Rob Vincent dot net

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July 4, 2013

Random old work story

Rob @ 4:26 PM

In a past professional life I once temped in an office of a large multinational company, which shall remain unnamed. They had about seven or eight different models of desktop printer scattered around the place. The fanciest model was a couple of non-networked printers in the offices of select executives, who probably never switched the things on. More pedestrian, networked models of printer were in constant use by everyone else, including said executives' assistants.

When it came time to buy printer ink, they always bought far too much ink for the fancy printers (which didn't need any, and so the new stocks just joined a pile of useless ink in the supply cabinet) and far too little ink for the actually-used printers (which had little to no supply in the cabinet.) This made everyone miserable, but any complaints or concerns expressed toward the folks involved in the supply chain tended to get entirely misunderstood; "oh, we're out of [useless ink]? Sure, we'll get that fixed up for ya right away :-)" followed by an unhelpful delivery of more unneeded fancy-printer ink the next day.

Finally, they had to actually throw away a year's worth of the useless ink simply to make room in the closet once a reasonably-sized shipment of the actually useful ink arrived. At least, it was thrown out on paper.. in actuality, the employee in charge of bringing the perfectly-functional ink to the dumpster flogged it all on eBay and doubled their salary for the week.

And so it goes.