LoisKaszniaIt’s funny how my patience gets thinner as I get older. I think I’m having a bad day and then I read some of the blogs from my friends and fellow authors and it really puts things in perspective.

Last year, I needed a new printer. My first book was in the process of being published and I wanted it to be perfect. Every stage of the editing, I would print it out to makes sure that I could see it. I painstakingly numbered everything and made sure I didn’t miss a thing. My six year old printer protested and died just when my editor sent me the final copy for review. Augh! I rushed out and got an HP Officejet Pro 8600. Absolutely loved it. Since I’ve always had such good luck with HP, I didn’t feel that I needed a warranty. This was in May of 2012.

Hence, my next book was getting ready to go through the entire editing process, due out in February of this year. This printer died right before Christmas. What? All I did was change the black ink cartridge and it made some really weird sounds. Then it flashed the error message: Print Read Error. Contact HP. So I did. They told me it was the Print Head cartridge and they would send me a new one that I could install myself. Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve had plenty of experience working with fixing printers from my old job working Help Desk. You don’t want to mess with it. So, I packed it up carefully and took it back to Office Max. Since I’m there at least once a week, they know me. They very graciously swapped it for a new one and this time I did purchase a warranty for an additional thirty dollars.

Three weeks ago, I went to copy something and I got the error message that the paper was not the correct size. Oh, I forgot to mention that I let my daughter print out one hundred pictures of a concert she had gone to, on my printer. She exhausted my ink supply and I had to go back to Office Max and buy close to eighty dollars of ink. (She did pay for it.) So, I asked myself this question; did printing the photo paper cause the printer not to read the right size paper? Hmm…

I printed out the book I’m working on and everything worked fine. So, I decided to scan what I wanted to copy and then print it out. By this time, every time I would print something, the printer started making some really weird noises. I started to get an error message; Please choose to print in black because Cyan needs to be replaced. Really? Didn’t I just replace it? So, from the old days at Help Desk, I unplugged the printer, took out and reinserted the brand new cartridges and booted her up again. Lo and behold. Print Read Error, Please contact HP.

After cursing like a sailor, I went up into the attic which is over one hundred degrees in the Dallas summer heat, to retrieve the original box. I packed it carefully again and debated. Do I really want another one of these HP printers? I mulled my options; I have over eighty dollars worth of ink that is sitting in a broken printer and it seems like I’ll be getting a new printer every six months. Okay, I’ll get the same one.

When I walked into Office Max with the printer, the clerk (he’s the one who sold it to me) just shook his head. Without saying a word, he went to the back and got me a brand new one right of the truck. We both agreed that maybe the third time is a charm? We shall see.

Technology, don’t you just love it?