Thursday, October 20, 2011

Extra Extra!!

Available in hardcopy or trade paperback
One of my biggest self-admitted faults (there are tons of bigger faults that I won't admit to) is my seeming inability to finish any project I start regardless of how trivial. For example: We have unfinished trim around our brand new installed patio doors. All I need to do is paint it. . . end of project. It’s been that way for 10 months. My dad installed can lights in my house. All I need to do is repaint the ceiling, because he white-primered it around the work, but didn’t paint it. It’s hard to tell unless you’re really looking, but I know it’s unfinished. He installed the can lights at least two years ago. We bought paint for my daughter’s room a couple months ago. We just haven’t started on it. In fact, the wallpaper border in her room that my wife started removing at least 8 months ago is still only half removed. These are the sorts of things that aren’t huge issues taken individually but point to a major flaw in the aggregate. Coffee is for closers. I want my damn coffee.

I was going to finish that damn social story project if it got me fired or killed me. I got back a tad early from my mandatory fire safety meeting and thought. . . okay, I’m tackling this fucking gosh darn unrippable project for Lily that I keep putting off. . . and it just. Kept. Eluding me.

So mostly I was freaked out because I was doing it at work, and it's not like you can hide a “comic book” that's double-sided by turning it over to the blank side. So I was very conscious of printing it out quickly, scooping it up and stowing it safely in my laptop bag. None of which happened.

The first time I printed it upside down (page one right side up, page two upside down), because. .. the unrippable paper is so heavy you have to enter a special setting on the laser copier in order for it not to jam every time, and entering the type of paper it is precludes the use of double-sided copies. I guess the copy machine understood that it would jam itself if it tried.

The second time, I didn't realize it printed last to first. So, I printed all the evens, 2,4,6,8 then flipped them over, and printed out 1,3,5,7 only instead of 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8. . . it was 7-2, 5-4, 3-6, 1-8. MAGICAL!!!!

I didn't actually even figure out what the hell went wrong until I said eff (the word was not actually “eff”) this and printed the evens, then did four separate print jobs for the odds and fed them one at a time through the stupid copy machine.

I didn’t trust the copy machine not to jam, so I had an access code added to the print jobs that required me to enter a password everytime I printed so that I could manually feed the papers without worrying abouta jam.

Bear in mind this was taking like an hour where I was just standing at the copy machine looking, for all intents and purposes, as if I was photocopying comic books while on the company nickel.

The Iron Maiden
So finally I finished it. But I had to bind it. I tried binding the laminated version our BSC printed out for us last week with my wife's work friend's binding machine before I left for work this morning and almost broke it because all I had was a laminated version and it was too much for the thing to cut through. I heard a loud crunch, and thought, “Great! This is why we can’t have (our friends’) nice things.” But it still worked, so we'll pretend like nothing happened. I ran out of time before work this morning,so I decided I would just use my company's industrial strength version.

I could not, with my Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering, for the life of me figure out how to line up the pages and the binding mechanism such that it would spiral bind when I yanked the crank. I finally had to enlist the company's technical writer (read: copy clerk/part-time waitress) to help me figure it out.

And now. . . now I'm done.

I’m a GENIUS!!!*

*well. . . at least I finished the project.


  1. Congratulations, Genius! Seriously, if you managed to bind it without taking off the tip of a finger, you shouldn't sell yourself short like that.

    You could have consulted an executive secretary instead of a technical writer because the job descriptions are EXACTLY the same. But I wouldn't know anything about that.

  2. Now. Don't you feel so much better about yourself and your ability to complete tasks? Next thing you know, you'll be ripping out that wallpaper border and painting that trim.

    BTW - can that copy machine access code be traced back to you? Just askin....

    You do know I'm going to laugh maniacally if Lily somehow manages to rip the unrippable paper, right? I mean, I'll feel bad for you but I'm still going to laugh. Just a little bit.

  3. @Grace - we fired our executive secretary to make way for the technical writer.

    @Bird - I feel better about myself, but only because I elected to follow through on a task for my daughter. I think the added implied guilt aids the process. She can't rip the paper. . . but. . . she can (and already has) pull the paper out of the binding.

  4. Congratulations! There's nothing quite like finishing a tough project! Coffee all around!

    And now, I fear I have to rain on your parade a little... I'm a professional technical writer...

  5. The inside joke is that although YOU may be an actual technical writer...she is not. SHE is a glorified secretary, or is at least being used as one.

  6. We do employment law at my firm. Just sayin'....

    I do believe that if Lily was your direct supervisor, you might be in line for a promotion. Congratulations!

  7. It's a shame it took so long she's probably outgrown it. Bwaaahhhh!!! Sorry dude, I couldn't resist that one.

    Well done!

  8. @karen-woohoo!
    @lizbeth-grrrr, thanks

  9. Those machines are the creation of the devil. For real.

    Great job!

  10. @Cassie - I kinda like the thing. It LOOKS like a construct of Satan, but it's got sort of a neat retro ultra industrial utility to it that appeals.

  11. there's nothing like the feeling of completing a job... especially when it's for someone like your kid... (or me for my nephews or bf's kid)

    I didn't realize technical writer was an actual career when I took the class in college.. hmmm

  12. Yeah, it's a nice feeling for a change. Now on to my NEXT project (which I will not discuss for fear that when I never get it done I'll catch no end of shit from anyone who reads this blog)