, who spent hours researching online complaints on printer websites with no results. Now when I press the control key in conjunction with the P key… the only result is that I get pissed!

Mondays usually feel so optimistic, but then the rest of the week happens! Today felt as thought I was off to a great start. I went to my weekly EPIC Group Writers. This is always an inspirational event for me.  We do a timed writing exercise, based on a starter phrase to get our creative juices flowing.

After I left my writing group I felt inspired and focused; ready to begin a week full of great writing.  I took a look at the memoir Monday e-mail which further inspired me to write.  But shoot, I need to schedule an extra DART ride for Nick this week.  Oh yes, I also need to print out a paper invoice copy from Quick Books for his gig this afternoon.

Doing anything with Quick Books is an exercise in frustration these days.  Since the upgrade in 2013, the program has been more difficult to use than ever.  A simple task like finding and printing an invoice for customer turns it into a 15 minute exercise of opening, closing and backtracking through sections of files in the program.  Finally, I locate the correct invoice and push print.

Oh Crap!  I still have issues with the printing program on this computer. It has been a while since I have had the occasion to hit the control button and the P key! I actually avoid, when at all possible, the act of printing out a paper and ink copy of any document.  Trees are being saved… you understand, don’t you? Earth Day is just right around the corner. Emailing around the “PDFs” of a document is truly so much easier and certainly more economical too! Have you priced any printer ink cartridges lately? Wow, I should have bought stock in the company. They practically give away the printers, knowing that they will make back their money tenfold… on the ink!

Currently my computer system will only print one job time. After the first document group cycles through the system, I have choices to make before I can execute another print job.

If I look at the icon in my system tray, it tells me the printer is busy… printing out the job I just executed. Problem is that nothing is actually happening. Why is my computer telling me this giant lie? Clearly there are no pages showing up in the plastic tray beneath the printer. I have been told that computers use pure logic when processing information, so in theory a computer should not be able to tell a falsehood. Maybe I have discovered a new breed of processor! Tempting as it may be to announce this discovery to the World Wide Web… I must first print that invoice.

I pull up Task Manager, and find a line, called Job Status Windows Interface, which is process that I need to cancel.  If I do this step the printer will spring to life and spit out the pages of the job that’s been hanging in the La La Land of the print queue.  Sometimes after searching through the Task Manager, looking for the particular process to cancel and not spotting it quickly, I run out of patience!  It’s easier just to restart the dang computer.

At these times, I really regret my recent purchase of a case of extra large ink cartridges.  They are little, over packaged plastic units and cost almost as much as the printer did. I now have a box full of used and ready to recycle; black ink and individual colors of red, green and blue too. Every so often a pop-up window intrudes into my line of vision on the computer’s screen. It implores me to visit on the company’s website where I could of course purchase more ink cartridges, to return and recycle.

I originally purchased this unit because it was a “high volume ink printer” and more ecologically friendly than the other brands I’d been researching.  This printer has turned into a “high volume” stress inducing piece of equipment! Any savings on printer ink costs have been eclipsed by the increase in my wine purchases for consumption after each printing project is completed!

The manufacturer’s Customer Service has been no help at all.  In fact at one point they stated the problem exists because of a Microsoft update.  They suggested that the wrong print driver had been part of that upload last month. But it came from Microsoft and not from the manufacturer of the printer, so not their problem!  They had no a solution for how to remove this errant line of code which creates a logjam of printing tasks, waiting to be printed each time I turn on my computer.

When those ink cartridges are all used up… I will gleefully take this useless contraption to RE PC.  This facility is handy for recycling old computers and other obsolete electronic equipment.  I hope I can keep my sanity until I use up all of that ink!  It seems these cartridges will only fit this one printer! How wasteful to indulge in trashing the printer before I can recoup the investment in black ink. Maybe it is time to print a first draft of the 300 page novel.

Patience does not run in my family.  My youngest son recently visited and needed to print out copies of some forms he needed for a job application.  I was not here to observe his process but he seemed to figure out turning on and off the computer was a way to get his documents to print.  When I later looked at the printer icon, I started to laugh.  There were several documents waiting to be printed in the queue.  Apparently he did remember what I told him regarding the task manager step.

After struggling with this issue again today, I decided… it would be more satisfying to simply drive to the landfill and heave this printer into the abyss.  After I use up all of those black ink cartridges or maybe find my COSTCO receipt… they will take back almost anything!

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