Precipice Approaching Mellowness

MWEEENH MWEEENH MWEEENH MWEEENH MWEEENH MWEEENH

The alarm is just loud enough to be annoying. Triggered when Ashlee attempts to ring up a printer cartridge (HP Laserjet 304A Yellow CP2025, CM 2320 mfp). I’ll leave the ‘mf’ to your imagination. After this tale, the ‘p’ stands for ‘pain.’ 

I won’t mention the name of the store, but it rhymes with Naples. Ashlee does not know why the alarm is sounding.

MWEEENH MWEEENH MWEEENH MWEEENH MWEEENH MWEEENH

Ashlee’s using this black plastic gizmo with little metal rods sticking out of it. She runs it over the top of a black plastic nodule affixed to the printer cartridge box. In the span of three minutes, said gizmo running action trends steadily upward from patient to furious.

MWEEENH MWEEENH MWEEENH MWEEENH MWEEENH MWEEENH

Reluctantly, Ashlee grabs the phone and punches a couple of buttons.

“Robert, I need some help up front, please.” Not pleading, just frustrated.

Ashlee’s a diminutive college student. This is not her be-all, end-all dream job. Robert (“Don’t call me ‘Bob’”) is the yang to her yin. 30-something, shaved head, couple of tats, square horn rims. A comer in the Store Whose Name Rhymes With Naples Managerial Trainee Program.

Elbowing Ashlee aside, Robert gives off the ‘Here I come to save the day’ vibe. Here to do those things that fast-tracked Managerial Trainees do. This is

his

be-all, end-all dream job.  

“You should be able to just run a magnet across this…”

…and proceeds to do the exact same thing Ashlee was doing.

With exactly the same result.

The vital cartridg

e.

MWEEENH MWEEENH MWEEENH MWEEENH 

MWEEENH MWEEENH

There was a time in my life, when something like this happened, I’d have declared, “I’m done,” and indignantly departed the premises. But precipice-approaching mellowness is a gift from God.

That, and Jackie armed me with three pages of coupons for this specific transaction. Printed at work, since ours is rendered inoperable, pending the purchase of the vital HP Laserjet 304A Yellow CP2025, CM 2320 mfp cartridge.

And the coupons expire…

…tuh-DAY.

Robert rubs the gizmo against the nodule for another couple minutes. Ashlee makes efficient use of this time by securing our Store Whose Name Rhymes With Naples Rewards Program info.

Name, phone number, shoe size, eye color, salad dressing preference of my firstborn male child.

Yanno. The essentials.

Robert eyeballs the gizmo, blows on it, bangs it a couple of times on the counter and looks over at Ashlee with all the certainty and confidence he’s been taught to project in the Managerial Trainee Program offered by the Store Whose Name Rhymes With Naples.

One more rub.

MWEEENH MWEEENH MWEEENH MWEEENH MWEEENH MWEEENH

Now Robert wants to crawl in a hole.

Desperate and visibly sweating, he turns the gizmo perpendicular to the nodule and… voilà.

MWEEENH MWE.

Like water seeking its own level, in a nanosecond, my digital data falls into place.

“Just a signature in the white box and you’re good to go.”

Scrawl my MM in the white box. Nothing happens. Apparently, I’m not good to go. The three of us stand there and look at each other.

This time Ashlee elbows Robert aside.

She raises the stylus high and jams it hard into the white box. Norman Bates’ mother would be proud.

On the way home, it strikes me that in the long pull of history, our society’s still at the beginning of the technology learning curve.

The next flawless PowerPoint (Microsoft’s caps) presentation I see will be the first. My car translates text messages to audio, but they often come out, “Be home soon, but first I gotta mnkjhihgwfg.”

I could let these things be an mfp. Instead, I think I’ll fall back on some of that God-given precipice-approaching mellowness.