In this final installment regarding the transition period from the old to the new, from the outdated and not upgradable to the novel and optimizable, from the “used to it” to the “WTF?”, we will explore a small (ok, not so small) side effect of this transition period, this “down time”: the inability to print.
We have visited the general inability to print previously. We have discussed the general inability to understand the intricacies involved in getting your document to print. We have explored the disjoint between sending your document to print and releasing it from the print management system. We could revisit this issue again and again. But, for now, we are going to visit the special printing situation created when one system goes down, and another system is not yet up and running.
You see, when Horizon left, and Polaris was not yet with us, a fun and apparently unique situation happened at my branch. People could not print. If you tried to print from a public computer, and error message would come up indicating that you could not print. Really, I promise, it did.
Patron: My paper did not come out.
Me: Your paper? A print job?
Patron: Yeah, it didn’t come out of the printer.
Me: OK, well, the print system isn’t working right now, an error message would have appeared . . .
Patron: Yeah, I got a message (see! I told you there was a message!), but it didn’t print.
Me: (!(@*#(%&$(%^!(@&(#!)!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, well, see, that “error” message, that message indicated that OF COURSE it wouldn’t print! not that it would have AUTOMATICALLY COME OUT anyway, because you still have to pay somehow . . . but regardless, that message should have told you something, shouldn’t it? I mean, really?) OK, well, it did not print because the system is down. Are you still on the computer?
Me: OK, well, what you need to do is save whatever it is you want to print to a disk, then bring it up to me, and then I’ll print it from here.
Me: Here is a disk.
Me: Do you know how to save?
Me: OK. (really, this is not THAT shocking, given the circumstances. I mean, they didn’t know that the error message meant that whatever it is that they were trying to print was not actually going to be printed, so it isn’t that surprising that they also do not know how to save. not surprising.) Well, let me show you.
I’m not going to bore you here with the re-telling of the mouse-clicking and dull explanation and patience required to show someone how to save because I’m behind on posting anyway, and nothing that funny happened in this instance . . . until we got to the end . . .
Patron: OK, so now it printed?
Me: No, now the document is just saved on the disk. Now I have to take the disk up to the desk and print it for you from the staff computer.
Patron: But you said printing wasn’t working.
Me: I can print from the staff computer. Printing is just not working from patron computers. (For pete’s sake! I mean, my goodness!)
Patron: So what if I want to print more documents?
Me: You save them, and then when you’re finished bring the disk up to me.
Patron: But I don’t know how to save.
Needless to say, we are all happy that printing is now back online; that Polaris is up and running (if not all that smoothly); and that we, as librarians, can get back to answering reference questions . . . that is what I went to school for, right?