Here's one sure way to make me feel better: new stuff. I can't resort to this solution all that often, but today I got lucky. I bought one new thing and ended up with two.
It pays to be on good terms with your copier tech guy. We've always called Bruce for repair and supplies, and we've bought four machines from him over the years. The last one was the most expensive, but it started spewing out illegible copies last November, just one month before the warranty ran out. Since then, Bruce has ordered parts, tried all kinds of repairs and retooling and reprogramming. Sometimes he's seemed to have it fixed, only to have the same problem, or something new, come up a day later.
For two months we've had a loaner. It was an old machine that I suffered gladly because I like Bruce. He was really trying, but I had to have him here every couple of weeks to clean the machine, so that it wouldn't leave a black smudge up the center of each copy. And I didn't complain about this, but I had to feed the paper in by hand because it kept jamming. All in all, a real nuisance.
But oh my, I now have a top of the line professional-quality copier. It's so beautiful that I keep walking into that room and looking at it, even when it's turned off. Bruce felt so bad about the constant uncertainty we've been dealing with since our first machine went down that he gave us one worth almost twice as much. I kept asking him if he was sure he wanted to do it, but he assured me that he was just making good on the personal guarantee he made us when we bought the other one.
Wouldn't it be funny if the new machine stopped working tomorrow? If you don't think about it, you don't realize how much an office relies on its copier. I've had three choices during this murky time. I could accept the inferior quality copies of the loaner, I could go to a store and pay by the copy, or I could use my fax/printer as a copier, eating up expensive toner cartridges at an alarming rate. I did a little of each, whatever seemed to work best at the time.
Now, though, I'm the copy center.